August 2015 Issue - page 11

PENNSYLVANIA EQUESTRIAN
August 2015
Page 11
Bigger Purses, New Classic in Store for PA Harness Racing
Press release
The Pennsylvania Depart-
ment of Agriculture will invest an
additional $1.6 million in purses
that strengthen breeding pro-
grams and in a prestigious stakes
race planned for 2016.
One half of the $1.6 million
will be used to increase purses
in the 2015 Pennsylvania Sire
Stakes finals and consolation
races. The Sire Stakes program
rewards breeders of Pennsylva-
nia-bred and Pennsylvania-owned
stallions and broodmares. Each
of the eight finals races will
receive an additional $90,000 in
purse money, generating a total of
$350,000 for each race. The eight
consolation races will receive
an additional $10,000 apiece for
purse money, bringing the total
for each of these eight contest-
ed trotting and pacing races to
$60,000.
“With this commitment,
Pennsylvania makes our sire
stakes finals and consolations
the top races of their kind in the
country,” said Harness Racing
Commission Chairman Jonathan
Newman. “They’re part of North
America’s top harness horse
breeding program – all based here
in Pennsylvania.”
The other $800,000 is
earmarked for the newly-es-
tablished 2016 Pennsylvania
Classic for three-year-old
pacers. The pair of Pennsylva-
nia Classic races will be open
to Pennsylvania-sired three-
year-old pacing colts and fillies
nationwide. Purses are an esti-
mated $700,000 for the colt race
and $350,000 for the filly race.
Pennsylvania’s three harness
racing tracks – The Meadows in
Washington, Washington Coun-
ty; Harrah’s Philadelphia in
Chester, Delaware County; and
Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs
in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne Coun-
ty – must submit advertising
and promotional proposals for
the opportunity to host the in-
augural event. The commission
will review the submissions
and select the site for the 2016
event.
“These races will be among
the top pacing events in the coun-
try and a source of pride for the
commonwealth,” Newman added.
“These two races represent some
of the highest purses in North
America.”
The added purse monies for
these races are from the Penn-
sylvania Standardbred Breeders
Development Fund, established
by Act 71 of 2004, which directs
a portion of slot revenue to
incentivize raising, training
and owning Standardbreds in
Pennsylvania. This investment
within the state’s equine industry
provides funding that is distribut-
ed to the owners of Pennsylvania
stallions and broodmares who
produce top-level horses that race
worldwide.
“Harness racing is a unique
agritourism experience,” said
Secretary of Agriculture Rus-
sell Redding. “From the sport’s
tracks and fans to its breeding
and training operations, it’s an
industry that provides an im-
portant $92 million boost to our
economy.”
The racing industry sup-
ports multiple facets of Penn-
sylvania’s economy including
agriculture, Redding added, as
owners purchase goods from
agribusinesses like hay and feed
suppliers, equipment dealers
and construction contractors.
The industry attracts specialists
like farriers and veterinarians
and supports other local busi-
nesses. Pennsylvania’s tracks,
casinos and off-track wagering
facilities offer multiple employ-
ment opportunities because of
racing, from the horse barns
to the betting halls. Harness
racing also takes place at 15
agricultural fairs across Penn-
sylvania.
The Walkabout Tour featur-
ing clinician Clinton Anderson is
coming to the Anderson Colise-
um in Lexington, VAAugust 22
and 23.
In six separate demonstra-
tions, Clinton works with four
local horses with problems
ranging from being fearful
of the trailer to reactive un-
der saddle. With step by step
instructions applicable at home,
Clinton demonstrates how he
uses his training method to gain
each horse’s trust and respect
and start a safe, enjoyable part-
nership.
Clinton shares the latest
developments in his training
method and will be available to
answer horse training questions.
Clinton and professional clinician
Shana Terry will work with their
personal horses in two separate
demonstrations. Clinton and Diez
put on an exhilarating freestyle
riding performance while Shana
and Marty wow the audience
with an advanced groundwork
demonstration that includes trick
training.
The tour runs from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. each day, with doors open-
ing at 8:15 a.m. Advance tickets
are available online or by phone.
For more information or to buy
tickets, call 888-287-7432 or visit
walkaboutevents.com.
Walkabout
Tour Coming to
Lexington, VA
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