ELORA, ON — Back by popular demand, Grand River Raceway will host its seventh annual backstretch Open House on Sunday, May 24. Guests are invited to drop-in any time from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. for a rare glimpse of horse racing behind-the-scenes. A full tour of the Open House’s four main stations will last approximately one hour. The itinerary includes the unique opportunity to drive a racehorse. Standardbred racehorses and double-seated jog carts from the Hands On Horses Program provide the horsepower. Other interactive stations include a tour of the judges’ stand and announcer’s booth high atop the grandstand with track announcer Gary Guy.
Back in the barn, visitors will learn the basics of breeding, owning, training, driving and caring for racehorses in sessions led by industry experts. Machinery enthusiasts will enjoy the opportunity to view and learn about the equipment and techniques required to maintain the track surface. The ever-popular starting car will also be on display, and open for photo opps. Riders from Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Ontario will also be on-hand to provide demonstrations of these Trot Monté races — popular in Europe — being showcased at harness tracks throughout the province.
No registration is required for the Open House. The event is suitable for all ages, but children must be accompanied by an adult at all times. The Open House will run rain or shine. Participants are urged to wear closed-toe shoes and casual, comfortable clothing. Admission is free, but participants are urged to make a $2 donation at the door to support the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society. A BBQ lunch and beverages will be available for purchase between 11:30 – 2:00.
The Grand River Raceway Open House is presented in cooperation with the Hands On Horse Program and the Ontario Harness Horse Association. More than 1,500 people have attended Grand River Raceway’s Open House event in the past six years.