Youth Camps

Hands on Horses

The camps were developed in 2003, as interactive day camps (9-5) for kids to get up close and personal with horses. The Youth Camps offer hands-on and classroom experiences. The children learn about the safety around horses, basic grooming skills, how to clean a stall, parts of a horse, feeding and nutrition, history of the horse, harnessing a Standardbred, jogging a Standardbred and much more.

How the Camps Work

Eight children are selected based on the submission of a 200-word written essay on “Why I Want To Drive a Race Horse”. The completed essays are submitted to the appropriate racetrack by a specific deadline. There is a committee that reads all of the essays and chooses the final eight. Children without any harness racing ties have an advantage over those whose families are actively involved at the present time. There are four horses, with two kids paired up to each horse. Lunch and snacks are provided daily to the campers. The participants must be able to provide their own transportation to and from the track. The camp is FREE!

WHO: 10 – 13 year-old children, from a non-harness racing background.

WHEN: During summer months, July and August (when kids are out of school) 3 – 4 – day camps. Watch for dates to be published by participating tracks.

WHERE: At participating Ontario racetracks.

HOW: Applicants must submit a 200-word essay to their local racetrack. Those selected will learn about harness racing through practical experience and classroom lessons.

WHY: To introduce and educate new people to harness racing, to highlight the excitement and entertainment value of the Standardbred Industry and to present the many different jobs and careers both on the track and behind the scenes.

For more information, please contact Brian Tropea at (905) 854-OHHA (6442), email

Adult Camps

Adult camps are held at various locations across Ontario. To view the schedule of available camps go to the Hands on Horses website.