Vote Yes on 2
For the last three years I have researched the history of harness racing in the State of Maine. Back in the day when the horse was king, more than 100 Maine communities supported harness racing events. From Bethel to Calais, Kennebunk to Van Buren, Kingfield to Camden, Mainers attended harness racing events. The horse was king! Mainers loved their horses. Maine’s newspapers followed their horses and with expectation readers awaited the latest news related to horse breeding and harness racing. In the early 1890s, Mainers followed the reports on the champion trotting stallion Nelson as he competed in faraway trotting parks in Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and Michigan. Nelson 4209 was owned by Palermo born, Charles Horace Nelson, who operated the Sunnyside Stock Farm in Waterville, Maine.
Most of this history has been forgotten. News related to horse breeding and harness racing is no longer the news of the day. However, today, Maine’s horse industry is endangered by the advent of other forms of gambling – the slots, table games, and the lottery have taken money away from the harness racing industry. Between 1950 and 1973 harness racing purses were supporting the industry. Then with the introduction of the Maine State Lottery, the expendable income of many Mainers moved from betting on harness racing to betting on the lottery. With racinos and casinos more expendable income may go to the slots or to the table games. By the nature of their business and state legislation racinos support harness racing. Casinos do not. I believe few or no funds from the Maine State Lottery support harness racing.
Mainers need to realize that by Voting Yes on 2, Mainers will be supporting the entire horse industry in the State of Maine. Owners, breeders, trainers, horse supply stores, veterinarians, stable owners, farmers who supply hay, farriers, and many others will be remain in business with a Yes Vote on 2.
Maine’s long history in the horse industry needs to be preserved. Voting Yes on 2 will contribute greatly to keeping Maine’s horse industry alive. Let’s bring new life and permanence to this industry so that future generations of Mainers can enjoy this sport and perhaps participate in the industry.
Voting Yes on 2 will also bring construction jobs to Biddeford and to Calais. When the construction is completed many full-time and part-time jobs will be created that will help Maine’s working families in need of income.
Funds from Maine’s lottery, racinos and casinos must support worthy causes throughout Maine. One of those causes that needs to be supported by these funds is Maine’s harness racing industry. Vote Yes on 2!
By Voting Yes on 2 you support the livelihoods of your fellow Mainers who work in Maine’s harness racing and horse related industries.