The Northern Maine Fair opens Friday night and over the last couple of nights several of the horsemen in the area were working on the track making sure it is in good shape.
Dirk Duncan:”This is kind of typical. The Fair Association put the stone dust on the track yesterday. There has been a crew watering and harrowing the track right along. Typically three or four nights before the start we get a crew together to put the pylons in.”
Todd Bradley says all of the horsemen who are stabled at the track are working together to ensure a successful meet
Bradley:” That is one thing about Presque Isle. The guys that are here they get along pretty good and everybody is kicking in with the track. It is in excellent shape probably the best it has been.”
The races are still a popular event at the Fair. A lot of familiar faces are at the track each and every year.
The number of locally owned horses has dropped , but for the ones still involved it’s a family affair and some good friendships have blossomed because of the sport
Bradley:” My dad was involved in it at an early age. and his brother and they kind of got out of it. Around 1986 I got back into it my brother got into it and my son is now in it.
Duncan:” It is just a hobby now. Friends we have made over the years still have a few horses and try to have a little fun.”
Kenny Hafford who now lives in New York and spends the summers in Presque Isle says this is a great stress reliever
Hafford:” Some of my fondest memories are here at the track. I started coming up here when I was a little boy when dad was racing every Tuesday and Friday night. I remember being up here four or five years old spend a lot of time up here into my adult years.”
Hafford has been around horses his whole life and now his children are spending time at the stables and they too are enjoying every minute of it
Hafford:”They love it. They come up here every day and they give me a hand in the stalls mucking out and things like that.”
Everyone is looking forward to racing in front of the home town fans beginning on Friday evening
Hafford:”It’s the best time of year for me. I put in 10 months of year in New York teaching and this is my r and r to come up here get a chance to work with the horses and spend some quality time with my family up here.”