Efforts Raise $69,000 For NS Horsemen

Published: January 21, 2022 06:39 pm EST

The Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association has issued an update on the fundraising efforts for the horsemen affected by the barn fire that claimed the lives of 14 horses just over one month ago.

"On December 20, 2021, Kevin Bailey and Joe Nearing experienced every horsepersons' nightmare. A barn fire which took the lives of 14 horses and destroyed the entire building and all its contents," said the NSHRIA's Debbie Francis in the update. When word spread throughout the harness racing community it wasn't long until horsemen from all over Atlantic Canada and Ontario stepped up and worked together to help their fellow horsemen prepare for the rebuilding process.

"Starting with a GoFundMe page that Kaitlyn Wesley organized to get the fundraising rolling, ticket sales on a harness donated by Chuckie Symes Transport and Teesha Symes Racing followed. Kaitlyn was then contacted by stallion owners that wanted to donate breedings to be auctioned off with the monies being donated to the fundraising. Ms. Wesley then successfully organized a stallion auction, along with other items donated by local horsemen and women to be auctioned off, including a broodmare in foal donated by Woodmere Standardbreds. Down the Stretch, Northside Downs / Tracy Turnbull and Inverness Raceway also held fundraisers to help their fellow horsemen along with a donation from COSA."

According to Francis, more than $69,240 was raised over the various platforms.

NSHRIA fundraising message

"The Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association would like to thank Kaitlyn Wesley for stepping up and organizing the fundraisers," continued Francis. "To all the fellow horsemen who have reached out with donations and helped in the success of the auctions we appreciated your support. As Woodmere Standardbreds stated 'it's amazing what our industry can achieve when everyone is rowing together.'

"We wish all the best to Kevin and Joe and please know you have an industry behind you as you rebuild and move on from this tragedy."