On behalf of the staff and board of Horse racing Alberta, we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mara Coote-Freeman. Mara passed on away April 8 and she will be dearly missed.
Horse Racing Alberta has lost a great friend and a strong supporter. Mara Coote-Freeman was a keen horsewoman and she was an integral part of the Olds College Racetrack Programs. As an instructor and mentor, she helped guide many of our graduates through the Exercise Rider program. Mara’s commitment to the students lasted beyond their time at the Olds College. Mara attended graduations, award ceremonies and was part of the development of the International Federation of Horse Racing Academies (IFHRA). Through her role with IFHRA, she was able to cheer on our graduates in races in Abu Dhabi, Italy and Spain.
Mara was appointed to the Horse Racing Alberta board in 2018 as a Public Member and was Chair of the Strategic Growth & Sustainable Development Committee. Mara was devoted to her role and showed incredible passion and strength. She was full of ideas and energy and wanted the best for all of the people and horses in our sport. Mara was an advocate for lifelong learning, safety and horse welfare. She was also a fountain of marketing suggestions and was committed to the formation of the industry Marketing committee.
We will miss Mara’s strength, her deep chuckle, her wit and her creativity. We will also miss her commitment to horse racing in Alberta. Our thoughts are with her husband Barry, her family, her horse family and her many friends.
With the recent COVID-19 announcement by the Alberta Government, Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) in co-operation with our Stakeholders have been left with no choice but to temporarily suspend racing in the best interest of public safety.
The training and care of our horses at the Alberta racetracks will continue for the near future.
Please continue to monitor the HRA website for further information.
Working together as a collective group while taking these precautions will help protect the sustainability of our industry.
Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) is responsible for protecting the health, safety and well being of our fans, employees, racing officials, racing participants and horse people. Amid the ongoing growing concerns about COVID-19 we are providing the following update in recognition of this commitment.
An industry Working Group, comprised of Alberta horsemen associations, racetrack operators and HRA officials are conducting meetings and monitoring this situation daily as COVID-19 evolves. We take the evolving nature of this virus very seriously.
The Alberta horse racing and breeding industry has also implemented enhanced cleaning protocols at all facilities. These measures include increased cleaning throughout its complexes, enhanced sanitization and a focus on all high use areas.
A very thorough screening process for all licensed racing participants entering the backstretch is in place. Racehorse training is continuing at Century Downs (Balzac) and Century Mile (Leduc), however this will be monitored daily and developing circumstances may cause this to change. Training is scheduled to begin at Rocky Mountain Turf Club (Lethbridge) on March 25th, 2020.
We continue to follow the recommendations of Canada’s Public Health Agency and Alberta Health Services. We urge anyone to stay home if you are feeling ill and if you have any symptoms please call Alberta Health Link 811. You can keep informed through Alberta Health Services at www.albertahealthservices.ca
Our industry will continue to monitor and adopt COVID-19 recommendations in order to protect the health, safety, and well being of everyone.
To date, no racing events have been cancelled and we are proceeding with live racing with these precautionary measures in place. However, we ask that you take note this could change at any time. Please continue to monitor the HRA website www.thehorses.com and our social media platforms for further information. As this situation continues to develop, we will be sure to update you with any pertinent information.
We thank everyone in the industry for their dedication, hard work and understanding during this difficult time.
The Alberta Horse Racing and Breeding Industry… employing Albertans, contributing to the economy, caring for our horses.
The activities associated with Alberta’s horse racing industry, including breeding, raising, and racing, are greatly beneficial to the provincial economy. Our findings reveal that these benefits amounted to $312 million in 2019. This represents a 7% increase from the impact value from the 2015 analysis.
Positive economic impacts depend on a number of factors including initial expenditures made by horse owners in breeding, raising and racing horses as well as expenditures that are made at horse races.
After accounting for all expenditures related to horse racing, we have concluded that the direct expenditures in the horse racing industry totaled $157 million in 2019. In addition, indirect and induced expenditures further contributed $155 million to the Alberta economy...
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