Pei considered by some to by the Kentucky of canada is well known for its harness racing. It has had many transitions throughout the years and still commands a large audience. For those that have never heard of it, Harness racing is a form of horse racing in which the horses race at a specific gait (a trot or a pace). They usually pull a two-wheeled cart called a sulky
The History of Harness Racing
BY 1980 there were more than 20 racetracks on pei. In 1890 through the 1940’s there were lots of advances in this market including the grand stand in charlottetown. This growth of the industry was as a result of the local culture. Most locals were into farming which meant they had access to horses. This sport first because popular in the villages and eventually was forced onto tracks. At some points in its history, all Islanders were involved in harness racingin some way.
Pei Harness Racing Today
Although growing in popularity, this sport has relatively low attendance as compared to other forms of horse racing and gambling. If you have ever seen a major horse race or derby, you will hear about the large winner purses and prices available for winning studs. In this sport, without massive popularity, those prizes don’t exist. The trainer and driver usually each get only 5% of the total winnings. Prizes are usually in the $100,000 range. A driver cannot make a living from this. Important Canadian races include the Gold Cup and Saucerat Charlottetown Driving Park, North America Cup (for pacers), the Canadian Pacing Derby, and the Maple Leaf Trot.
The local Race Tracks
These race tracks are also known as Racinos and are run by Atlantic Lottery. This is because of a gesture by the government to preserve this business and heritage.
- Charlottetown Driving Park
- The Summerside Raceway
The government invested $28 million in just over 2 years with a return of $10 on every dollar invested. This this type of return, the government continues to be optimistic about the industry and its future for PEI. Unfortunately, there is little interest from the governments of Nova Scotia and New Brunswickto follow PEI in this approach to supporting the sport.
Conclusion on PEI harness Racing
If you are interested in the world of racing, then you can see some of the best compete in PEI. With a strong focus from the local government, you can expect a welcoming and fun experience. For those interested in gambling, this is a 100% legal and safe option while enjoying your stay in PEI.
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