Courtesy of the Horse Industry Association of Alberta
Our entire nation will be celebrating 150 years of confederation in 2017, but for Canada’s horse racing industry, this year represents an even bigger anniversary, the 250th Anniversary of our great sport in this great land.
On July 1, 1767, exactly 100 years before our country’s confederation, a race took place on The Plains of Abraham in Quebec City. Gazette de Quebec recounted the race as follows:
“The horse race for a purse of forty dollars was held on Wednesday, first of the month, on the Hill of Abraham. It was easily won by Captain Prescott’s mare Modesty, much to the discomfiture of those who, purporting to know about such things, had wagered against her and were thereby parted from their money.”
From that day forward horse racing has been part of the fabric of our country. From coast to coast, for generation after generation, people from all walks of life have participated in and enjoyed the sport, whether on grass-root tracks, at agricultural fairs, on frozen rivers dotting the countryside, or in today’s modern facilities.
Wagers have been made, crowds have cheered, champions have been crowned.
The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is partnering with the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society, and Standardbred Canada to create a series of celebrations of this spectacular milestone throughout 2017.
Today we announce the launch of the ‘250 miles for 250 years’ initiative and 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada funding campaign.
Racetracks, training centres, agricultural societies, communities, farms and fans are invited to take part in honouring Canada’s racing history by hosting a commemorative mile.
Miles in honour of the 250th Anniversary could include:
- Hold a 250th Anniversary race day highlighting your track and community’s racing history and feature a race and special cooler presentation in honour of the 250th Anniversary.
- Post parades or exhibition races using antique race bikes and buggies harkening back to days gone by.
- Participate in a community parade with a float or entry that represents local horse racing history. The miles of the parade can count as commemorative miles.
- Hold an open house at your training centre or farm, invite the public to visit and experience what horse racing is all about, display memorabilia and trophies representing your
accomplishments and history, offer rides around the training track, hold stick horse races for the kids.
- Contact your local agricultural society about participating in this year’s fair or festival and help them showcase the role horse racing has played in your community.