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Monday, March 10, 2014

A Bittersweet WIndfall

Northville Downs kicked off this past Friday what presumably is the last harness meet.  While there is no doubt sadness regarding what is happening at Northville Downs as they plan on switching over to the runners, those horsemen who have decided to stick around for the last meet are experiencing a mini-windfall as the purse account is in the process of being depleted.  $3,000 claimers are going for $3,300 with the Opens going for $13,000.

Meanwhile, Michigan harness horsemen are looking into the possibility of reopening Jackson Raceway, which closed in 2008 to make up for the loss of Hazel Park and Northville Downs.   The track is located at the Jackson County Fairgrounds.  Prior to closing, 90% of Jackson Raceway was owned by Mountaineer Racing which closed the facility once it became clear gaming was not coming to the track.  Whether or not racing returns to Jackson remains to be seen but the Michigan harness horsemen are not ready to roll over and die.

Sydney Weaver has become the darling of the harness racing industry; so much that she has become a regular columnist for  It will be interesting to read her perspective on racing.

David Jones writes for Harnesslink about the possibility for a Northern Hemisphere Inter-Dominion.  Is there a reason why such a race could not take place in North America?  Would having five or six elimination races on the same night at different tracks with a final two weeks later be an obstacle to hard to achieve?  Of course not, but the problem is the lack of those willing to try something new.

How safe is the horse meat being produced in Canada, typically with American horses of all breeds?  Not very safe according to a Canada's Global News.  A 16X9  investigation into the safety of horse meat was recently reported and its results are sickening, especially for the end consumer.  The report shows how EIDs, which are supposed to show a horse has not been treated with toxic medications are a joke and how the CFIA's testing is a joke.  Basically, the industry is trusted to regulate itself.

My opposition to horse slaughter is well known, but this is not the issue today.  It is the fact horses exported from the United States for slaughter are walking poison for unsuspecting end consumers of horse meat.  This is why it is important that the SAFE Act (S 541/H.R. 1094) needs to be passed by Congress.  At the present time, this bill is trapped in committee and needs help in getting put up for a vote so the House of Representatives and eventually senate may vote on the bill.  The text of  the legislation may be found here.  While this bill deals with equines, America should not be exporting hazardous food of any type abroad.  If it is not safe enough for Americans to eat, we shouldn't be selling it abroad, directly or indirectly.

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