Racing industry reopens, looks to rebound Racing industry reopens, looks to rebound
With harness racing back in action in Ontario, people in the industry are looking to recover from financial hardship caused by the shutdown. Racing industry reopens, looks to rebound

By Nick Barnsdale

Horse racing has resumed in Ontario as the provincial government lifted some COVID-19 restrictions in many regions.

Harness racing at Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON in August 2019.

Harness racing at Grand River Raceway in Elora, ON in August 2019. Photo credit: Nick Barnsdale

Racetracks were closed as part of the restrictions, meaning horsepeople and tracks lost their ability to generate income. Owners not being able to win purse money with their horses led to some taking their horses out of training, which costs trainers money.

An empty shedrow in a horse racing barn.

An empty shedrow in a horse racing barn. Photo credit: Nick Barnsdale

Furthermore, an absence of fans at racetracks has removed another revenue stream for establishments and taken away a special part of the sport.

Fans packed together at the 2019 Little Brown Jug

Fans packed together at the 2019 Little Brown Jug Photo credit: Nick Barnsdale

Empty seating at a racetrack.

Empty seating at a racetrack. Photo credit: Nick Barnsdale

As racing resumes, all of the industry’s stakeholders are trying to make a living again. Owners are collecting purses, drivers are getting their winnings, trainers are receiving fees, and some track workers are able to return to work.

Two horsepeople prepare a horse for a training session.

Two horsepeople prepare a horse for a training session. Photo credit: Nick Barnsdale

Skedline reporter Nick Barnsdale has the story.

Nick Barnsdale

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