RUS New York update

RUS New York is facing the same unknowns as the rest of the world because of forced cancellations caused by the coronavirus. At this time, there is no way to know if there will be a racing season or not. There is a lot still up in the air, as some things have been put on hold.

Will there be fairs? If not, will the racing season still go on? Will some of the season be canceled instead of all of it?

The future of the 2020 RUS NY Fair Series largely depends on the existence of county fair harness racing and grant money provided by the organization’s flagship sponsor, the New York Sire Stakes and Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

“We are considering all options for saving the season or some part of it, but also considering what to do if canceled,” said Kelly Young, Executive Director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund.

She said there are still plans to review the RUS NY grant needed to host the series, but at a later date. For now, grants and the publication of the fair book is on hold, according to Young. She said, “Because we are the epicenter, all these decisions may be made for us.”

“If the grant does not get approved, there will be no racing series,” RUS NY Marketing Director and Treasurer Michelle Miller said. “A couple of individual races at fairs that do open may be possible in this event, determined on a case by case basis.”

According to Miller, the most important thing right now is to make sure RUS NY sponsors know they will be taken care of no matter what happens.

Committee members held a meeting in early April to form a plan. If the season is canceled all sponsorships will be transferred to the following season. Sponsorships get added to the RUS NY website as the group receives funds so sponsors will actually be advertised longer if this is the case, she explained. If only some races are cut, sponsors will be included in that many races in 2021. Winner’s circle lead line sponsors will be transferred to the following season or possibly be allowed to switch to available races not spoken for if available.

Questions about sponsorship for this year can be sent to Director of Sponsorships Cathy Gearwar at or through the Facebook page, RUS NY Series.

“We will take care of our sponsors,” Gearwar said. “They are essential to our existence.”

Sponsors can be found here. Most logos are linked to the sponsor’s direct website or Facebook page. Please show your support!

RUS NY is also looking for items for an online raffle, keeping in mind the drawing will be done in the fall. Items should be easily mailed and good through 2021. The deadline is May 31. Contact Gearwar for more information.

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