News ArchivesArchives for June '03
Harness racing youth camp returns to Ontario
Mississauga, ON — For the second consecutive year the Harness Horse Youth Foundation (HHYF) Summer Camp will be coming back to Ontario from July 6 to July 10 at Mohawk and Woodbine Racetracks. Twelve lucky children between the ages of 11 and 13 will get the opportunity to experience harness racing from a “hands-on” perspective during this five-day camp. Woodbine Entertainment Group, The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, Ontario Sires Stakes Publicity and Promotions Group and 4H Ontario are pleased to host the following children at this years camp:
Angie Gubbels, 12, Delaware, ON
Laura Baker, 12, Midland, ON
Devi Bains, 12, Malton, ON
Jasmine Radway, 13, Toronto, ON
Dayna Noltie, 12, Campbellville, ON
Lorne Thomas, 13, Acton, ON
Acacia Tostes, 12, Mississauga, ON
Logan Taylor, 13, Monkton, ON
Shea O’Neill, Kleinburg, ON
Catherine Harding, 12, Green Valley, ON
Heather Klinard, 12, Paincourt, ON
Brianna Kerr, 13, Orton, ON
This year’s HHYF campers will base their operations at the north end of Mohawk’s Barn 8 and will perform daily barn chores, feed and jog horses and work closely with local trainers, drivers, veterinarians and farriers. They will also tour a breeding farm and a training centre. Elmira Raceway will be hosting the children for a night at the races, providing them with the opportunity to participate in a race presentation as well as tour the racetrack and meet many of the individuals who work there. Camp organizers have also scheduled plenty of social activities including a fishing derby at the Orton farm of Ian Dow, dinner and playtime at Sportsworld (near Kitchener) as well as other picnics and crafts.
The Camp culminates on Thursday, July 10 at Toronto’s Woodbine Racetrack with a race between Campers using trotting-bred ponies hitched to two-seated jog carts. Each camper will be accompanied by a professional driver.
The Camp made its’ Canadian debut last year and was an unqualified success according to Ellen Taylor, the executive director of the HHYF.
”What made it so successful was the enthusiasm of the local horsemen for the Camp as well as the kids and families involved,” Taylor said. “In fact, many of the families from last year’s Camp keep in touch with me on a regular basis.”
To be eligible for the Camp, participants submitted a 250-word essay entitled “The wind in my helmet — why I want to feel the thrills of driving a horse!” The winning essays were chosen by Taylor.
”A large majority of the essays received were from kids whose families are not from racing backgrounds and they are really the ones we’re trying to expose to the industry through the Camp,” Taylor said. “And for some reason this year, the overwhelming majority of applicants for all our camps have been female. Other years, it’s been about a 50/50 split.”
Taylor, who lives in Indiana, will hold a total of six camps this year. By summer’s end she estimates that over 300 young people will have participated in the Camps since their introduction in 1999.
It is only with the support of loyal and committed sponsors that this camp can continue to be such a success. Confirmed sponsors to date for the event include the Ontario Harness Horse Association, The Canadian Sportsman/Sportswood Printing, Triumph Manufacturing, Waldie’s Blacksmith Shop in Milton, Elmira Raceway and numerous Ontario breeders.
For more information contact:
Kimberley Hargreaves, Marketing Coordinator (OHRIA), 905-812-0168 ext. 225