Good News for Fort Erie and all that Make Their Living at Fort Erie Racetrack
"Very good news:)", says Cindy Mustoe a local horse enthusiast that works with the race horses at Fort Erie Racetrack.
The last few years have been up and down for thoroughbred owners, trainers, grooms and others that earn a living from the local racetrack and slots. The future of the track has been in turmoil for years, and with last week's announcement of a press conference regarding the future of the track, many feared the worst.
Equine Niagara News spoke to many of the people that work at the track or with the horses to try and learn what the press conference was about. Surprisingly, we found that very few even knew about it taking place. But, all had the same thought -- "it must be more bad news".
Ultimately as it turned out, it wasn't bad news at all, but great news for a change.
In a nutshell, Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium, a non-profit organization will receive $5.6 million from the province to continue operations, leasing the track from the existing owners, Nordic Gaming Corporation. Under this new arrangement and management team, the 112-year-old track will see a few changes for the 2010 season. The track will still operate 78-80 race days starting in May, but also now has plans to introduce quarterhorse racing to the venue as well.
" I think the quarter horse deal is a very positive thing for both industries. it will help Fort Erie in a financial aspect. The 1/4 mile tb races were always a hit at Fort Erie. it will also help with exposure in the quarterhorse industry to help bring in new blood, both within the industry and spectators. I'm very excited about this and really hope it all goes through," say Mike Mehak, a jockey that was speaking with one of our writers.
"This is a great news for horsemen and horse racing fans alike in the Niagara Region, and in fact all of Ontario. Lets hope the new management is able to seize the opportunity and grow horse racing in Fort Erie. A new mindset is needed. Racetracks, not just Fort Erie, have to realize that without the horseplayer, horse racing wouldn't exist. Today's horseplayers are the foundation to future growth."
Jenn Pesch Sroka commented "I'm dissapointed in still only 3 days a week, 8 race cards but I'm under the impression my husband wants to race more at Woodbine. I'm sure there are other suggestions they are looking into that would be better than the same old same old. The addition of QuarterHorse racing makes sense in a financial way. Big money in quarterhorses."
Keeping Fort Erie Racetrack racing means a better economy for all, especially the horse enthusiasts of Niagara Region.