The B.C. Horse Racing Industry Management Committee has approved in principle a 2013 racing calendar for Standardbred racing at Fraser Downs racetrack that will be similar in duration to the schedule being conducted in 2012.
Details of the 2013 schedule, including number of racing days and specific dates, will be subject to discussions between the track operator, Great Canadian Gaming Corp., and Harness Racing BC, the industry organization representing Standardbred horsemen, and will require final approval by the Committee.
The first half of the schedule will take place from January to mid-spring and the second half from late summer through December.
The HRIMC also hopes to announce approval in principle for a Thoroughbred racing schedule at Hastings Racecourse for 2013 in the coming weeks. Discussions aimed at renewing the existing lease between Great Canadian Gaming and the City of Vancouver are ongoing.
Racing schedules approved by the Committee for 2013 will avoid racing on the same days at Fraser Downs and Hastings Racecourse, since those overlaps tend to result in cannibalization of wagering.
Even though details of the 2013 racing schedules are not yet final, the Committee feels it is important to assure all interested parties that racing will take place next year in order that breeding decisions and horse purchasing plans can be made by BC horsemen of both breeds. In the meantime, the Committee continues to work on a long-range strategic plan that aims to ensure successful and sustainable horse racing in B.C. for years to come.