BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Harness Racers through out Maine are busy getting their horses ready for the upcoming summer season. Though the trotters don't know it, each one that races at the Bangor track will mean $1 towards helping a horse in need.
The Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway in Bangor has announced that for every horse that races at their track this summer, they'll donate $1 towards The Standardbred Welfare Support Fund. Standardbreds are the preferred breed for the sport and normally retire from the track around the age of 8. After that some find themselves abandoned, seized or even abused. The goal from the welfare fund is to help those horses through financial support to animal welfare enforcements, or governmental agencies that find them. According to the racing secretary in Bangor, Fred Nichols, as much as $4,000 could be raised by the end of the year.
"I'm going to feel great when the first one under this program gets the benefits of it," said Nichols. "It's nice to get it going but when it's actually helping out there in the field, that's going to be great."
In addition to Hollywood Casino's contribution, the Maine Harness Horseman's Association is giving $5,000 to start the fund.
Live harness racing will kick off at the Bangor raceway for the 2013 season on Saturday, May 4 at 2:30pm. Last years season saw 3,900 horses race.