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Dresden Raceway is vital to us

race horseBy Daniel Swan

With all the news floating around the media about the future of harness racing in Ontario, I want to say how vital Dresden Raceway is to the local economy. Not only does it draw in tourists like a magnet but it is also a wonderful way to spend an afternoon.

Horses have always had a special place in my heart, in fact I once knew a harness racer from Arthur, Ontario named Colonel Schneider who had bred a lot of champions ranging from Tom Thumb (a standard thoroughbred), King (a shire horse who was at the top of his game) and then there was Crosstown Katie, a filly who was a born champion. As a boy I went to Elmira Raceway (now called Grand River Raceway) and I saw Crosstown Katie beat the pants off of the other contenders in the field, as I recall it was a photo finish with Katie winning by a nose. It was one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.

Now fast forward several years later and I hear that the governing Liberals want to leave several tracks (including Dresden Raceway) to ride off into the sunset. This is wrong on so many levels, harness racing isn’t just a sport, it is a life to so many so much so that their very survival depends on it.

Now I’m not saying that the provincial government and the OLG don’t have the right to cut funding to things they don’t think are working, but here’s what I think, instead of pulling the plug let’s try to work together to make things work.

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Daniel Swan is a local writer who blogs about Chatham-Kent news and events.