A horse and driver cruise around the track at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale Sept. 14, 2020 amid smoke from U.S. forest fires. Harness Racing B.C. announced it’s halting the spring season two weeks early because of a lack of money and says racing won’t continue in September without and influx of cash. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

A horse and driver cruise around the track at Fraser Downs in Cloverdale Sept. 14, 2020 amid smoke from U.S. forest fires. Harness Racing B.C. announced it’s halting the spring season two weeks early because of a lack of money and says racing won’t continue in September without and influx of cash. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

Harness racing suspended at Fraser Downs

Spring season ends early, 135 workers out of jobs

Harness Racing has been suspended at Fraser Downs.

More than 130 workers will lose their jobs after the final spring race April 16.

“Because of COVID, we’ve been forced to suspend all racing indefinitely after the last race tonight and 135 workers will be unemployed,” Nigel Holmes, executive director of Harness Racing B.C., said in a press release.

Holmes said Harness Racing B.C. had no other option as they’ve run out of money.

SEE ALSO: Harness racing may not continue after April 30

“It means our regular spring racing meet will end early, and prospects are not good for our regular fall meet,” Holmes said in the April 16 media release. “Unless we are able to negotiate some form of short term COVID financial support from the B.C. government.”

Earlier this month, Harness Racing B.C. had announced the spring season would finish as scheduled on April 30th, but that the fall season may not go ahead because of a loss of funding.

Harness racing has fallen into great financial difficulty as casinos have been closed since March of 2020. Horse racing in B.C., both standardbred and thoroughbred, relies on a sliver of gaming revenue earned from slot machines. With casinos closed, horse racing’s funding rivulet has evaporated.

“It’s money we use to sustain the industry, run races, hire workers, pay the purses, maintain the track, stable horses, and fund a host of agricultural support programs for breeding, rearing and training,” Holmes explained.

Holmes said Harness Racing B.C. still hopes to get some emergency funding from the government.

“We are committed to finding a way to survive this year,” he said. “Those involved in harness racing are very passionate about its place in our sporting and agricultural communities. In the coming days and weeks, we will be making that case as we meet with government representatives.”

Holmes said a lot of business will be affected by the loss of racing.

“The horse racing industry will no longer be purchasing a full range of goods and services from businesses including feed suppliers, hay sales, veterinarians, and farriers—many of which are multigenerational, locally owned businesses,” the release noted.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Cloverdale Fairgroundsgamblinghorse

Just Posted

West Coast Duty Free president Gary Holowaychuk stands next to empty shelves inside his store on Tuesday (June 15). (Aaron Hinks photo)
Revenue down 97% at South Surrey duty free as owner waits for U.S. border to reopen

Product approaching best before dates had to be donated, others destroyed

(Delta Police Department photo)
Delta police searching for Surrey woman missing at Centennial Beach

Wenyan Lan, 54, reported missing when she didn’t come home from a crabbing/clam digging trip June 14

Cover of the 32-page Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers, created and compiled by Jeska Slater.
New ‘Surrey First Peoples Guide for Newcomers’ seeks to ‘uplift and amplify’ voices

32-page guide launched Tuesday by Surrey Local Immigration Partnership (LIP)

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
OUR VIEW: Surrey public hearing theatrics juvenile

They are called public hearings for a reason. Not public spectacles.

Al French flew the Langley Museum of Flight SE5A to celebrate the 100th birthday of D-Day pilot Jack Logan. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: D-Day pilot’s 100th birthday is celebrated with a fly-past at Langley museum

Jack Logan started his career flying in a biplane trainer and ended as captain of a jumbo jet

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read