TROIS-RIVIÈRES, QC, Oct. 10, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - With close to one million dollars in purses distributed this year, and record attendance at the Hippodrome 3R this fall, it is safe to say that horse racing in Quebec is once again back on track.
The President of the Quebec Jockey Club, Tony Infilise, presented an encouraging and promising progress report on the third year of activities of this non-profit organization, which is managed as a private corporation: "We distributed an impressive total of one million dollars in purses to the industry this year. Total attendance at the Hippodrome 3R exceeded our most optimistic projections, and the long-term prospects are extremely encouraging and credible in terms of job creation and positive economic benefits, not only for horse racing, but also for the horse breeding industry."
In less than three years, the Quebec Jockey Club has slowly but surely restored the foundations of the horse racing and breeding industries, without any government subsidy. This past spring, the Jockey Club closed the deal to acquire the Hippodrome de Trois-Rivières at a cost of four million dollars.
"Ten horse racing programs were presented at the Hippodrome 3R and they proved to be a bigger success with the public than we could have imagined. With close to 35,000 spectators, attendance at the Hippodrome 3R was twice as high as at the Hippodrome de Québec in 2011 and 2010. We are also attracting a new, younger clientele which is interested in pari-mutuel betting because it calls upon a certain amount of strategy, intelligence and knowledge, somewhat like poker and hockey pools," stated the Jockey Club's General Manager, Vincent Trudel.
"These solid achievements are a concrete indication that horse racing has returned to Quebec, and they reaffirm the general public's genuine interest in horse racing. The revitalization of the horse breeding industry is well underway, and this will be vital to regional job creation," noted Mr. Infilise.
In an effort to secure the industry's future, the Quebec Jockey Club has also distributed close to $500,000 to the Circuit régional de courses de chevaux in the past three years, to ensure succession development in 10 regions in Quebec. Another result of these sustained efforts has been the review of legislation by the Quebec government, which has led to the opening of betting parlours and allowed the remission of the taxes from Internet-based pari-mutuel betting to the Jockey Club.
In total, over the past three years, the Quebec Jockey Club has distributed $2.3 million in purses in the horse racing industry, and $2.6 million in taxes to the federal and provincial governments.
SOURCE: Quebec Jockey Club
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Jean Maurice Duddin