First Anniversary Mile Complete

Published: May 24, 2017 09:59 am EDT

On Sunday, May 14, Il Sogno Dream and Alex Lilley had the honour of taking the first of 250 commemorative miles in celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada. The historic mile was part of the Mother’s Day Open House at Mac Lilley Farms in Dutton, Ontario.

An enthusiastic crowd cheered as Il Sogno Dream (4,1:50.2, $956,875) took the Mac Lilley track to complete a mile in honour of the farm’s 50 years of involvement in Standardbred breeding and racing. The six-year-old trotting stallion, owned by Ontario's Bill Manes, Dan Manes, Leonard Christopher and Randy Christopher, is currently standing at Mac Lilley Farms, with plans for him to continue his race career later this season.

Fittingly, Il Sogno Dream was piloted by Alex Lilley, a third generation member of the Lilley family to be involved in the horse racing industry. Following the commemorative mile the Lilley family was presented with a certificate acknowledging their role in celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada.

(Left to Right) Alex Lilley, Ruleen Lilley and Linda Rainey, pictured after Il Sogno Dream’s commemorative mile at Mac Lilley Farms during the farm’s open house on Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 14, 2017

Earlier this year the “250 Miles for 250 Years” initiative was launched, encouraging farms and racetracks to hold commemorative miles. A commemorative mile can be a race, a special post parade, or even a float or entry in a local parade, with a goal of holding a total of 250 such events during 2017.

There is a long list of miles scheduled in the coming months, but there are still plenty of opportunities for more miles to be added.

To find out how you can host a 250th Anniversary Commemorative mile, contact [email protected]

250 Video Now Available

Check out this special video in celebration of the 250th Anniversary of Canadian Horse Racing. The original video was produced by Standardbred Canada and broadcast at the 2016 O’Brien Awards on January 28. It was updated by Woodbine Entertainment Group’s Broadcast Department and played at the Hall of Fame’s President’s Reception last Wednesday night.

Hall of Fame 250 Booth

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame will be promoting the 250th Anniversary of Canadian Horse Racing at many events across the country this summer, including the World Driving Championship legs. Check out historical info and displays at their booth at the Molson Pace this Friday at The Raceway at the Western Fair District and at Grand River Raceway’s Open House event this Sunday.

250 Swag Now Available

Check out the Hall of Fame’s online gift shop for 250 hats and t-shirts! The I Love Canadian Harness Racing Fan Club also has a new Horses and Heart 250 t-shirt available via their online store.

250th Commemorative Publication Hot off the Press!

A special publication produced by Horse Publications Group celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Horse racing in Canada is hot off the press. The 98-page Collectors Issue tells the story of both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing across Canada from the very beginning of Canada’s racing history and features many rare photographs of horses and people involved in the sport. Contributing writers include Darryl Kaplan, Dave Briggs and Jennifer Morrison. The publication is currently available in the Canadian Horse Racing Hall online gift shop for $11.99 + GST and shipping. Proceeds from the sale of the publication will help fund the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada and the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame. Copies of the publication will also be available for purchase at racetracks and events throughout the year.

Additional dates and sales locations will be added to the 250th Anniversary pages of the CHRHF website as new details become available.

How Will You Celebrate?

Be creative, tell us what your plans to celebrate the 250th Anniversary of Horse Racing in Canada are. We’ll publicize your event on the 250th Anniversary pages of the CHRHF website, as well as the special 250th Anniversary social media feeds using #cdnhorseracing250. To help you with your event, you will be provided a 250th Anniversary kit containing 250th Anniversary logos, advertising and press release templates, and much more. Write us at [email protected]

What Can You Do Now?

If you’re on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, don’t forget to add the hashtag #cdnhorseracing250 for any racing related social media posts.