Hastings Racecourse

Hastings Racecourse  This racecourse was opened in 1892, and is found in Hastings Park, approximately four miles from Columbia, Canada. It is situated on a 60 hectare track of land, in a serine environment with an amazing view of the Shore Mountains and waterfront. It was originally called East Park. The racecourse is owned by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. In 1892, The British Columbia Jockey Club opened its first race track on one-tenth of the 60 hectare land, with the rest of the land reserved for exhibition purposes. Because of the sheer size of the area covered, this site has massive advantages and plenty of flexibility.

The most common races held in Hastings include; British Columbia Premier’s Handicap, Ballerina Stakes, the British Columbia Derby, and Lieutenant Governors Stakes. It also hosts ungraded stakes, for example, Fantasy stakes, Ascot Graduation Stakes, and British Columbia Oaks, among others. Every first Monday of August, Hastings hosts BC cup day. During this event, a series of six thoroughbred races take place. In September, The British Columbia Derby and British Columbia Oaks are run.

The Racecourse however has had its share of challenges. Due to low profits made and difficulty reaching an agreeable lease with the city, Hastings was almost shut down in 2012. The Great Canadian had to make a decision before its closure. It was agreed that the track should remain open and operational.While these problems have posed a real threat to the existence of the course, plenty of effort is being put to keep it afloat.

Recently, horse racing  events in this venue have seen a decline in attendance. New events like dog racing and movie nights have attracted young people to the racecourse. Its popularity was also initially boosted by a Mexican jockey called Mario Gutierrez who copeted in the Hastings Racecourse and won three races, the Santa Anita Derby, the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes.