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FORT ERIE JOCKY CLUB RACES

[Welland Tribune, 16 July 1897]

MR. EDITOR- Some citizens of the county seem inclined to condemn the extension of the Fort Erie races beyond the first fixed date, July 5th, and, as there are two sides to every question, I ask your permission to refer briefly to the matter.

In the first place, the club met with almost insurmountable difficulties at the start. The public, and especially the owners of the horses, could not be convinced that the track would be ready on time. Rain was almost constant during the construction of the track and buildings, and before the original expenditure was at an end about $75,000 had been paid out. At first the races opened rather dull, and several days passed before financial success was in sight. The sport was good and the crowds continued to swell. The management looked the situation over carefully and decided that thirty days at one stretch would be far less expensive than two fifteen-day meets. The heavy expense of reshipping 300 or 400 horses would be saved, and the large outlay for re-advertising would be unnecessary. In view of the heavy debt resting on the club it is also just to state that is in no way a counterpart of the Windsor track. The Windsor track is leased by bookmakers, and run by them, and in their interests. Not so with the Fort Erie track. It is managed by reputable men and I the interests of fair and legitimate sport. Judge Burke is one of the most competent and prominent judges on the continent, and every attempt at a job on the part of the jockeys is quickly nipped in the bud.

I think the public will, when the facts are fully known, agree that the Jockey club have merely managed their race meeting as any other set of men would manage any other legitimate enterprise.

Yours, SPORTSMAN

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