Live racing at Hastings Racecourse in Vancouver, British Columbia, has been canceled June 29 because of a lack of entries and for July 5 because of a shortage of "race-ready" horses, according to a release.
The decision to cancel drew a sharp objection from the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of BC, which disputed the statement from Hastings saying the cancellations were taken in conjunction with the HBPA and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.
"The HBPA was not consulted and would not have agreed to such precipitous and peremptory cancellations," the HBPA statement said. "The HBPA views it as an unnecessary and unilateral action on the part of the track operator. A poll of jockey's agents, the people who book riders for the individual horses, indicates they were confident the races would have filled had a genuine effort been made.
"Further, there are trainers who have indicated that they were still attempting to enter horses. The race office at Hastings has routinely been taking entries until 11-11:30 a.m., on occasion holding entries over to the next day. The HBPA is mystified as to why the Saturday card would have been cancelled at 10 a.m. without notice or warning, thereby disappointing racing fans as well as those who rely on the industry for a living."
The Saturday race card that was part of Canada Day weekend. Hastings has an eight-race card slated for Sunday, June 30. On Monday, July 1, the Canada Day card of 10 races will be highlighted by four $50,000 stakes.