Harness racing was closed throughout the country for last two months. Just last week Ohio became the first state to allow harness racing without fans.
Other states including New York are following suit and will be opening up on June 1st. There's been no word on when the industry will open in Maine. Horsemen like Neal Grass of Bridgewater are ready for the season to start.
Neal and Sharon Grass would normally be trucking their horses to races all over the State of Maine. This year is different as the sport like everything else was put on hold an that has made it difficult on the couple
Grass:"It has been a challenge."
Grass is hoping that with some tracks around the Country opening that it means that racing in Maine isn't far off
Grass:" They do have a proposal that I guess went in front of the Governor this week and it is looking like there is a possibility sometime early June for Scarborough."
Grass says that even though racing hasn't started that doesn't mean time off for his family
Grass:" They are getting jogged every day and they still need to be shod and they still eat everyday. Everything goes on just like normal except for racing.
They have been training on their farm, but will need to go to a larger track for some training trips.
Grass:" They are close another couple of weeks and they will be ready to go."
This year has been quite a challenge already and the challenges will continue with most of the fairs cancelling for this year and that means fewer opportunities to race
Grass:" It's already been cut short with a lot of the fairs being cancelled. Presque Isle was always a good meet for us just because it is handy and we are able to pick up some pretty good money without having to travel."
Neal and Sharon are one of the few harness racing owners in the County. They have raced in the State and also in Massachusetts and New York, They love the animals and love being around them, It is not just a hobby for them.
Grass:" It is something we love to do, but you got to make some money doing it. You can't keep this amount of horses just for pets."