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Fraser Horses Back On The Track

Published: April 4, 2020 4:31 pm ET

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Reports out of British Columbia indicate that horsepeople stabled at Fraser Downs will be back on the racetrack for training purposes starting today (April 4).

The update came in a letter penned by Brian Butters that was released to the industry by the B.C. chapter of the HBPA on Friday (April 3). The letter also notes that a task force has been established to help guide the province's horse racing industry through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Great Canadian Gaming and the horsemen at Fraser Downs @ Elements have reached an agreement whereby horses currently stabled at Fraser Downs will be permitted to jog on the track, subject to the conditions that had been laid out previously. This will commence on Saturday, April 4, 2020.

Also, discussions between Great Canadian and the thoroughbred sector are underway to determine when the Hastings track and backstretch might be reopened to permit stabling of horses and light exercise. More details will be communicated when they are available.

Finally, the BC Horse Racing Industry Management Committee has agreed to create an Emergency Task Force for BC Horse Racing.

The purpose of the task force is to provide a communications capability by which the BC horse racing industry and its stakeholders can be kept informed about industry developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic in a timely and accurate way.

The task force will meet by way of telephone conference call approximately weekly, and more frequently as required. Information of value to the industry will be communicated to stakeholders following meetings.

The membership of the task force is as follows: (* denotes member of Horse Racing Industry Management Committee)

  • Great Canadian Gaming Corp. (Track Operator)

    - Chuck Keeling *
    - Darren MacDonald, Regional Director, BC Racing

  • Thoroughbred Sector

    - Glen Todd *
    - Ole Nielsen, president, BC TOBA
    - David Milburn, president, HBPA BC

  • Standardbred Sector

    - Ross Sharp *
    - Kelly MacMillan, breeder, and board member of Harness Racing BC
    - Lynda Atkinson, breeder, and board member, Horse Council of BC

  • Brian Butters, Interim Chair, HRIMC *

  • Bill McNeill, GPEB, non-voting member of HRIMC *

The first meeting of the Emergency Task Force will take place early next week.

Brian Butters
Interim Chair, BC Horse Racing Industry Management Committee

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