Standardbred Canada's Board of Directors is pleased to announce that the 25th anniversary of the O'Brien Awards, the National recognition for harness racing excellence, will be hosted in Charlottetown, PEI on Feb. 8, 2014.
The event is being hosted with the support of the PEI 2014 Fund as part of the 150th Anniversary celebration of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference that led to the creation of our Nation.
At a press conference held earlier today in Charlottetown, PEI, the Honorable Robert Ghiz, Premier of PEI, announced that the PEI 2014 Fund will make a substantial contribution towards the hosting of the O'Brien Awards on the island. "I would like to thank Standardbred Canada for its decision to hold the 25th O'Brien Awards here on Prince Edward Island," said Premier Ghiz. "There is a proud tradition of harness racing in our province, and we look forward to showcasing it to the leading industry participants from across North America."
The inaugural edition of the O'Brien Awards was presented in 1989. The Awards were named after the late Joe O'Brien as a permanent testimony to the unmatched skills of this legendary horseman. "Little Joe" was born in Alberton, P.E.I., on June 25, 1917, and was regarded as one of the premier all-round horsemen in the sport.
"We are very excited to take the O'Brien Awards to the Island, home of their namesake, the legendary Joe O'Brien for the 25th anniversary celebration. This is a unique opportunity and we know that it will be very well received by all of the harness racing participants and fans in Atlantic Canada," said John Gallinger, president and CEO of Standardbred Canada.
"It will certainly be an honour to host the national harness racing awards named for our very own Joe O'Brien," said Wes Sheridan, Minister Responsible for Harness Racing. "We are especially pleased that this is happening in 2014, a year where so many will come to our province to celebrate the anniversary of the historic Charlottetown Conference."
"The Prince Edward Island Harness Racing Industry Association is proud to partner with Standardbred Canada, and the Province of P.E.I. on this event," stated Tom Clark, PEIHRIA vice chair. "I would also like to thank our PEI Standardbred Canada Directors Bob Connolly, Brett Revington, and Kent Oakes, Red Shores Marketing Manager Lee Drake, as well as Dr. Colleen Dickie and her Horse Owners Committee for their leadership in making this happen."
The Island's year-long celebration in 2014 will play host to National meetings & conventions, sporting events, the East Coast Music Awards and much more with National and Regional media coverage to engage all Canadians with legacy projects and events.
The awards will be held on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014, at the new Prince Edward Island Convention Centre which adjoins the Delta Prince Edward. (SC)