1792 & 2010 Are Inexorably Linked

I was reading the rewind segment today on SC and they discussed Fair racing. This long held agricultural phenomenon, still seen today in almost all provinces and states, continues to stand the test of time. The first fair in Canada was in Niagara in 1792, and have continued on in various forms to today. Unfortunately, the Norfolk County fall fair, will not have racing this year for perhaps the first time.

This is a compelling part of this sport - the downhome feel, people coming out to watch the races, for a love of the races, introducing new faces to racing. This year Standardbred Canada is trying to develop a "Racing Development & Sustainability Plan" using a slice of purses from people like me and you to revive such ventures like fairs. This is being done, in part, to hopefully keep them going and working them with a modern business model. If you are an Ontario owner, past or present, you can sign the petition here.

Linked closely to the Fall Fair's in terms of feel and marketing, is Charlottetown Driving Park's Gold Cup and Saucer. The race, explained here on the marketing/tech blog R2, is a built on similar principles. Horse owners travel from far and wide to be there, and it means something.

How many times have you seen a horse owner do this: Take an ad out in a paper to thank the people for putting on the event.

Horse owner Jim Lehman: "When those horses come out in the lights, it sends a tingle down your spine. We were down last year with Secret Weapon, the people down there just treated you phenomenal. We said it will never be as good as last year, and turned out 10 times better than last year. The people of PEI live horse racing down there."

Yes, it's a big bad world out there and we are a gambling sport, not a sport. However, never forgetting where we came from is always a nice reminder (click to expand).

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