Part of the grounds of the Hippodrome is used by the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières in August.
The Hippodrome de Trois-Rivières would give the city a hard time as well as various organizations such as the Expo and the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières (GP3R), according to the municipal councilor and chairman of the recreation committee, Luke Tremblay. He goes so far as to say that the Hippodrome is “not a good corporate citizen”.
Le Club jockey du Québec, which owns the grounds of the Hippodrome de Trois -Rivières, disputes the right of the GP3R to hold its event over two weekends. He says the current formula is hurting his operations.
It is clearly stated, even signed by former mayor Mr. Lévesque, that the agreement is for five consecutive days, declared the president of the Club jockey du Québec, Claude Lévesque, in an interview on the program Toujours le morning. The right to use the grounds for five days between May 1 and September 30 would in fact be granted to the City of Trois-Rivières, which cedes it to the GP3R, specifies the president of the Club.
The general manager of the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières, Dominic Fugère, has a completely different interpretation of the situation. When the Club jockey du Québec bought the grounds of the Hippodrome, there was an easement that said that the Grand Prix could set up its facilities and have access to the grounds of the Hippodrome for six weeks before [the event], four weeks later, and for five days of activities, he explained in an interview with Toujours le matin.
Of course, we are talking about five non-consecutive days because, for us, going shopping on Wednesday or Monday is unreasonable, it is not desirable, says Dominic Fugère.
For its part, the Hippodrome wants the situation to change in order to be able to hold as many events as possible during the summer. It's our big season, pleads the president of the Club jockey du Québec. He adds that people are betting on the races from Trois-Rivières to the United States.
There is a legal dispute that has been going on for a few years, says Dominic Fugère. A hearing took place a few months ago and, for now, the GP3R retains the right to hold the races over two weekends. Mr. Fugère specifies that a decision should be rendered this year.
Relations with the Hippodrome, in terms of day-to-day operations, are excellent, assures- he. A meeting was also held on Tuesday between the two organizations to facilitate the simultaneous holding of the two events.
Since 2015, the Grand Prix de Trois-Rivières has been held over two weekends instead of one.
I won't hide, these are not easy relationships [with the Hippodrome], as much for the Grand Prix as for the Expo or the City, a said Luc Tremblay in an interview on the show Toujours le matin, Wednesday.
He says that the Hippodrome would like the City to buy part of its land. They are putting pressure on the City so that we buy back that land which we are not using, he says.
These lands are useless for the City, but can be useful at the Grand Prix to store things, or at the Expo to place trailers, things like that, but they are not cooperative; they do not want us to use these lands, maintains the municipal councilor.
“It is a great surprise to hear that we are not a good corporate citizen. We have been meeting City people many times in order to find common ground to, precisely, be an excellent corporate citizen. »
— Claude Lévesque, president of the Club jockey du Québec
Mr. Lévesque announced Wednesday afternoon that he was abandoning the idea of selling part of his land to the City. The offer [from the City] was not up to par, he says. What we have, we will keep until we have an agreement that is good for everyone.
The decision of the 'Hippodrome to rent its land to the Dirt Track, for motorcycle and ATV competitions, at the same time as the Trois-Rivières Expo, is deplorable, according to municipal councilor Luc Tremblay.
He claims that the City knew in late April or early May that the races would take place at the same time as the Expo. We made them see that it didn't make sense, but everything was already booked and signed, so we came to terms with the fait accompli, he says.
Several citizens have complained about the noise generated by motorcycle and ATV racing. Mr. Tremblay says the event also harmed Expo visitors.
The president of the Club jockey du Québec, Claude Lévesque, says he was not aware that the Expo was taking place at the same time as the Dirt Track. At the microphone of Marie-Claude Julien, he specified that he does not live in the region.
If someone had contacted me, we would have taken it seriously, that's for sure, he says.
Mr. Lévesque claims that no one informed his non-profit organization that there could be a problem of cohabitation between the Dirt Track and the Trois-Rivières Expo.
As [the Hippodrome] is a private organization, they had the latitude to rent to whoever they wanted when they wanted, but they didn't take Expo Trois-Rivières into consideration at all, and that's is deplorable, insists Luc Tremblay, who wants to take steps so that the Dirt Track chooses a different weekend next year.