Horse racing takes hiatus in Princeton for 2014

The Princeton Racing Days Association has decided after much consideration to suspend horse racing for 2014. However, the association is geared up to present two days of fun-filled events.

Due to successive funding cuts to Interior Horse Racing and other province wide issues, the association has decided to take this year to work on the stumbling blocks they face in hopes of hosting a successful event in 2015.

Prior to 2010, Interior Racing was allotted $150,000 to split between the tracks. Funds were then distributed through a racing committee. A management committee took over and the cuts began.

in 2011 Princeton was allotted $25,000. In 2012 - $20,000. For 2013 the allotted amount was $13,500.  For this year Interior Racing has been allotted $11,000 per day per track with races planned for Vernon, Princeton and Osooyos.

In Princeton alone, the association spent $50,000 to host it's one day of racing last year.

"In my opinion, horse racing in the whole province is in serious jeopardy," said Karrie Crucil, president of the Princeton association and of the Interior.

Crucil explained that there is a lack of horses province wide. "For instance." she said, "Hastings Park used to have 700 to 800 horses in their barns and this year have only just over 200." She also noted that the governments change to the Foreign Workers Policy has affected the number of jockey's available. "This is not just an Interior issue," said Crucil, "It's an industry wide issue."

Another issue the Interior faces is the lack of a tote company.  (The company that operates the pari mutuel betting machines.) "The Interior tracks don't make as much as the larger tracks do," said Crucil, "it actually costs them to operate, but we are hoping to change their minds."

For now, the Princeton Racing Days Association is working on hosting a great weekend still. They are planning some unsanctioned races, ton's of fun for the kids and a Saturday night dance party featuring Dale Seaman and Highway 97. Princeton Racing Days will also host the Little Britches Rodeo June 28 and 29.

Racing Days weekend will still happen in 2014, it will just be minus the thoroughbred racing.


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