History of Summerside Raceway
Summerside Raceway is believed to be the oldest, continuously racing track in Canada. Opening day July 1st, 1886 was an exciting day. The featured race held by the Green Bros., was a match race between Hernando and Black Pilot.
The race, according to the “Island Farmer” of August 30, 1888, drew 5,000 fans although the grandstand only held 500. Black Pilot took the last three heats after losing the first one. The driver of Black Pilot was Charlie Earl and the owner was Mr. Dockendorff. Hernando was driven by P.C. Brown and the owners were Dr. J. A. Gourlie and R. C. McLeod.
Each horse took a quarter of the total gate with the owners of the track taking half. The “Island Farmer” said that the Green Bros. paid for the cost of the track with their huge crowd.
History of the Charlottetown Driving Park
The Charlottetown Driving Park first opened it doors for standardbred harness racing October 2, 1889. It’s been an amazing journey that has touched every Island community over the years. Horse racing has been a major part of our island heritage. Visitors from around the world come to Prince Edward Island to experience an island tradition and visit the Kentucky of Canada.
The public opening of the 50,000 sq ft. Charlottetown Driving Park Entertainment Centre took place on August 11, 2005. In 2009, the facility was renamed to embrace the Island tradition and embody the total, one-of-a-kind experience. The result was the introduction of ‘RED SHORES Racetrack & Casino’ at Charlottetown Driving Park. With these evolutions, the facility continues to proudly showcase the deep history of horse racing on Prince Edward Island and the stars of its sport. It is one of the most sophisticated centres of its kind in Canada, balancing high quality entertainment with the most advanced responsible gaming features available today. Highlights include the restored, three-tier TOP OF THE PARK Restaurant, a new grandstand, a CASINO featuring over 200 slots and five professional Texas Hold’em and Omaha Poker tables, four newly added Blackjack tables, a teletheatre hosting pari-mutuel betting and enhanced simulcast racing, as well as a tribute to harness racing families and the harness racing history in P.E.I.
Still standing proud in the centerfield is the original judge’s stand built in 1889. The judge’s stand was restored to its original glory in 1999 and declared a national historic site. On special occasions you will still see the stand being used for corporate and community group functions. The Charlottetown Driving Park is home to the prestigious Gold Cup & Saucer race held during Old Home Week in August. Come visit the “Kentucky of Canada”.