Newly elected President, Trevor Williams is taking over the reins from former Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit (MGWHRC) President, Darryl Mason.
“I’ve owned horses for a number of years. I’ve trained a stable of horses for the last 5 or so years, and I was Vice-President of the Manitoba Harness Horseman Association before coming on a president here,” says Williams.
The race days are limited, but the support across rural Manitoba will hopefully help increase participant and race day numbers. “We have a lot to look forward to.”
“Racing in Winnipeg would be a huge plus for us. That being said, we want to keep our rural connection, our rural roots, that have got us where we are today,” he adds.
The past has shown a decrease in funding and race days, which has lost a number of participants to other provinces, but Williams says it looks like the industry is on the up again.
“The breeding, training, and racing of horses in Manitoba is a significant economic activity that supports agricultural linkages and attracts visitors to our province,” says Minister Eichler, who recently brought forward changes to the industry.
“We look forward to working with President Trevor Williams and the MGWHRC to ensure the sustainability of horse racing in our province for years to come,” he adds.
The economic impact of the horse racing industry is upwards of $142 million, according to a recent release by The Sustainability Review. The industry also helps provide jobs and generate tax revenue.
MGWHRC board member and Miami representative, Jan Moody, says “we are very fortunate that harness racing comes through our town. The activity from those race days provides a significant economic boost to the local business community.”
The current harness racing circuit offers 10 race days per year, which are spread across four locations throughout Manitoba including Miami, Killarney, Glenboro, and Holland.
Williams says, “all the towns seem excited for another year. Nothing will change for 2019, and we should have dates released fairly soon.”