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Dresden To Present Black Heritage Day

Published: July 15, 2021 11:54 am ET

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Dresden Raceway will be celebrating its Black heritage on Sunday, Aug. 1, with a special card of racing.

Dresden Raceway is unique as it is located on the original 100-acre property known as the Dawn Settlement, which Josiah Henson purchased in 1841.

Henson, who was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, owned and bred racehorses throughout his life right on the property now known as Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

In his will, Henson left “half of the proceeds from his prized Hambletonian stallion called John” to his son, Peter. Hambletonian is highly regarded as the father of horse racing in North America. This draws the conclusion that racehorses have been in the area of Dresden Raceway for over 160 years.

Dresden Raceway’s rich history includes many Black families that will be honoured on Aug. 1, including the List family, the McCorkle family, the Grineage family, the Simmons family, the Davis family, the Prince family, the Tanner family, Duwayne Guest and Josiah Henson himself.

“This is something that is very unique to Dresden Raceway when comparing us to other tracks in Canada,” said track announcer Gary Patterson. “We have generations of Black families who are such a big part of our history.”

Patterson added, “The contribution that these families have made to harness racing is huge, but the contribution they have made to Dresden Raceway is exponentially greater because they are local and were the building blocks of our track.”

Post time will be 1 p.m. on Aug. 1. All fans who wish to attend the day are asked to register through the Dresden Raceway Facebook page or email [email protected].

(Dresden Raceway)

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