Horse racing traditions of Sandown missed on Peninsula

Sandown Race Track brought the good kind of gambling to the Saanich Peninsula

Recent articles confirming the final demise of Sandown Race Track have caused me to write. It was this very facility which caused my father and mother to move our family to Sidney back in 1963. My father was a thoroughbred race horse trainer and I have wonderful memories of the spectacle of colour and athleticism which is horse racing.

So it is with true sadness that I witnessed the final closing of Sandown and I am concerned over the lack of foresight by various municipal bodies which have caused this outcome.

Horse racing, both thoroughbred and harness, brought largely agrarian and ecologically sustainable jobs to the Peninsula. The fact that wagering underwrote the financial viability of this enterprise should in no way lessen this point, as pari-mutual wagering at race courses around the country offer customers far and away the best odds of winning compared to other gambling outlets.

In my view, it’s too bad that the race track’s owners were ultimately turned down in their bid to upgrade the facility and include a small casino in order to remain financially viable. This surely would have been preferable to the proliferation and expansion of other forms of gambling in the Capital Region.

But it is the sport itself that I will surely miss. The speed, athleticism (both equine and human) and excitement of horse racing is hard to match. The people, the jobs, the atmosphere will all be greatly missed.

This truly is a loss for our area.

Dan Rowe


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CRD to consider plan for mountain biking trails at Mount Work

SIMBS seek new trails in Hartland, Partridge Hills

Oak Bay clinic opens virtual classes to public for fundraiser

Patient activity is up for cancer-supporting clinic during COVID-19 crisis

More than 1,500 people expected at Victoria peace rally for Black lives

‘To speak up, all you need is a voice and the will to be heard’

Greater Victoria transit usage sees gradual rise

Ridership still down 66 per cent compared to last year

Name of victims ‘ripped down’ from Victoria display

Organizers feel the act is ‘malicious’

March dental conference key to many of B.C.’s COVID-19 cases

Early infections from China, Iran were quickly contained

POLL: Are you sending your children back to school this month?

Classrooms looked decidedly different when students headed back to school for the… Continue reading

Vancouver Island First Nations gather to remember woman fatally shot by police

Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council requests an independent investigation

Cortes Island affordable housing project hangs by a thread

Regional decision makers resort to COVID-19 concerns despite virtual meeting option and push hearing to September

MAP: Dr. Henry reveals which B.C. regions have seen most COVID-19 cases

B.C. health officials release a first look at how the novel coronavirus has reached all corners of the province

North Island recreation camping site closed due to vandalism

Damage happens every year, forcing site manager to reallocate improvement budget to repairs

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman, 26, fatally shot by police in Edmundston, N.B.

Police were conducting a well-being check at the time of the incident

Seniors to receive up to $500 in promised COVID-19 emergency aid in early July

The Liberal government first promised the extra help in mid-May, but had to create a new system to deliver the aid

VIDEO: Revelstoke bear wanders into Animal House pet store

Staff got ready to chase it out with a broom

Most Read