July 29, 2014

ORC reports on revision to Pari-Mutuel Tax Reduction Allocations

The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) is pleased to announce the approval of the revised allocations of the Pari-Mutuel Tax Reduction (PMTR) to support and encourage the horse racing industry in Ontario. This is in keeping with the ORC’s mandate to implement the components of
the 5-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan (HRPP), as approved by the Ontario government.

As a result of the approval by the Board of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) and the subsequent approval by the Board of the ORC, a new structure setting out the allocation of funds from the Pari-Mutuel Tax Reduction will be implemented with the effective date retroactive to April 1, 2014.

By way of this Notice to Industry, ORC licensed racetracks will be required to direct funds as prescribed below.

Horse Improvement Program 3.0 %

Horse People 0.4 %
Customer Benefits 1.5 %
Racetracks 1.25 %
Regulatory Funding 0.75 %
Total PMTR 6.9 %

The ORC will work with affected industry stakeholders to account for amounts paid since April 1, 2014 pursuant to the prior allocation to ensure compliance with these revised rates.


Walltyme Golf Tournament Details

Time is running out to enter the 22nd annual edition of the Walltyme Stables Golf Tournament.

The tournament will be taking place Wednesday, August 6 at Caradoc Sands Golf Club in Strathroy, Ont. As usual, net proceeds from the tournament will be donated with the goal of harness horsemen helping harness horsemen.

Breakfast will be served at 9:30 a.m. Shotgun start for the golf is at 11:30 a.m.

Tickets are $125 per person and include green fees, carts, driving range, souvenir breakfast buffet and a steak dinner, with karaoke to follow.

Donations and Sponsorship are always appreciated. For entries or more information, contact Dean Wall at 519-476-0828 or at walltymegolf@hotmail.com.

Sudbury Discussed In Legislature

On Thursday, July 25, during the last sitting of the Ontario Legislature before its summer recess, Nickel Belt New Democratic Party MPP France Gelinas demanded that the provincial government include a key stipulation in the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.’s Request for Proposals for gaming companies that could potentially operate in the northern Ontario region.

According to an article by The Sudbury Star, Gelinas told the Legislature that she wants the RFP for the northern Ontario region, which includes Sudbury Downs, to require potential operators to list their history of horse racing expertise in their proposals.

Earlier this spring, the ORC announced that added a requirement for horse racing expertise in its upcoming Requests for Proposals for gaming site operators throughout Ontario. The province’s gaming arm has yet to issue RFPs for northern Ontario.

In late May, officials with Sudbury Downs announced that the track could not reach a deal with the province and thus will not hold live harness racing in 2014.

“The question is simple,” Gelinas said Thursday, “Will the Premier give northern Ontario the same deal it gave southern Ontario and make sure the casino operators in Sudbury include horse racing?”

Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture and Food, who recently took over the portfoliofrom Premier Wynne, responded to Gelinas by saying, in part, that, the Ontario Government will “take a second look at Sudbury Downs in terms of the 2015 racing season.”

(With files from The Sudbury Star)

Chaplaincy Golf Tournament Set

The Standardbred Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada’s annual golf tournament, sponsored by Luc and Anita Ouellette, is set for September 10 at Granite Ridge Golf Course on Dublin Line in Milton, Ont.

This year organizers will again offer golfers a shot at the $25,000 hole-in-one challenge, now into its third year. Give it your best shot and the $25,000 is yours if you put it in. Organizers will offer the popular Beat The Pro Challenge and Longest Drive and Closest To The Hole contests.

To end the day, organizers will host the usual great evening featuring roast beef dinner along with live and silent auctions, a 50/50 draw, and raffle draws. There will also be a special door prize for registered golfers and draws for door prizes.

Registration will start at 11:30 a.m. with a shot gun start at 1 p.m. sharp. Cost for the day is $150 per golfer and those that sponsor their team at $600 will be eligible for tax receipts. The cost of the day includes golf, BBQ lunch, supper, and the shot at the $25,000.

For further information and registration, contact the Chaplain Ken Carter at (519)942-6641 or Robert Coole at (443)566-0206.

CHRHF 2014 Induction Gala – Less Than 2 Weeks Away

Wando, Rocknroll Hanover, Wally Hennessey and Robert Landry headline list of 2014 inductees. Limited tickets still available for the evening celebration

TORONTO, ON, July 17 – The 38th Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Gala Fundraising Dinner on August 6th promises to be an evening of celebrations as fourteen new members, including Wando, Rocknroll Hanover, Wally Hennessey and Robert Landry, join the best of Canadian Horse Racing.  Held at the Mississauga Convention Centre, the evening will be emceed by Jim Bannon, Woodbine Entertainment Group Thoroughbred Racing Analyst and will feature a cocktail reception, a fantastic auction lineup with TSN Radio personality Matt Cauz as guest auctioneer, a four course gourmet dinner and the Induction Ceremony.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame acknowledges the generous sponsorship support of this year’s event:  Event Sponsor – OLG; Reception and Wine Sponsor – Central Ontario Standardbred Association; Photography Sponsor – Ontario Standardbred Alliance Tracks and Woodbine Entertainment Group for producing the video tributes to each of the 2014 inductees.

The CHRHF Planning Committee is putting together an impressive list of live and silent auction from donors and supporters including Adena Springs, The Royal Horse Show, Equilease Corp., Greenhawk, the Toronto Maple Leafs and many others.  All proceeds from the auction will go directly toward helping the Hall of Fame recognize the achievements of those that have built and established the roots of horse racing in Canada.


Live Auction

  • Halter worn by two-time US Thoroughbred Horse of the Year “Wise Dan” (donated by Charles LoPresti)
  • Halter worn by 2014 Woodbine Oaks and Queen’s Plate winner “Lexie Lou” (donated by Casse Racing)
  • Dinner for 2 at the Turf Club & 2 tickets to the Nashville Predators vs Toronto Maple Leafs (donated by Woodbine Entertainment Group)

Silent Auction

  • 4 box seat tickets to The Royal Horse Show, Friday November 8th including Tanbark Lounge access (donated by the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair Horse Show)
  • 2 tickets to Toronto Raptors game during the 2014-15 season (donated by Equilease Corp.)
  • Golf for 4 at Angus Glen Golf Course (donated by Angus Glen Golf Course)
  • Framed limited edition print by Linda Shantz of 2009 Hall of Fame inductee Somebeachsomewhere
  • Framed limited edition print by Debbie Goldring of 1976 Hall of Fame inductee Northern Dancer, the original of which hangs permanently in the Hall.
  • Golf for 4 at Ballantrae Golf Club (donated by Schonberg Farm & Ballantrae Golf Course)
  • Plus many more items from sports memorabilia and tickets to equine art and collectibles, there’s a little something for everyone.

The Auction item list is being updated as new items are added and can be viewed at:  www.canadianhorseracinghalloffame.com

Barrett Appointed Opposition Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Critic

Halidimand-Norfolk MPP Toby Barrett has been appointed as the PC Oppositon’s Critic for the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. Barrett

Global Effort To Protect Integrity

On Monday, the Ontario Racing Commission announced the formation of a new international effort to share intelligence information across borders to protect the integrity of horse racing.

The following release issues more details on the formation of the International Racing Information and Intelligence Service (IRIIS).

From London, Ontario to London, England, from the thoroughbred Melbourne Cup to the standardbred North America Cup – horse racing is truly an international sport — and one of the most regulated sports in the world. Equine athletes are tested more than most human athletes.

While Ontario has rigid standards locally, illegitimate operators have crossed jurisdictional borders easily through the internet and negatively impacted the fairness of the sport.

That will change significantly starting next month and it’s the same internet that will make it even tougher to ply their illegal trade.

The International Racing Information and Intelligence Service (IRIIS) will officially launch July 1st, and its origins started right here in Ontario. IRIIS is a secure internet platform that will allow international racing jurisdictions to share intelligence information, collaborate and capitalize on the industry’s expertise and best practices.

The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) and Harness Racing Australia, the key organizers of IRIIS, have collaborated with racing regulators and strategic partners from Canada, the United States, Belgium, Great Britain, South Africa, and Sweden. It is anticipated other racing jurisdictions will join and contribute to the platform.

ORC Deputy Director Rob McKinney said that IRIIS is an innovative system where members – industry regulators, law enforcement agencies and industry organizations — will have access to and share intelligence information on a wide range of topics, such as performance and image enhancing drugs like EPO, race fixing, and organized crime. “We need to be proactive and one step ahead of illegal activity, so that we can prepare risk and threat assessments on a jurisdictional, regional and/or international level.”

Here’s a recent example of actionable intelligence which demonstrates how IRIIS works:

Ontario shared the intelligence it had gathered with respect to a particular drug and its alleged performance enhancing benefit. The ORC information included recommendations on how to collect a sample and analyze the results. The data prompted another international racing jurisdiction to conduct post-race tests for the same drug. The result: a positive test which led to regulatory action against the participant.

McKinney sees IRIIS as a tool to look to the future, not only of horse racing, but sports integrity in its entirety. He has long advocated for more sharing of intelligence information among all sporting entities.

“Our intelligence and information shows a connection between substances appearing in equine athletes and then in human athletes,” said McKinney. “This fact speaks to the value of sharing resources and building intelligence to ensure a high standard of integrity across all sports, international borders and jurisdictions. IRIIS has the potential to do that.”

In September 2012, the ORC signed an alliance agreement with the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES). The agreement formalized a relationship whereby both organizations would share information and resources of common interest to help build intelligence in the fight against unethical and illegal practices in Canadian sport.

“Fairness, equitable competition and the protection of the public interest are priorities embraced throughout the global sporting community. By sharing what we know with allied organizations, we can build a more effective force to break what we know as the cycle of abuse,” said McKinney.

The ORC, the agency responsible for the regulation of horse racing in the province of Ontario, has gained international recognition for its leadership role in developing new approaches to proactive investigation and regulation practices.


OHRIA Welcomes Minister Leal

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association is pleased with the announcement that Premier Kathleen Wynne has named Jeff Leal as Minister of Agriculture and Food, taking over those duties from Wynne.

The Agriculture portfolio is very important for members of the horse racing industry, and OHRIA looks forward to dealing with Minister Leal in this key position.

As Minister Leal will also be continuing in the position of Minister of Rural Affairs, we know the Minister already has a great insight into the concerns of our members and we are interested in building our relationship further.

“The past two years have seen tremendous changes for our industry, with significant issues that need to be addressed and Minister Leal has already demonstrated through word and action a genuine concern for the horse racing and breeding industry,” said Sue Leslie, President and Chair of OHRIA. “We expect the government will be a strong partner in tackling these concerns in the next few months.”

Prior to the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program 60,000 people were employed in the horse racing and breeding sectors. The industry continues to employ tens of thousands and plays an important role in the economy of rural Ontario, and OHRIA looks forward to our next meeting with Minister Leal to work together on building a strong partnership with the government.


Condren/OSAS Golf Tourney Details

Details have been released for the 17th annual Steve Condren Charity Golf Tournament, which will see proceeds go to the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Association.

The tournament will take place on Wednesday, August 6 at Granite Ridge Golf Course in Milton, Ont. OSAS is still accepting hole sponsors and prize donations.

A scramble will once again be in place. There will be a shotgun start at 12:30 p.m.

Registration and a BBQ lunch will be served from 11 a.m. until 12 noon.

This year OSAS will again accept single and/or team entries. Please enclose all necessary information as to contact name, address and phone number. Registration fee this year will be $175 per golfer. This includes green fees, golf cart, lunch, buffet dinner, prize table and souvenirs.

Entries will be taken on a first-come, first-served basis and the tournament will be strictly limited to 144 golfers.

In an effort to streamline our operations the day of the tournament, we request that a cheque be sent with your registration. Please make cheques payable to OSAS. Debit or credit cards are also accepted the day of the tournament for your convenience.

Sponsors for the prize table and auction items are always needed. If you know of any persons or businesses that would be willing to help out, please contact OSAS.

To enter your single or team entries, please return this page by mail or fax to confirm your spot. Entries can be faxed to 905-854-6100 or mailed to:

OSAS ~ Golf Tournament
Box 297
36 Main Street
Campbellville, ON
L0P 1B0

The OSAS office number is 905-854-6099 should you have any questions or concerns.

(With files from OSAS)

WEG Pleased With NA Cup Night

JK Endofanera’s victory in the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup was a popular one for many fans attending Mohawk’s showcase evening.

The Ron Burke trainee returned $26.30 for a $2 win wager in the 31st renewal of the race.

Woodbine Entertainment Group was also pleased with the business results of the event billed as Ribs, Racing and Rivalries on Saturday.

Fans and horseplayers wagered $3,437,037 on the 14-race card, up 14.5% compared to the $3,001,036 figure recorded in the 2013 edition of the race. The overall handle was the highest since the race moved to Mohawk in 2007.

A figure of $474,023 was wagered on the Pepsi North America Cup race itself.

“It was a good evening,” said WEG’s Executive Vice-President of Racing, Jamie Martin. “There was a definite positive vibe at Mohawk on Pepsi North America Cup night, felt by both the casual fan and the core horseplayer. We’re determined to continue our mission of offering a high quality horse racing experience for fans while growing wagering across the province. That was seen by many on Saturday.”

Many fans showed up three hours before the first race to get their “First Bet on Us”, a commemorative Pepsi North America Cup hat and to secure a great spot to enjoy the evening.

They enjoyed award winning ribs from Silver Bullet BBQ and Blazin BBQ and unique brands of beer at “Beerville.” Fans were also entertained between races all night with live music from the River Junction Band and Amy Rose.

This Friday, June 20, Mohawk will offer a Fireworks Show following the races to celebrate the 100th birthday of Campbellville. A special first-race post time of 7:05 p.m. is slated.