Meet the stars of harness racing

The Backstretch opens up its doors after Saturday's qualifying races at Fraser Downs.

An inquisitive Standardbred race horse peers down from its stall inside one of the barns at Fraser Downs Racetrack.

The barn doors at Fraser Downs will be thrown wide open Saturday, when the harness racing community hosts its annual open house.

Visitors are invited to watch the qualifying races in the morning of Sept. 24, then come around to the Backstretch for a peek inside a working race track.

The event is a chance to meet some of the drivers – and their equine stars – plus up-and-comers like Kayla Mills, a young woman who’s trying to qualify as a driver. She won the “Powder Puff” women’s race earlier this year at the Harness the Hope fundraising event.

There will also be harness demonstrations, along with raffles and a craft table for kids.

The Backstretch – located at the 17740 62 Avenue horse barns at Fraser Downs, across from the Agriplex – will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The qualifying races start at 10 a.m.

Watch from the grandstand at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino as this year’s hopefuls see if they are fast enough to qualify. It’s a non-betting event, and there should be at least eight races on Saturday.

“It’s a great for the public to see how a race is held,” Standardbred owner and trainer

Sandra Roberts said.

The open house is open to the whole family. Grab lunch from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., and take a barn tour, where visitors will see where the horses are stabled, and learn about how they’re trained and cared for.

Live racing at Fraser Downs Racetrack and Casino resumes Oct. 7, kicking off the 2011 fall season with races Friday at 7 p.m., and at 1:45 p.m. Saturday and Sunday that weekend.

Harness Racing B.C. is the association that represents owners, trainers, drivers and other members of the racing community.

Cloverdale’s horsemen and their supporters have much to celebrate – the reinstatement of a 10-month racing season in 2012.

Earlier this year, they organized protests and mounted lobbying efforts in an effort to persuade Fraser Downs owners Great Canadian Camping Corporation and the B.C. Gaming Policy Enforcement Branch to extend the racing season.

Lobbying efforts with cabinet minister Shirley Bond and other government officials in May helped turn the tide, Harness Racing B.C. CEO Doug McCallum said at the time.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Liberals firing at NDP due to fact new Surrey hospital not in budget

But Surrey-Panorama MLA Jinny Sims says business case is needed first

White Rock seeks assistance for park rain damage

City applies for provincial funding following closure of Ruth Johnson Park and ravine

United Nations designates Surrey a ‘Tree City’

Surrey is one of 59 cities in the world to receive the designation

In 2019, roughly one person died every three days in Surrey due to illicit drug overdoses

123 people died in the city in 2019, down from the previous year

Surrey RCMP looking for missing boy, age 14

Brayden Ritchat, 14, last seen in the 10800-block of 141st Street in Whalley on Feb. 21

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

B.C. landlord can’t serve eviction notice because tenant is in jail

Homeowner baffled at arbitrator decision based on notice of hearing not being served properly

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Most Read