It had been in discussion and formation for close to a year, and now the joint initiative of the Minnesota HBPA and Canterbury Park has been announced. As explained in the following media release, this initiative is expected to have a positive and expansive impact on horse racing in the state of Minnesota.
Shakopee, Minn. — Officials of Canterbury Park and Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, which represents owners and trainers at the Shakopee, Minn. racetrack, have united to provide funding to develop a comprehensive approach to encourage thoroughbred horse ownership, both during and after the racing career. This first-of-its-kind industry initiative will address a problem that faces horse racing nationally: a shrinking base of thoroughbred owners.“We have been at the forefront of innovation and we have long supported thoroughbred retirement efforts financially; however, the time has come to more actively engage in the process of recruiting and retaining industry participants,” Minnesota HBPA President Scott Rake said. “The Minnesota HBPA is excited to join forces with Canterbury Park in an effort to better promote horse ownership throughout the state of Minnesota and to better promote Minnesota horse racing to the industry at large.”Representatives from Canterbury Park and Minnesota HBPA agree on the importance of incentivizing ownership and developing a greater interest in racehorse ownership, have agreed upon jointly funding this project, and will meet soon to solidify strategies, seek additional partners, and announce a roll-out of the first phase.“One of the greatest challenges facing horse racing is the engagement and participation of the next generation of race fans,” Canterbury Park CEO Randy Sampson said “Over 25 years Canterbury Park has implemented many innovative approaches to engaging the race fan and we are proud of that. Our team has been uniquely successful in drawing live attendance and we believe the next step in our evolution involves teaching and providing resources for these fans to experience the thrill of owning a racehorse and the exciting prospects that thoroughbreds make for equestrians when their racing careers are over.”