Century Downs Racetrack Resumes Live Racing

By Ben Hamill - June 25 2020
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Century Downs Racetrack Resumes Live Racing

Following a three-month entertainment drought, horse racing action has officially returned to Alberta’s Century Downs Racetrack. And needless to say, horse racing enthusiasts, owners and industry employees alike, could not be more excited about the prospect of returning to at least some semblance of life as it used to be.

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The long hiatus has obviously had a devastating effect on the local as well as the international horse racing industry. No races meant no income and according to trainer and owner David Kelly, horse people were left with no other option but to dip deep into their own financial resources in order to ensure the ongoing daily care and training of their horses. And all of this while having been constantly and acutely aware that there was nothing at all waiting on the other side of the preparation.

A Slow But Necessary Return

But since joy always eventually comes in the morning and Alberta’s horse racing industry is at long last permitted to once again fall into trot, horse racing people can now look forward to getting back down to the business of live horse racing entertainment. And since those who so selflessly continued to take care of training and grooming during a time of immense uncertainty continued to daily take care of their responsibilities even under exceptionally challenging financial and even mental circumstances, horse racing at Century Downs Racetrack is able to resume without delay.

Even so, it should be noted that will probably be some months yet before the local horse racing industry is completely back on its feet. The fact that recent times have taken an immense toll not only on the industry as a whole but on the people working in the industry cannot be ignored. This according to Century Downs and Century Mile Managing Director Paul Ryneveld. The road to recovery won’t be easy, says Ryneveld, but it will certainly be worth it in the end.

Navigating Change

The industry will have to overcome several hurdles on its road to recovery. Aside from financial uncertainty, the local industry is also now having to make do with a smaller overall profile than before. When Ontario’s provincial government announced its plans for a June reopening, many people ended up leaving Alberta. It remains to be seen whether those who had left for Ontario will eventually return.

The current situation certainly isn’t perfect or ideal, but at least a return to normalcy, however gradual, is as good a way to kick-start a recovery as any.

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