(TORONTO, ON) – Ontario is delivering on its commitment to implement the Horse Racing Partnership Plan, which comes into effect today.
The province’s enhanced five-year plan will provide up to $500 million to support its world-class horse racing industry and includes:
- Increasing purses and race dates across the province
- Enhancing support for the province’s racehorse breeders
- Integrating horse racing into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Modernization Plan
- Encouraging the creation of an alliance of innovative, leading, standard-bred tracks, and
- Increasing operational support for regional tracks
The plan is providing the horse racing industry with the tools to develop new sources of revenue and to build business relationships that will support a sustainable industry in Ontario.
"OHRIA is relieved that funding is in place to begin stabilizing the industry,” said Sue Leslie, President of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association. “The thousands of jobs associated with the horseracing industry continue to be an important part of the social fabric of Ontario."
Ontario is one of the few places in Canada that offers thoroughbred, standard-bred, and quarter horse racing. There are 16 racetracks operating in the province for the 2014 racing season. Woodbine offers both thoroughbred and standard-bred racing, Fort Erie offers thoroughbred racing, and Ajax offers quarter horse racing. The remaining 13 tracks offer standard-bred racing.
"As a breeder I am extremely excited about the future of racing in Ontario and thankful for the enhanced support that will allow us to build upon the rich history of Ontario-bred horses," said Scott Minshall of Minshall Farms in Hillsburgh.