At the harness race meeting on Monday 9th August two mile records were smashed on the night that Track Directors Adam Williams and being interviewed by commentator Darren Owen, announced to the crowd that they would not be applying for any race dates for 2011 and as such the Crock of Gold meeting to be held on Monday 6th September would be their last meeting.
Adam expained to the crowd that it had been his father, Billy Williams’s dream was to have a world class half mile hard track at Towyn attracting the best horses from the British Isles and he had succeeded in this dream. He added however that each year it became harder and harder to justify the time, effort and money that harness racing consumed. Adam said that it was a heart wrenching, difficult decision but that it was inevitable. He finished off by saying the track is not closing but that Tir Prince would not be applying for any future dates.
David added that they had tried hard to get the business side of racing sorted and last Autumn they had spent several weeks in serious discussions with William Hill in an effort to get a special series in the betting shops in Autumn 2010, to be underwritten by Tir Prince. The decision by William Hill not to go ahead was purely based on the lack of potential profit for them and for no other reason. Tir Prince now know in their heart of hearts that they will not be able to raise revenue by getting harness racing into the betting shops.The winter was to provide two further body blows, the understandable decision in the current climate for S4C to significantly reduce their budget for harness racing and for Tir Prince with four televised events in 2010 this was a significant reduction in income. The other body blow was the campaign started by the Chairman of the BHRC, Gordon Garnett, to strip the half mile hard tracks of their special status with regard to the Classic races, this started at the time that York had announced its closure and at a time when we thought that if anything the sport would have rallied around Tir Prince to try and ensure its survival. Ultimately the Chairman received broad support from the National Committee and the Classics were opened up to all tracks on a highest bid basis. Psychologically this was a big blow and the sport had spoken.
Even with only six race meetings this year it is getting progressivly harder to attract enough horses and paying public to meet the costs of maintaing the track and facilities at their current level. Recently two Welsh Cup heats had to be cancelled with only 3 horses entered and the meeting on 26th July received the lowest number of horse entries ever for a televised event.
He added that notwithstanding the problems the track was in marvellous condition and the racing this season has been superb and they want the Crock of Gold Finals meeting to be the best they have ever held.
The date for your diary is Monday 6th September anyone wishing to sponsor a race (all monies will be used for added monies) to contact Adam or David.