CHARLOTTETOWN - The countdown is on.
© TC Media - The Guardian
Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association vice-president Tom Clark, left, and Mike O'Brien are excited the O'Brien Awards are coming to Charlottetown in February.
In less than three weeks, the top harness racing drivers, trainers, owners and breeders will be in Charlottetown for the 25th anniversary of the O'Brien Awards.
‚ÄúThey would be somewhat like the Grammy Awards,‚ÄĚ said Tom Clark, vice-president of the Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association. ‚ÄúThey honour the very best that we have . . . in our industry.‚ÄĚ
A special race program and kitchen party are planned for Feb. 7 with an industry forum and the awards gala on Feb. 8 at the Delta Convention Centre.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs going to be so neat to have all of (the) harness racing industry, the whole lifeblood of what this is about in North America, right here in Charlottetown . . . to watch what we have created in Prince Edward island," said Wes Sheridan, the provincial cabinet minister responsible for the P.E.I. Harness Racing Commission.
The race program will recognize the history of harness racing on P.E.I. by each race being in honour of communities with a long connection to the sport.
The awards are named in honour of Alberton native Joe O'Brien, a leading trainer/driver in harness racing history.
It is the first time the event will be hosted outside of Ontario.
‚ÄúOur goal is to make sure this is truly one of the best O‚ÄôBrien awards weekends ever,‚ÄĚ said Clark said.