March 1, 2015

Equine Herpes Warning For Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been notified of a confirmed case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), caused by equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1), in Ontario.

The recent case was found in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, and the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has determined that this case does not involve a racehorse.

However, due to the infectious nature of this virus, the ORC urges participants to take appropriate steps when such cases are reported. Outbreaks of neurological EHV-1 are contagious and have a significant risk of mortality. Anything that touches an infected horse or carries secretions or manure from sick horses has the potential to transfer pathogens to other horses.

The text of the Notice is pasted below.

Veterinary Update
Animal Health and Welfare Branch/Office of the Chief Veterinarian for Ontario
Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

February 23, 2015

Confirmed Case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) has been notified of a confirmed case of Equine Herpes Myeloencephalopathy (EHM), caused by equine herpes virus 1 (EHV-1), in the Regional Municipality of Waterloo. Brain tissue from a horse with severe neurological signs tested positive for EHV-1 neuropathogenic strain. The horse owner voluntarily placed the premises under a self-imposed quarantine to reduce the risk of viral spread. To date, there have been no further reports of equine illness on the farm.

In 2014, there was one laboratory-confirmed case of EHM in Ontario due to the non-neuropathogenic strain. This is the first case diagnosed in Ontario this year; however, cases of EHM have been diagnosed in Texas, Virginia, Minnesota and New Jersey this month.

EHV-1 infection in horses can cause respiratory disease, abortion, neonatal foal death, and/or neurological disease. EHV-1 is not a federally reportable disease but is immediately notifiable by laboratories under the reporting regulation of the provincial Animal Health Act. Attending veterinarians suspicious of EHM should contact OMAFRA as soon as possible.

Because infected horses may show no clinical signs, but still shed the virus, the temperature of suspect animals should be monitored twice daily for 14 -21 days and any abnormalities discussed with a veterinarian. Neurological signs, if they develop, may include loss or balance, hind-limb weakness, recumbency, difficulty urinating, decreased tail tone and depression. It is important that a veterinarian assess suspect cases of EHM since it can be difficult to distinguish this from other serious neurological diseases, such as rabies.

EHV-1 is easily spread by nose-to-nose or close contact with an infectious horse, by sharing contaminated equipment (bits, buckets, towels etc.) or by the clothing, hands or equipment of people who recently had contact with an infectious horse. This highlights the need for routine biosecurity measures (including hand hygiene and basic cleaning and disinfection practices) to be in place at all times to prevent a disease outbreak. Special attention should be given to cleaning and disinfecting trailers.

Current EHV-1 vaccines may reduce viral shedding but are not protective against the neurological form of the disease. Implementing routine biosecurity practices is the best way to minimize viral spread.

The best method of disease control is disease prevention.

(Standardbred Canada)

CPMA To Test For Cobalt

On Monday, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency issued a statement regarding its position on the use of cobalt in racehorses.

Given the recent publicity surrounding cobalt, the purpose of this notice is to provide the racing industry with information with respect to the CPMA’s position on this substance.

Cobalt is a naturally occurring, trace element present in all horses at very low levels. It can also be found in several feedstuffs and supplements such as vitamin B12. The CPMA has not tested for cobalt since it is not listed in the Schedule of Drugs in the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations (the Regulations).

Horse racing regulators around the world are investigating allegations that large amounts of cobalt have been administered to racehorses in the belief that they will enhance performance by inducing the production of red blood cells.

As you may be aware, a threshold of 100ng/mL in urine has been proposed by several international regulators and, in the United States, several jurisdictions have implemented thresholds between 25 and 70 ng/mL in blood.

Recently, the CPMA has undertaken a number of research initiatives in regard to the use of cobalt in Canada. We have worked with Maxxam Analytics (our official laboratory), the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), and the University of Kentucky. The CPMA presented these research findings at the International Conference of Racing Analysts and Veterinarians late last year. The CPMA has also collaborated with other racing jurisdictions and has made considerable progress towards understanding the complexities in controlling the use of this naturally occurring substance.

Effective immediately, the CPMA will begin testing for elevated levels of cobalt in official samples collected at Canadian racetracks however Certificates of Positive Analysis will not be issued by the CPMA until the Regulations have been amended to include cobalt in the Schedule of Drugs. Results of this testing will be used to establish an appropriate threshold in Canada and data will be shared with Provincial Racing Commissions who may wish to initiate more immediate measures to address the use/misuse of this substance.

Cobalt levels may build up over time when given repeatedly and its elimination from the horse can take an extended period of time. As such, owners and trainers should govern themselves accordingly as, once the Regulations are amended, Certificates of Positive Analysis will be issued immediately based upon the established threshold.

At this time, there are no elimination guidelines for therapeutic doses of cobalt or veterinary approved forms of injectable cobalt. However, current knowledge would suggest that under no circumstances should supplementary oral cobalt be given within 48 hours of racing.

As with all medications and supplements, owners and trainers should discuss the use of cobalt supplements with their veterinarian.

Should you have any questions with respect to the contents of the memorandum, please contact the CPMA at 1-800-268-8835, or email at

Here is the full document from the CPMA:  20150216 – Memo to Industry – Cobalt EN FR


Hall Of Fame Calls For Nominations

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is seeking public participation in the nomination of horses and people who have made a significant contribution to Canadian horse racing, for induction to the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame in 2015.

The nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 5:00 p.m. (EST).

Nominations for the following will be considered:

  • MALE HORSE: Stallions or geldings whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years.
  • FEMALE HORSE: Mares whose contribution to Canadian racing occurred in the past 20 years.
  • VETERAN HORSE: Horses whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years.
  • PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys
  • BUILDERS: Includes, but not limited to Breeders, Owners, Officials, and others.
  • COMMUNICATORS: Includes, but not limited to writers, broadcasters, photographers, announcers.
  • VETERAN PERSON: Trainers, Drivers, Jockeys whose careers have been concluded for 20 years, but less than 50 years.

Complete eligibility criteria available is available on the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame website. Submissions must include as much detail as possible concerning the record and/or merits of candidates nominated.

For further information regarding eligibility, or to submit a nomination, contact:

Standardbred Nominations:

Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Nomination Chair,
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
1-2150 Meadowvale Blvd.,
Mississauga, ON L5N 6R6
P: (905) 858-3060 ext. 241 F: (905) 858-3089

Thoroughbred Nominations:

Tom Cosgrove, Thoroughbred Nomination Chair,
Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame
555 Rexdale Blvd., P.O. Box 156
Toronto, ON M9W 5L2
P: (416) 213-2113 F: (416) 213-2128

All submissions will be carefully considered by the Nominating Committee and, if approved, presented to the Election Committee on a ballot for a secret vote. The final list of the 2015 Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame Inductees will be announced on Tuesday, April 7, 2015.

The 2015 Induction Gala will be held Wednesday, August 5th, 2015 at the Mississauga Convention Centre.

The public is invited to visit the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame located at the West Entrance of Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, Ontario. Additional information about the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is available at Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame website or by contacting or 416-417-9404.

(Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame)

February Stakes Payments

Trot Insider has collected industry press releases in regard to stakes payments that are coming due on and around February 15.

This notice will be updated with any new updates as they are received.

Stakes payments to many of these stakes can also be made through SC Stakes Online.Click here for more info on how to get started.



Standardbred Canada’s February 15 Stakes Payment Notice



Standardbred Canada would like to remind owners and trainers that stakes payments are due February 15….read on.



Ontario Sires Stakes Three-Year-Old Payments Due By February 17



Owners of Ontario Sires Stakes-eligible three-year-olds are reminded that February 15 is the deadline for the three-year-old OSS sustaining payment of $700. However, since the 15th falls on a Sunday this year and Monday is a holiday, payments postmarked by Tuesday, February 17 will be accepted….read on.



Woodbine Stakes Payment Reminder



The deadline for nominations to several of the Woodbine Entertainment Group’s major stakes events, including the Pepsi North America Cup, is rapidly approaching….read on.



Meadowlands Stakes Payments Due



Nominations to all Grand Circuit races administered by the Meadowlands Racetrack have a February 15 (February 17 accepted, per USTA rule) postmark deadline….read on.



Hambletonian Society’s Stakes Payments Due



The initial payment deadline for eligibility to more than 127 stakes events at 14 different tracks, headlined by the $1 million Hambletonian at the Meadowlands Racetrack on August 8 and the $5 million Breeders Crown events at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto on October 24, is fast approaching….read on.



Delaware (OH) Payments Due February 17; Announces Meet Changes



On Thursday, February 12, officials with the Little Brown Jug issued a press release in regard to multiple stakes payments that are due February 17. The release also states there will be some minor changes for the annual racing meet at the Delaware County Fairgrounds in Ohio….read on.



Alberta Stakes Payments Coming Due



Officials from the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association have issued a reminder to horsepeople that nominations for the 2015 Prairie Boys and Girls along with the 2015 Bev Sears and As Promised Stakes are due March 1read on.



Adios, Meadows Maturity Payments Due



Officials with the Meadows would like to remind trainers and owners that payments for the 2015 Delvin Miller Adios and for two new stakes, the Meadows Maturity Trots for four-year-olds and up, are due by February 15….read on.



Pennsylvania Payments Due March 15



Officials with the Pennsylvania Harness Racing Commission have issued a reminder to Standardbred horse owners that 2015 sire stakes payments for two-year-old and three-year-old horses are due by March 15….read on.



New Jersey Sire Stakes Payments Due February 17



The deadline for New Jersey Sire Stakes first sustaining payments is the last chance for owners of NJ-sired two-year-old and three-year-old pacers and trotters to be kept eligible to the 2015 Premier and Green Acres racing programs….read on.



Smith Trot Payments Due February 17



First sustaining payments of $200 for the Charles I. Smith Trotting Classic and the filly companion event, the Helen Smith, for three-year-old New Jersey-sired trotters are due on February 17, 2015 to the Standardbred Breeders & Owners Association of New Jersey (SBOANJ)….read on.

(Standardbred Canada)

ORC Urges Cold-Care Vigilance

The Ontario Racing Commission has advised ORC Official Veterinarians and racing officials at all racetracks to remind participants to take the necessary steps to protect the animals.

According to Dr. Adam Chambers, ORC manager of Veterinary Services, any concerns about weather conditions impacting racing should be shared with horsepeople representatives, racing officials, track management and the Official Veterinarian.

There is an established policy of allowing a trainer to scratch their horse should the trainer be concerned about the particular condition of the animal due to weather.

“Racehorses in Canada are conditioned to race in cold weather,” said Dr. Chambers. “However, trainers should adapt for cold weather practices. For example, don’t tie tongues in such a manner that they protrude from the mouth. Tongues are very susceptible to freezing when temperatures drop.”

He also pointed out that horses need to be warmed up adequately. Offering lukewarm water several times a day will counter any reluctance to drink ice-cold water, which can leave some horses dehydrated in winter.

The protection of the health and welfare of the horse is of paramount concern to the ORC and to members of the racing community. An effort to monitor the horse in weather extremes is in keeping with this mandate.


Ontario Breeders Win Document Access

The group of Ontario’s Standardbred breeders currently engaged in legal proceedings against the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corp. (OLG) recently received a decision in their favour from the province’s Superior Court.

On February 9, 2015, Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Emery released his decision in a motion brought by Standardbred breeders seeking broad production of internal documents from Ontario and OLG about the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks Program (SARP). The motion was brought by the breeders in their lawsuit for damages caused by the abrupt cancellation of SARP in March 2012. As described in paragraph 154 of Justice Emery’s decision, the Standardbred breeders have alleged that Ontario and OLG made a systemic series of representations about SARP over a number of years that were ultimately breached when the SARP revenue-sharing partnership was terminated.

Justice Emery ordered Ontario and OLG to make broad productions of un-redacted internal documents relating to the government and OLG decision to cancel SARP without notice in March 2012. These include documents referring to Dalton McGuinty, Kathleen Wynne, Dwight Duncan and Paul Godfrey, their involvement in the cancellation of SARP and the decision to compensate racetracks owners but not breeders.

The Court noted, at paragraph 118, that Ontario and OLG are “significant defendants with significant resources” who “have collected substantial net profits from the slots program at 15 of the 17 racetracks in Ontario after the SARP program was terminated.” The Court determined, at paragraph 135, that “[i]n a case of this magnitude, the law should favour a generous interpretation of disclosure requirements” and that standardbred breeders “are entitled to proper disclosure by each defendant.”

In the words of the Court, at paragraph 135, “[t]his case involves too much money, and too many people whose livelihoods depend on a fair and transparent discovery process.” This decision clears the way for standardbred breeders to finally receive internal documents that will allow them to understand the reasons and motivations behind Ontario and OLG’s decision to terminate SARP in 2012.

The full decision is available in PDF format by clicking here .

(Standardbred Canada)

Woodbine Cancels Thursday

Due to extreme cold temperatures and wind chill, the Thursday, February 12 card of live Standardbred racing at Woodbine Racetrack has been cancelled.

The Friday, February 13 live card will go as planned at 7:25 p.m.

The qualifiers scheduled for Thursday afternoon at Woodbine will now move to Friday, February 13 at 3:30 p.m.

The second leg of the Miss Vera Bars Series, scheduled for this evening (Thursday, February 12), will now be raced Thursday, February 19, while the $35,000 final is set for Thursday, February 26.



WEG Qualifiers Shifted

The Woodbine Entertainment Group would like to advise horsepeople that this week’s qualifying session at Woodbine Racetrack will take place on Friday (January 30) beginning at 4:00 p.m.


OHRIA Thanks Nick Eaves and Welcomes Jim Lawson to its Board

January 19, 2015 - OHRIA Thanks Nick Eaves and Welcomes Jim Lawson to its Board

As he prepares to step down as president and CEO of the Woodbine Entertainment Group, the board of directors of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) would like to thank Nick Eaves for his inspiring and tireless support of the Ontario horse racing industry.
During these last few tumultuous years with the very future of the sport hanging in the balance, Nick provided the kind of passionate leadership that helped stabilize Ontario racing and set it on a path toward sustainability. “His candour, courage and business acumen will be greatly missed by the OHRIA board and we wish him well in future endeavours,” said Sue Leslie, OHRIA President.
According to by-laws, the new Woodbine president will replace Mr. Eaves as an OHRIA director. Therefore, at the end of March, OHRIA will enthusiastically welcome WEG’s soon-to-be interim president, Jim Lawson, to its board.
Mr. Lawson will provide continuity to Woodbine’s contribution to OHRIA’s efforts for a sustainable future and that should bring confidence to the horse racing and breeding industry. “I have been fortunate to know Jim for a long time. He has been deeply involved in negotiations with government and brings a wealth of experience to the OHRIA table,” commented Sue Leslie.


2015 Ontario Sires Stakes Schedule

The 2015 Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) schedule is now available.

Please note that this schedule was drafted with the racing information that is known at this time and is subject to change if necessary. The schedule can be accessed by clicking on the OSS Logo on the COSA website which will take you to the OSS website or it can be accessed in the PDF below.

Draw dates and times, etc. will be entered on the Schedules and Results section of the website in early May when that information has been finalized.

For more information please contact:

Karen Hauver
OSS Administration Coordinator
519 369-3545