Racing season at Rideau Carleton underway as of April 2
Despite fears the call to post would not sound this year, the 2023 racing season will go on after all at the Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR) starting Sunday, April 2nd, 2023. The season, which was originally set to kick off on March 19, was delayed after a 2-alarm fire destroyed the Raceway’s staging barn on February 15.
Thanks to the immediate actions by first responders, no animals, people or other facilities were harmed in the fire.
“Watching those flames engulf the barn on that fateful night, I honestly feared the racing season may have been lost,” said Rideau Carleton Raceway Racing Manager Peter Andrusek. “We have the horse racing community to thank for this quick turnaround.”
Over the past six weeks, RCR employees, horse people and contractors have banded together to retrofit an unused stable barn to be able to paddock horses and their teams on race days. With this temporary installation in place, and with the support of the racing community and regulatory bodies, the season can go on.
“The racing team’s unwavering commitment and dedication to salvaging the season has been nothing short of extraordinary,” said Helen MacMillan, General Manager, Rideau Carleton Casino. “I want to thank them for their creativity and hard work during this challenging time.”
Amended 2023 racing schedule
Because of the 2 week delay, the original schedule has been amended to remove all previously scheduled March dates, and to add Wednesday night cards through the month of April.
Throughout April, live harness racing will take place on Wednesdays (post time 7 p.m.) and Sundays (post time 6:30 p.m.). The RCR will switch to its original weekly schedule of racing Thursdays (post time 4 p.m.) and Sundays (post time 6:30 p.m.) in May and for the rest of the season.
The revised 2023 racing schedule, which has been approved by Ontario Racing, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency, is available at https://www.rideaucarletoncasino.com/racetrack.asp.
Last September, the raceway celebrated its 60th anniversary with a fireworks display, and a special invitation-only event inside the casino with over 200 guests gathering to share stories and pay tribute to those who contributed to the success of the raceway over the years.
Rideau Carleton Casino officially opened as Rideau Carleton Raceway on September 1st, 1962, as Canada’s first-ever five-eighths mile oval and has been a key part of Ontario’s harness racing community ever since. Since the gaming site was added in February 2000, the City of Ottawa has received approximately $6 Million annually and over $93 Million in total payments for hosting Rideau Carleton Casino within the National Capital Region. An additional $1+ Million per year is invested in local sponsorships and nonprofits, benefiting local communities and the people within. In May 2017, OLG selected Hard Rock Ottawa as the successful new Casino partner for this site.
Featured Image: Harness racing returned to Rideau Carleton Raceway April 2.