Jennifer Starr, Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono

Newsmaker Interviews
Wednesday, July 18th
The Harness Horse Youth Campers arrived Tuesday at the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, and got right to work! This year, eight children are from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties in Pennsylvania, and one of the campers is from Massachusetts. This camp is one of several across the country being conducted by HHYF this summer. The camp concludes on Saturday, July 21st with three exciting races on the famous Pocono oval with the children accompanied by Pocono drivers.  Approximate Post Time for the races is 5:15pm, with an awards ceremony in the Hanover Shoe Farms Winner’s Circle after the races. Jennifer Starr Marketing Manger with the Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono gives us the details...

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Jennifer you are involved in so many different things. And especially when it comes to horses and the downs and now you've got kids what do you have up your sleeve for next week. We're really excited because they can't sir economy you purse yes the hardest course youth foundation camp. Will be setting ground at the downs starting Tuesday. And this is very exciting because the HHY have to harness horse youth foundation. They go to different tracks throughout the summer. And they'd bring their little horses they're a little bit smaller than the ones we race with and they have a kits camp for a whole week where they teach children. All about harness racing and about the care of horses and about the equipment everything that is involved with horses so. The children arrived on a Tuesday. And every day there put to work learning. And absorbing. And everything about courses and harness racing. And this is very exciting for the children because of them have never been away from home for several days. Some bonding experience Cho. And the way he's not a date camp known and I don't know it's a holy camp because on Tuesday to Saturday so they do stay overnight. We do put them up at a local hotel and they are chaperones completely the harness horse youth foundation brings their own director and counselors. And believe it or not they are roused out of bed at like 5 AM every morning for breakfast. And then at the stables by 6615. And they start to work. Every day they have a schedule he gave will be the horses they will feed them. They will learn about the equipment that they are putting on the horses to get them ready to exercise in the morning or jog. And what they'll do is they'll work with our pocono trainers and volunteers. And they will go out on the back track in our stable area which is behind our property and we do have a stable area. And they will go out they will exercise the horses in the morning we have done the double seeded John cart. For the sake where they will be accompanied by a pocono horsemen and they will go out and they will actually. Exercise their courses so they learned that right from the get the take amount pickle around the training track. And then they come back they take the equipment off of them. And in the cool them down maybe then they take care of them. So this goes on every day they have lunch lunch is provided then they have a quiz. With the counselors they go over. What do we do today what equipment did you use what is equipment. You know used for. The anatomy of the horses. Everything is covered. So. Don't like to say it is of course experience or not this is a learning experience and believe it or not there are a lot of children that do register for this camp. That have never worked with horses. But wind may come out of this camp. They know everything there is too so this isn't the first year that here locally you've done snow we have done this for many many years. And we like to keep it between ten and twelve children so it's smaller camp. Every year at the beginning of the year. The HHY aft dot award puts it out on the website accepting applications. And children from ages twelve to fourteen are encouraged to apply. They have to read little essay about why he'd like to do to fill out the application. And then they apply and we pay for the fee so. There's no fee involved a lot well so that's terrific about that and then they send in their applications and then their children are chosen. The camps to fill up quickly so we do encourage everybody check it out lake in February. Get your application him because we do set a deadline of may. And then the children are chosen for the camp the camp fills up and then the camp is usually in July. The camp ends on Saturday. With actual races. So. Right before our actual post time the children do. Drive an actual races on off track on the track. Right from a spectator. Wit pocono drivers. In the passing entered with Antonin Pollack time now Eric Karros and Jim Brock junior famous names that you heard of drivers Tommy Jackson Simon Allard. And they get in the actual. Race bike and they drive and races. There are three races and their competitive you should see how competitive they are. And then they come into the winner's circle they get their winner's circle pictures taken. And then after all the races we have a nice little ceremony with the parents Eric have you had children that have taken part in this come back. Absolutely what have they gone with the with their knowledge well several of the children have actually gone on to become counselors. They've come back and become a counselor. Alan Taylor the director of the camp has actually brought back some kids to become counselors. And they do travel again over the summer. Several have gone on to become big names in harness racing. One I could mention is trainer Tony align yet he is one of the top trainers in harness racing today. He started out as a harness horse you can't. And today. In his early thirties he's one of the top trainers in the business training. Very famous horses is a matter of fact his course. Just competed at pocono on cent stake Saturday stay hungry and he is actually in has this course in. Next weekend in a big race so I mean he has some big name horses across the country captain treacherous is another one. Started out as the hardest hit one. Absolutely soaked. You don't. Have to go want to be a trainer or driver. You can going to a different economic equine career. Perhaps she wanted to go into the Madison part of it I was gonna say veterinarian exactly or perhaps she wanted to go into the marketing part of it. Or different careers in equine there's many many careers so some of them you know when they do come they can't they say well I'm more interested in this or. I'm more interested in the training part or I think I want to go into this. And in it's it's very interesting to see. Where there interest lies as the week goes on me out so well it's also a good thing too because. You have this romantic notion perhaps some of doing something. And then once you get involved a five day Yemen realize what goes intuit. Sometimes that's a good thing but the knowledge that you take away from this fascinating absolutely and I do ran into a lot of kids that. They're grown up now. And their fans perhaps of harness racing and they say to me I wish this was around when I was a kid and I would have done this because it's just so fascinating. Thing you know the kids they're bonding too and they get to room with another child during the week. They get to learn about them you know they can to do different things other than via their cellphones at night and you know there's different activities for the week we have bowling we take the mobile only one name we have a pool party for them so they get to do different. Activities during the week too so it's not all work although it is a lot of hard work out. Harry is simply involved it's just a great experience and to see that Saturday. Restate come around Lindsay at least get to go in their colors which is with the driver's uniform are called. They get to where actual pocono drivers collars. And when they get the mine and when they feel the adrenaline rush and when they get out on the track it's it's a great experience so what. Someone happens to be listening to you talking about this and they're saying. How that's something that I really like to get my son daughter grandson. Or whoever involved in for next season. Would they be able to contact UN say. In college and I think we might like to come down and just see what happens absolutely I would encourage any parent that's interest at first of all to come and see the races. Saturday the 21. And post time is approximate 545 which will take place before actual 7 o'clock post so please come and see the children race chair of the month. The more people that are cheering for them I think that will really give them a big rush to. So come on see the kids race. Then it. Remember as soon as it gets you know through the first of the year early February go onto HH YF dot org. And that's when they will start posting the schedule for the year. Please fill out the application for the year the earlier the better because like I said it is a may deadline. Or you know you can always contact me. And you know I will definitely. Even leave left and an email address with yo that if anybody does want to call you to make sure that they contact me. You get the application and as soon as possible again the ages a twelve to fourteen and they are strict they do have to be between those ages to be in the camp. Girls and boys. A lot of time we do encourage. If someone wants to be in the camp to they have a body that they wanna join with sometimes you know two kids to join together and that does. Go along way when they do come to the camp and there's no each week there's no charge we do pick up the feet for the week for every one yes the entire camp is sponsored by the PHH A which is the Pennsylvania hardest horsemen associate was and food. And again it's a lonely Internet dating yet is it for the fun for for everything for everything. High grade that is the main thing it's great it's it it's an awesome experience so. You know it's it's just a few days of fun and hard work and horses and great outdoors. And learning in meeting new people. So it's it's it's awesome. Now is there anything that we haven't mentioned and I would like you just to read. I reiterate the days of the race that the kids are gonna be doing and when people can come down and see them that day. And also if you have anything else that you think that you might like to add to all this. It's wonderful how I do I do to add that the hardest course youth foundation. Is a charitable organizations so obviously they do. Sixteen on donations as well and me we a lot of fundraisers for them throughout the year. With the PHH A and the downs just a lot of fundraisers we just had. When we had our huge eating contest with a horse when we raise a lot of money for them. So every now and then we do do some fundraisers for them and they to accept donations so we encourage if anybody ever wants to give a few dollars to it. You can go to HH YF dot org and they do have a donation button. It's going to great costs it's helping build the future of harness racing of children. Of the future equine careers. The Department of Agriculture you know there's so many careers within the state of Pennsylvania our beautiful state of Pennsylvania. And this organization is wonderful so again I say if you ever have a couple dollars that's a great organization to donate to him and winner of the kids racing. They are racing on Saturday. July 21 approximate post time is 5:45 PM and there are three races so we usually take fifteen minutes in between each race again. Come to the downs. There's free self parking. There's free admission there's plenty of benches outside. Come and grab the bench and sit and watch the children race cheer the mud and parents if your interest to bring your kids they can watch the kids in May be next your. They will be hardest hit on some Jennifer star. You always have something wonderful going on thank you so much and thank you for coming and sharing that with us today absolutely thank you.