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Country Prose
by Charlie Hansen

Winter is progressing well in sunny Florida although music hasn’t become a large part of it so far. We’ve taken in a few jams and small concerts and had the opportunity to put on a gospel show for the folks at Hunter’s run RV park a couple of weeks ago but music hasn’t been a large part of the winter so far.

We’ve replaced music this winter with attending some small community events that we haven’t had the opportunity to attend in years past. Two weeks ago we took the opportunity to drive up to Richland’s Sunshine Raceway to attend the horse races. Now this isn’t like any other races I’ve ever been to. This is trotting bred racing. You would think from the description that this horses would all be trotters but this isn’t the case. Some are pacers. Most of these horses are owned by winter visitors to Florida. They bring their horses with them on vacation and stay at an RV park that appears to be associated with the raceway. These horses race on the northern fair circuit in the summer and instead of standing idle all winter they come to Florida and race. I guess you could call them “snow horses.”

The trotting bred horse is smaller than a standard bred and races on 5/16th mile track. The trotting bred can’t be any taller than 51 1/2 inches or 13 hands. The DeSilva family seems to be the dominant family at Sunshine Raceway and many of the races feature father, mother, and daughter all battling it out for bragging rights.

We’ve also attended the dog races at Derby Lane in St. Petersburg. I actually came away 80 cents to the good so it

wasn’t a total loss.

Since this is a music column I suppose we should include some mention of music. By the time that this column goes to print we will have attended on of the biggest Bluegrass festivals in the US at Palatka, FL. This year’s festival features some of the best bands on the circuit including Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Dailey & Vincent, IIIrd Tyme Out, Marty Raybon, Audie Blaylock & Redline and many other fine bands. This will be a scouting mission for the PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival 2013.

The Twin Shores Camping Area Bluegrass Festival is taking shape, bands are being hired and organization is proceeding well. This festival will be held on August 31, September, 1 and 2.

The PEI Bluegrass & Old Time Music Festival has completed the hiring of it’s regional bands for the July 6, 7 and 8 show. The regional bands will be, Blue Tie Affair and Eight Wheel Drive from Nova Scotia, Windy Creek and the forever popular Bluegrass Diamonds from New Brunswick. This will be the Bluegrass Diamonds 16th trip to Rollo Bay.

Until next time don’t forget to support live country music and listen to Bluegrass Island every Sunday evening at 9:00 on CFCY FM 95.1 in Charlottetown and on the internet at

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