Letter: Harness industry deserves support

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I can remember when I was a 7-year-old struck by the beauty and power of the fantastic creatures, who sped around the track at fairgrounds, and it was from an even earlier age that I knew I was in love with horses, and was destined to spend my life caring and loving for these gentle animals. I’m now 21 years old, and I’ve had the privilege of working with horses for more than 16 years.

I am a newcomer to the actual business of harness racing. While the fairgrounds and trips to Scarborough Downs were a look at another world of horses, I’ve come to understand the daily pressures that these people face. The current paddock area at Scarborough Downs shows what an echo the once-magnificent facility has become. It is an uphill battle these Mainers face, with increases in hay, feed, and board prices, and interest in racing down. Due to the lack of interest in 2010, the revenue from Hollywood Slots, which assists Scarborough Downs, was lower than anticipated, resulting in a purse drop for races for the coming season – another blow to the community, who depend on race purses for income.

I would like to invite everyone to come visit Scarborough Downs, to watch these majestic animals race, and get lost in the excitement and joy that harness racing brings me. Maybe, out there is another girl who will fall in love with horses, and help carry harness racing in Maine into another generation.

Anna Kupel