Canadas Notable Racing Patronage: Prior to Closing of Tracks in 1917 Sport Enjoyed a Most Eminent Following, Daily Racing Form, 1919-11-14


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CANADAS NOTABLE RACING PATRONAGE Prior to Closing of Tracks in 1917 Sport Enjoyed a Most Eminent Following. BY FRANCIS NELSON. TORONTO, Ont., November 13. A large and important section of the public patronized the rating that went on in eastern Canada up to the midsummer of 1917. That section which found its chief recreation in race-going included to a considerable degree the most useful, notable and eminent of the community. While practically all sporting gatherings are attended by what may be called a fair all-round representation of the community in which they are held, it is a fact that at none can be found a . superior, and at a few an equal, proportion of those who have achieved for themselves a standing among their own people. There is no gathering of whatever nature in Canada with which the average race-going assemblage does not stand on at least an equality. For many of them no other outdoor occasion is so attractive in all its little opportunities for renewing acquaintances and enjoying social intercourse in the participation in a common pleasure. When they lost the opportunity to go to the races there was no substitute that appealed to them, and they feel that they have just cause for resentment at the lack of consideration of their feelings. "We are like the public in other affairs," said one of them. "We have no collective representation. What is everybodys business is nobodys. The government is assailed on the one hand by well-financed interests seeking the abolition of racing. Talk about attacking only betting is begging the question, since there is no racing anywhere in the world without betting. On the other hand, those interests that have considerable investment and considerable profit to protect put in their case. We have no organization, and we are not heard. The representations to Ottawa are always of one extreme or the other. The great public, which pays for it all and is willing to pay for its recreation in that form, never reaches the official ear. "Only that failure to give heed to our unspoken needs can account for "the astonishing way in -which the government lias dealt with a question most im- portaut, both in a business and u sporting way. To I close the one track at Hamilton or Ottawa, where there were not too many, because there were too many at Windsor or Montreal did not look like well-considered action. No parallel is to be found in any other couputry, and wisdom was neither born nor will die with us. And then a wait of three years before any move is made to ameliorate an unfortunate condition which was created without -warrant of justice or expediency." i

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