For Opinion, click here for View from the Racetrack Grandstand

Monday, March 21, 2016

Race Dates Set for RUS NY 2016 Fair Series

The excitement of racing under saddle at New York State county fairs will continue this summer. 

RUS New York, an organization that helps promote the sport and the versatility of Standardbreds, is excited to announce its third fair series. Races will begin on July 5 with the H.S. Mead Memorial at Tioga County Fair in Owego and conclude with the final to be held at Batavia Downs on September 7.

The series will include nine race legs and a championship final race, with points earned along the way to determine final entries. Horses need at least two starts to be eligible for the final. A High Point Rider Award will once again be presented at the final to the rider who has earned the most points, regardless of horse(s) ridden throughout the series. Complete rules and regulations will be posted on the RUS NY webpage,

Official dates and locations for the series are as follows:
Tuesday, July 5 - Tioga County in Owego
  Friday, July 8 - Afton Fair
Tuesday, July 19 - “Little World’s Fair” in Hemlock
Tuesday, July 26 - Oneida County in Boonville
 Tuesday, Aug. 2 - Otsego County in Morris
Tuesday, Aug. 9 - Oswego County in Sandy Creek
  Monday, Aug. 15 - Wayne County in Palmyra
 Tuesday, Aug. 16 - Steuben County in Bath
Tuesday, Aug. 23 - Tompkins County in Trumansburg 
RUS is yet to be self sufficient in the United States particularly because of legislation that prohibits wagering. Hopefully one day that will change. But until then, finding sponsors and ways to fundraise has been the biggest challenge going forward.

The series’ flagship sponsor, The New York Sire Stakes, has generously donated $5,000 as initial purse money. This year, the goal is to have a purse of $750 or more per fair.  Members of RUS New York are working hard and have held several fundraisers with more planned for the future. RUS New York is currently looking for sponsors and donations such as tickets to places and events, gift certificates, gift baskets and other items that can be used to raise money at various fundraising events. A PayPal account has also been set up where people can make secure donations.

This year, RUS NY sponsors will get more recognition than ever before. Instead of separating sponsors by each race or series, maximum exposure will be provided by including all sponsors in all forms of promotion that the group does throughout the season. To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, visit

Last season the fair series also featured nine legs and a championship final race held at Monticello Raceway. Eleven horses participated in the series with seven qualifying to race in the final. The final included a field of six horses. 

The RUS NY Committee would like to get more trainers, owners and riders involved this year. Now is the time to get involved if interested. It is recommended to become a member of the RUS NY group to participate. There is no fee to be a member. For more information, contact RUS NY President Michelle Miller at

RUS NY is also in the process of working with some pari-mutual tracks on hosting races/series. Dates will be announced as they are available.

To keep up on RUS NY happenings follow the group on  Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.