May 29, 2017

Archives for July 2012

Jack Darling Urges Critics To Examine OHRIA Plan More Closely

Trainer Jack Darling is urging its critics to take a closer look at the OHRIA Plan for Racing that has been submitted to the OMAFRA Transitional Panel for consideration.

Darling elaborates on his personal endorsement of the Plan here.

Jim Carr Calls OHRIA Proposal For Ontario Horse Racing’s Future “The Only Realistic One”

Longtime harness horse owner Jim Carr voiced his thoughts on the OHRIA Plan for the Future of Ontario Horse Racing  in a recent letter to the The Harness Edge.

You can read the letter in its entirety here.

Chantal Sutherland Takes Ontario Horse Racing’s Cause To Conan O’Brien’s Late Night TV Audience

After making her heartfelt plea to save Ontario’s horse racing industry last week, Canadian-born jockey Chantal Sutherland will continue her Lady Godiva-esque quest to bring attention to Ontario government’s decision to end its partnership with horse racing to a different audience.

On Tuesday night, Sutherland will be appearing on Conan O’Brien’s late night TV show (TBS, 11pm ET). According to sources, Sutherland will be mentioning the situation facing Ontario’s racing industry during her interview segment.

Signs Pointing Out Job Losses Available From Mardon
Before appearing on Conan, Sutherland will be making a rare appearance back at Woodbine Racetrack on Sunday to ride her brother Hugh Jr.’s horse Awesome Fire in the $250,000 Wonder Where Stake. Should she win, expect signs in the winner’s circle like the ones pictured below. The people behind those signs: standardbred owner Marv Chantler – who races under Mardon Stables – and Sutherland’s father Hugh.

These signs are being made available on a first come first serve basis. Both Chantler and Sutherland told Trot Insider that signs are up in the Caledon area now and they have had numerous requests for these signs, available as both two-sided lawn-stake type signs or one-sided wall-mounted signs with grommets.

Signs are available for pickup at Mardon Stables; RR#2, 2996 Conc 7; Loretto, ON L0G 1L0 or Sutherland’s farm in Caledon.

(Standardbred Canada)

OHRIA Releases Task Force Plan For Horse Racing’s Future, Submits to OMAFRA Panel

The result of weeks of hard work by the OHRIA Task Force is evident with the recent release of the Plan For The Future of the Ontario Horse Racing and Breeding Industry.

To prepare the Plan, OHRIA created a Task Force and retained the highly respected, Stanley Sadinsky. The attached Plan has been approved unanimously by the OHRIA Board of Directors and is in the hands of the OMAFRA Panel for review.

OHRIA asked government to work with the industry to find a sustainable solution for Ontario horse racing moving forward in 2013 with the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program. The government responded with the creation of the OMAFRA panel. This panel has met with and received submissions from hundreds of individuals in the industry and is aware that, although there are many voices, we are all singing the same tune. We are all in agreement that:

  • Horse racing supports full-time employment for thousands of Ontarians
  • Ontario horse breeders produce a product that has a local and international market
  • The horse racing industry has grown and flourished in this province and it is worth preserving.

OHRIA has taken the lead to speak with one voice on behalf of the industry, not only because this is an expectation of the government, but also because OHRIA is representative of all facets of the industry. Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse breeders, owners, trainers, industry employees and racetracks all have representation on OHRIA’s Board of Directors.

The OHRIA Task Force has given in-depth consideration to the needs of all stakeholders, but the Plan is not the final picture for Ontario. The Plan is the road map to how, in partnership with government, the industry will chart its own course into the future — building a strong racing product supported by a breeding industry that produces horses with world-wide appeal.

The Plan had to be based on some assumptions as the task force did not know where the OLG will land with future gaming. The Plan should be viewed as a frame work that does NOT try to decide who will participate and who will not.

The strength of OHRIA’s ability to work with government and the success of the Plan will hinge on a cohesive review process and the industry’s willingness to speak with one voice. OHRIA is the voice for the industry and welcomes your feedback on the Plan via email at OHRIA will continue to work on your behalf to ensure a sustainable future for horse racing in the province of Ontario.

The plan is available here as a PDF.


Equine Guelph Again Offering Popular Infection Control Workshops For Horse People

Equine Guelph has announced the second offering of the Biosecurity Prevention eWorkshop from October 22 to November 4, 2012 and four more local workshops in Ontario.

Equine Guelph’s new eWorkshops are two-week online short courses designed for busy horse owners. They provide the latest evidence-based information available from University of Guelph facilitators and experts from the industry.

Last April horse enthusiasts from around the globe enjoyed the launch of Equine Guelph’s first eWorkshop on equine biosecurity.  Over a two-week period students learned how to protect their horses from infectious diseases in three steps:    1. Identify risks of infectious disease in the barn 2. Apply practical ways to reduce risks of disease 3. Reduce the chances of sickness

The first offering was met with positive feedback by students. Patty Russen, New York, USA said, “This course offered extensive information on biosecurity. I believe it to be valuable, and even essential, for any barn owner or for any horse owner/boarder that wants to protect and give their horse the best and safest conditions possible.”    Students joined in from around the globe, reaping the benefits of the flexible online format. Sue Kristiansen from Sweden commented, “This course really brought home the meaning of equine biosecurity.”    Local area students who just can’t find enough hours in the day to get off the farm were also among the participants of Equine Guelph’s first eWorkshop.

Jan Huntley of Ontario notes, “If you care about the health of your horse don’t miss this course! This was the best equine course I have taken. I gained new, valuable knowledge from every assignment. The assignments provided information and practical practices that you can apply immediately around your barn and horse to make the chances of catching or spreading diseases less likely. It is about time someone made the topic of biosecurity available to equine owners and handlers.”


Equine Guelph will also be offering free two- hour Biosecurity Workshops at:

Grand River Raceway, Elora, September 6, 1 – 3pm

University of Guelph, Guelph, September 13, 5 – 7pm

Woodbine Racetrack, Toronto, September 25, 1 – 3pm

Best Western Inn, Orangeville, September 27, 1 – 3pm

To register please contact Susan Raymond (

“Beat the Bugs” was developed by Equine Guelph with the assistance of its 13 industry partners: American Association of Equine Practitioners Foundation, Colorado State University, Central Ontario Standardbred Association, Grand River Agricultural Society, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Ontario Association of Equine Practitioners, Ontario Equestrian Federation, Ontario Harness Horse Association, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, Ontario Veterinary College, Standardbred Canada, Vétoquinol Canada Inc. and Woodbine Entertainment Group.   This program is funded through the Agricultural Biosecurity Program (ABP), part of the Best Practices Suite of programs under Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial initiative. The Agricultural Adaptation Council assists in the delivery of several Growing Forward programs in Ontario.

For more information about Equine Guelph’s biosecurity programs and to view the Biosecurity Calculator please visit or  contact Susan Raymond at Equine Guelph,

Equine Guelph offers award-winning online education from one of the top universities in Canada — the University of Guelph.   Students benefit from insights offered by leading industry experts from across North America. Equine Guelph’s online program has attracted over 1,000 students from all around the world, including every province in Canada, the United States, France, United Arab Emirates, Korea, Egypt, Australia, Austria, Poland, Denmark, Norway, Italy, Israel, Columbia, India and South Africa. Equine Guelph is known worldwide as one of the most respected online equine learning communities.

Don’t miss out on the next two-week eWorkshop from October 22 to November 4, 2012.  Cost is $75 + HST. Visit for course details.

Mohawk Backstretch Will Become A Training Centre, Qualifiers To Move To Woodbine

The effects of the OLG and Ontario government’s decision to end the slots-at-racetracks partnership with Ontario’s horse racing industry has forced Canada’s biggest track operator, Woodbine Entertainment Group, to convert its standardbred backstretch at Mohawk Racetrack into a training centre this winter.

Trainer Bob Young is a director of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association and part of a COSA stabling committee with President Bill O’Donnell and Joanne Coville. Young told Trot Insider on Friday that the meetings have gone very well with WEG management thus far. According to Young, WEG’s decision to convert the backstretch to a training centre is strictly based on the uncertainty of racing in 2013.

“[WEG’s Executive Vice-President of Racing] Jamie Martin said if the program was still in place as of April 1, the split-sharing the way it has been, it would come off the table. There would be no stall rent here,” said Young. “But as of now we don’t know what it’s going to be as of April 1 so there could be a chance that there would be stabling here with no stall rent, if the percentages stay the same.”

One of the many longtime trainers stabled in the Mohawk Backstretch, Young understands the rationale for the move.

“We’ve always been charged $1 per day for environmental fees for the removal of shavings and straw here but I think with the uncertainty of what’s going in with the government, it costs quite a bit of money to keep this place going and they said, ‘hey, if we can charge a stall rent that’s not too much on the people we’d like to recoup some of that money also’.”

The training centre will be open for public stabling this winter, from November 1 to May 1. Stall applications will be coming out sometime in August with trainers notified by early October.

“It’s going to be $250/month for the winter and $125 for the summer,” noted Young. “The paddock will be closed for the winter and there will be no ship-ins. If you want to ship in to train your horse, you can go to Woodbine. As of right now, qualifers will be on Thursday afternoons at Woodbine at 5:00 p.m. Also, if you’re racing that night you’ll be able to put your qualifier in one of the 32 retention stalls. Plus, they’re hoping that the old retention stalls will be available if they have that many horses staying but they figure 32 should be lots [for that time of year].”

Right now around 320 horses are stabled at Mohawk, with projections of more than 400 horses for the winter months. Young also confirmed that the dorms will still be in place as will security in the backstretch, but in all likelihood there would not be security at the stable gate.

“The price isn’t going to affect anybody and everybody’s quite happy that they’re still staying here,” continued Young. “It’s a great facility; everybody knows that, we’ve been here a lot of years and I don’t think you’ll see anybody move out because of the stall rent, that’s for sure.”

(Standardbred Canada)

Shirley Carmichael Passes

Shirley Carmichael passed away July 19, 2012 at Milton District Hospital after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer. She was 66.

She was the beloved wife of long-time horseman Ken Carmichael and mother to Kelly and Lori (John Popp) both of Milton.

Shirley was born into a South Mountain, ON harness racing family and will also be sadly missed by brothers Edwin Waddell, Allan Waddell and sister Eileen Feagan (the late Gary Feagan).

The family will receive visitors at McKersie-Kocher Funeral Home, 114 Main St. E., Milton, ON on Monday, July 23 from 7-9pm. Funeral services will be held in the funeral home chapel on Tuesday, July 24 at 11:30am.

As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations to the Milton District Hospital or a charity of your choice would be appreciated.

Online condolences and further details are available at McKersie-Kocher Funeral Home. 905-878-4452.

COSA expresses its sincere sympathy to the family and friends of Shirley Carmichael.


Anthony MacDonald Confirmed by PCs As Candidate in Guelph

Allan Boynton, president of the Guelph PC riding association, has announced that interest in becoming the PC nominee for the next provincial election — and ultimately Guelph’s next MPP — is heating up. PC Headquarters in Toronto has just approved the candidacy of Anthony MacDonald.

MacDonald is a highly successful harness horse driver who has raced all over North America for the past 15 years and has won 2,273 races during his career. He is 35 years old and married, with a 15-month old daughter. He was born in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and has lived in Guelph for five years.

As one of the 60,000 people involved in horse racing in Ontario, MacDonald is a vocal opponent of the McGuinty government’s plan to remove slot machines from Ontario racetracks and renege on a long-standing funding agreement for a vitally important industry in this province. MacDonald’s capacity for speaking out effectively is evidenced by the speech he made at a Queen’s Park rally on March 26, 2012 (which appears below). However, his motivation to become Guelph’s next MPP is also due to concerns beyond this issue.

“The people who need government the most have been forgotten. For me, as an Ontarian, enough is enough. Our jobs have been slashed and depleted, our private sector crippled and the Liberal government’s answer is to raise taxes and hydro rates? Where is our leadership? It’s time for the people to have their voices heard. We need common sense politics — from politicians with common sense.“

My family comes from Prince Edward Island, and we’re heavily involved in politics and government. I have never seen a provincial governmentlike McGuinty’s that disrespects its citizens by thinking they aren’t paying attention to what it does,” said MacDonald

Allan Boynton agrees with PC Headquarters’ decision to approve MacDonald’s candidacy for the Guelph PC nomination.

“Anthony MacDonald is a dynamic individual who is getting involved because he sees the direction our province is going in and knows it needs to be changed. Ontario has suffered a great deal since Dalton McGuinty became Premier. It is only a matter of time before he breaks another promise, increases the massive deficit that burdens all Ontarians, and puts the future of this great province in even greater jeopardy than it is already in.”

(Standardbred Canada)

Ed James Presents His View On The Real Reason Ontario Liberal Government Axed The Slots At Racetracks Program

Businessman and standardbred owner Ed James has followed up his provocative self-sponsored full page ad in The Toronto Star in May with another jab at the Ontario Liberal Government for scrapping the Slots at Racetracks program.

James says he has finally figured out the rationale behind the government’s move to scuttle some 60,000 racing-related jobs. Allowing U.S. interests to run casinos in this province, he says, will ensure that the Liberal government has the funds to stay in power for a very long time.

The following letter from Ed James appeared in The Toronto Star on Monday, July 16th:



As Paul Harvey might have said, “This is the rest of the story.”

My Belief: In my first article on May 14th I accused the Government of being lost in the fog or laying a smoke screen. The air has now cleared. They were laying a smoke screen and it worked. It was the opposition NDP and PCs who were lost in the fog.

The Liberal smoke screen / The perfect red herring was cancelling the slots at race tracks. A highly successful program contributing $1.1 billion annually to the Government coffers. But they wanted more without developing any programs to generate it. Along came the US Casino Operators Consortium with the answer. Now firmly entrenched in Windsor with Caesars Casino, in Northern Ontario with Casino Rama and in Niagara Falls with two casinos. All operated by the consortiums which includes Caesars in Las Vegas, Penn National Gaming in Pennsylvania, and a combination of families in New York and Chicago, operating the two casinos in Niagara Falls. These casinos not happy with their 40 per cent of profit tax free also wanted more. The perfect marriage made in hell.

Within five years the consortium would guarantee the government $2.5 billion annually in casino revenue and the deficit could be eliminated. From the Liberals’ point of view the perfect answer no work or forethought. High returns politically and possibly personally. The conduit was the principles of the OLG. Hands clean for the casinos and the government both, everybody wins except the residents of Ontario. The government could now be supported and possibly controlled by income from their casinos, and the Liberal Government skirts were clean.

The elephant was now in the tent, however there was one hurdle in the way, the highly successful slots at racetrack program. The casino operator’s consortium apparently did not want any competition. The share of the slots at racetrack program, which now went to the communities around Windsor, Milton, etc, and to the equestrian industry supporting places like Guelph University etc. and the racetrack operators could all be theirs. But instead of 25 per cent they could get 40 per cent. A win win for them.

However, in order for this to happen the SAR Program had to be eliminated. The government who was obviously more than willing to cooperate issued the cancellation order. They had to prove to the consortium that they were good soldiers. Their possible proof was to cancel the SAR Program immediately at border locations Sarnia, Windsor, and Fort Erie. Possibly an immediate benefit to the consortiums, Canadians had to cross the border to their casinos where they got all the profits. The government didn’t have to kill anybody to prove their commitment. Maybe, starve to death a few of the potential 60,000 unemployed affected by the cancellation of the SAR Program, but who would notice? Then cancel the balance of the SAR one year later. All other casino competition gone, they now have it all. Fait accompli.

The other side of the coin is this. While paying the Ontario Liberal Government $2.5 billion a year, which is their 60 per cent share of the casino profits, their consortiums share of income at 40 per cent of the operating profits could become $1.65 billion a year tax free. Over four years between elections $6.5 billion earned may be enough to support the continuation of a Liberal Government in Ontario for eternity. Which has to be done to retain their operating contracts. There is a restriction on individual donations to candidates but no restriction on advertising support for candidates.

The consortiums might know how to sway elections with political contributions. It’s not that hard, Ontario becomes like the 51st state in the union controlled by politics and greed.

My take on a fairytale? I don’t think so!

This is how it could have happened. In order to put this plan into effect the Liberals had to pass their budget on June 20th, 2012 (remember that date). If the budget did not pass, they were facing an election. In view of the Liberals’ attacks on doctors, teachers and the slots-at-racetracks program affecting possibly 60,000 people, they were in danger of losing numerous seats, enough to lose control of the Government and becoming a weak opposition. McGuinty and Duncan might be out of work.

Here is where the opposition was lost in the fog. To ensure the budget passed the Liberals had to find a foil. Up pops Andrea Horwath and the NDP. If they would abstain from the vote, the Liberals would be home free. What did it take? Liberals passed Bill 114 Tax Amendment Act 2012 the same day as the budget passed. The NDP could carry their banners high for increasing taxes to corporations and high wage earning residents. The perfect pork chop for a pig deal by the Liberals.

In some circles Canada is known as the land of hockey players and whores. How is double passing of bills on the same day, June 20th, for stick handling?

What Ms. Horwath did not realize (historically politicians are not known for their foresight), she possibly sounded the death knell for the NDP and Conservative parties in Ontario from ever having a majority. Money has to be spent on elections, NDP and Progressive Conservatives have limited budgets, Liberals possibly now, with support from the casino operators have a bottomless pit for supporting Liberal candidates.

For the Liberal Party, casino management consortiums and OLG, full speed ahead they now have no roadblocks!

Robin Hood’s program of robbing from the rich and giving to the poor has been reversed by your Liberal government. Their plan is to take from the poor and give to the rich. Not exactly what Robin had in mind.

They also reversed another old adage — they started with the pillaging first.

Brace yourself!!

Two books you should read outlining government scams are ‘The Weasel’ by Adrian Humphreys explaining some of the provincial political scams and ‘A Capital Scandal’ by Robert Fife and John Warren, explaining some federal political scams.

They might scare you!

This scam is right up there with them!

My late father had a great saying, “when money talks honesty walks.”

Maybe he was right!

Ontario wake up and smell the horses***t emanating from the NDP and Liberal coalition!

Ed James, a citizen and horse owner, now more concerned than before.

Stay tuned I still have some of my first communion money left.


Meet Hockey Icon Paul Henderson at Mohawk On Maple Leaf Trot Night, Saturday, July 21

On Maple Leaf Trot night, which takes place on Saturday, July 21 at Mohawk, racing fans will be treated to world class racing and will get a chance to meet legendary hockey icon Paul Henderson.

Henderson will forever be known for scoring one of hockey’s most famous goals when he scored the game winning goal in the 1972 Summit Series for Team Canada against the USSR.

Henderson was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, after playing 13 seasons in the National Hockey League for the Detroit Red Wings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Atlanta Flames.

Henderson will be on hand for an autograph session from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.