July 22, 2014

CHRHF 2014 Induction Gala – Less Than 3 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)

Driver Paul MacKenzie Spearheads Fundraising Effort Along with GCG Execs To Aid JJJ Stables

Driver Paul MacKenzie has spearheaded a fundraising effort with a group of drivers for this Saturday at Georgian Downs, and he’s asking others to consider similar efforts.

In support of JJJ Stables’ tragic barn fire in British Columbia, drivers at Georgian Downs will donate their driver’s fees on Saturday, June 14. Taking part in the donation drive this Saturday are MacKenzie, Travis Henry, Robert Shepherd, Scott Coulter, Steve Byron, Dan Clements, Bob McClure and Scott Young.

MacKenzie told Trot Insider that would like to see drivers and tracks follow suit either this weekend or at a later date.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen and we’re just trying to help out,” said MacKenzie, hoping these actions inspire others as well.

In addition to the initiative taken on by Georgian Downs drivers, Bruce Barbour, executive director of Racing Operations for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, has committed $500 to start the ball rolling. Barbour is challenging all racing officials to match or contribute as much as possible.

At the time of writing Chuck Keeling, VP of Stakeholder Relations for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, has accepted the challenge and has matched the $500 donation.

(With files from GCGC and Standardbred Canada)

OHRIA Congratulates Kathleen Wynne on Election

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) is congratulating Premier Kathleen Wynne on her election last night.
“We’ve worked closely with Premier Wynne over the last year and a half and will continue to work with her and her government to successfully integrate horse racing into the province’s gaming strategy and to ensure the industry and government can have a meaningful partnership going forward,” said Sue Leslie, President and Chair of OHRIA.
Central to Kathleen Wynne’s plans to reduce the deficit, growing revenue will prove important, and the horse racing and breeding sector are proven partners for the government in this regard.
“The horse racing and breeding sector have and will continue to work with all MPPs from all parties to ensure a bright future for our sector and that horse racing and breeding are contributing positively to both the government’s revenues and the province’s economy,” Leslie added.


Equine Guelph’s Farm Fire Safety Tips

Equine Guelph has announced a list of farm safety tips for everyone looking to minimize fire risks on their properties or in their barns and stables.

Barn fires are every horse owner’s worst nightmare, one that can bring significant emotional and economic loss. The most reliable approach to fire safety is to plan for the worst by having solid procedures in place for fire prevention and adhere to them daily.

Fire is caused when a ‘fuel’ and ‘ignition’ source meet. Hay, bedding, and wooden materials are common examples of fuel found on the farm, while improperly-cured hay, electrical malfunctions, and carelessness with smoking are common sources of ignition. Practicing protection and prevention techniques will help keep these two elements from contact.

Data released in 2012 by the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management in Ontario indicated $57.6 million in losses in buildings classified under the National Farm Building Code in 2007, notes Ralph Snyder, Assistant District Chief of the Adjala-Tosorontio Fire Department. This represents a 67.4 per cent increase over the previous year’s loss of $34.4 million due to fire. With the evolution toward large-scale farming and associated farm buildings increasing in value, the financial losses continue to climb.

“When these large structures catch fire, they are more difficult to control and extinguish, resulting in greater financial losses to both the structure and its contents,” he adds.

Electrical malfunctions are a primary ignition source for many fires, including barns, advises Snyder. “Farm buildings can be at an increased risk because of the corrosive environment found in livestock barns,” he says. “This causes corrosion of exposed metal components (such as wires, connections, etc.), which creates increased resistance and heat at wiring connections. This can result in ignition of surrounding combustible materials. The Electrical Safety Authority has stringent requirements for installation of electrical equipment in animal confinement areas.”

In order to offset any potential fire hazards, Snyder recommends having an annual electrical inspection done by a qualified electrician to check for signs of deterioration or corrosion and repair any issues that are found.

In addition, all electrical wiring, switches, or plugs should be placed well out of a horse’s reach and covered in weatherproof boxes or conduit. All light fixtures should be caged and approved for stable use. When not in use, electrical equipment should be unplugged and properly stored away. Special attention should be paid to water bucket heaters, as they continue to heat even when the water bucket is empty. This could result in the plastic melting and igniting stall bedding and hay.

“In our experience, we find that barn fires seem to be more prevalent in cold weather conditions,” states MacPherson. “For example, the heating/electrical system can be taxed pertaining to drinking water freezing and thawing, and allowing the watering buckets to run dry. This leaves the elements exposed causing bedding or other combustible material to ignite. We have also found that in the fall months, improper storage of fall crops contain too much moisture and spontaneous combustion occurs in the stored feed.”

MacPherson says the best way to combat stable fires is to identify all potential ignition sources and take the necessary steps to eliminate them. This starts with good housekeeping, which includes installing a fire detection system and keeping the system functional and operational by keeping the sensors clean and in good working order.

“Depending on the value associated with your stable, a dry sprinkler system with the connection outside the barn for fire department connection, or an independent pump system, would be a valuable tool to stop the spread of fire,” he says.

Other important housekeeping steps include keeping the stable clean and free of clutter such as cobwebs and dust, which are excellent fuel sources. Any loose hay or straw should be swept up and disposed of properly. The removal of potential combustible materials also includes the trimming of weeds, grasses and brush from around buildings and regular removal of rubbish. Equip all buildings with a minimum five pound ‘ABC’ fire extinguisher at all exits and in any mechanical and feed rooms, and make sure employees know how to use one.

Another important tip is to regularly maintain farm equipment and have it stored in a separate building. It is also recommended that hay and bedding be stored in a building separate from where the horses are kept or that it be restricted to a separate section of the stable separated by a firewall. Enforce a ‘no smoking’ policy in and around the facility and post signs prohibiting this where they can be easily seen.

“We highly suggest that every stabled horse has a halter that fits hanging on their stall door with the lead rope attached,” he says. “Leather is preferable, as a nylon halter can melt in the heat. Consider marking each halter with glow-in-the-dark paint or attaching reflectors to assist during times of poor visibility.”

MacPherson strongly recommends that farm owners prepare a site-specific fire safety plan, known as a ‘pre-plan.’ This would include mapping out the location of where all animals are being housed, as well as the location of all emergency utility shutoffs, and identifying all buildings on the property and sources of water available, should firefighters require access to it.

“Have a detailed fire plan, which includes listing the location of combustibles and where feed is stored, with a copy given to your local fire department for their pre-plans,” he says. This would greatly assist firefighters in familiarizing themselves with your property before a fire happens.

Stable owners can consult with their local fire department for advice on preparing a pre-plan and obtain information on fire prevention. Most fire departments will visit your farm if invited and point out ways to minimize potential fuel sources on their property. This would be especially beneficial before one begins to renovate their stable or build a new facility.

There is no such thing as a fireproof building, and no matter how well you prepare, accidents can happen. Develop a fire emergency plan ahead of time, keep it readily accessible and practice the plan prior to any emergency, as these steps will assist in keeping you and your horses safe. In case of fire, it’s important to remain calm, call 911, and proceed with the emergency plan. Once the fire crew arrives, step aside, wait for direction, and let the professionals do what they’re trained to do. For further information on preparing an emergency plan, please refer to ‘When Disaster Strikes, Plan to be Prepared.’

In case of an emergency, Snyder recommends that the stable’s physical address be posted in a prominent place, preferably by the phone should someone who is not familiar with the address be making the emergency 911 call. Also make sure that the address can be easily seen from both directions of the road in order to get the fastest response.

“Always keep an open roadway around the perimeter of buildings for access by heavy firefighting equipment, and then keep it well-maintained so that it is accessible year around,” he says.

Every stable user should have fire safety in mind. Plan ahead with fire prevention practices and have an up-to-date pre-plan on hand to help to reduce the risk of fire.

“Education of fire prevention awareness is fundamental to both the property owner and hired hands,” says MacPherson. “Internet information from reputable sources such as universities and colleges of agriculture offer valuable information, as well as discussing any concerns with your local fire department.”

Want to learn more? Equine Guelph will be hosting an Emergency Preparedness Workshop for Horse Owners in Guelph on September 18 followed by a Technical Large Animal Emergency Rescue Awareness and Operations Level Course on September 19, 20, 21.

(Equine Guelph, Standardbred Canada)

Coleman Steps Up For Davis Family

Bill Davis was one of the first responders when Casie Coleman sustained serious burns in a barn fire in 2000. Now, with Davis’ stable having been decimated after a deadly barn fire in B.C. this past weekend, Coleman and some of her partners are doing what they can to help get the Davis Stable back on its feet.

Casie Coleman has announced that the ownership groups behind top stallions Sportswriter and Betterthancheddar are donating one breeding to each stallion with the funds going to the Davis Family.

“Sportswriter stands for $4,000 in Ontario at Tara Hills Stud, and ‘Cheddar’ stands for $4,500 in New York at Winbak Farm,” said Coleman.

The O’Brien Award winning trainer explained that Sportswriter’s 2014 book is full and closed right now, so this is your last chance to get in.

“The winning bidder may breed this year or next year to the stallions,” said Coleman, who also stated that the connections prefer that the breedings take place this year, as money will be needed to be paid up front for the Davis Family to get back on their feet.

Coleman has directed all bidding on the stallions to take place on a Facebook page that has been created for the initiative.

A total of 17 Standardbreds are confirmed to have lost their lives in the Langley, B.C. blaze which left the Davis Stable and the J J J Stables decimated.

Efforts are currently underway to help aid the Davis Family and J J J Stables, one of the province’s largest breeder/owner operations.

Global News has reported that a trust fund has been set up for the family. Donations can be made to ‘The Davis Family Trust’ at any Aldergrove Credit Union. Money or E-transfers can be sent to billdavisfamilytrust@gmail.com with the password being ‘mornasbigboy’.

The article goes on to explain that supporters will also be holding a pub night on June 18 at the Langley Town Hall to raise money. Tickets can be purchased at A & T Equestrian. Organizers are also searching for prizes and sponsors for this event, along with equipment for harness racing, buckets, halters, stall gates, fly masks, sprays, grooming kits and all of the items necessary for horse ownership. Items can be dropped at A & T Equestrian at 4615 190 Street Cloverdale.

In addition, horseman Walter Slopianka is currently helping spearhead efforts to support those affected by the fire. For those in Alberta, Slopianka can be contacted by phone at 780-996-9711 or by email at wbslopianka@gmail.com. Those in B.C. can contact Donna Cunningham at 604-626-6934. Slopianka explained that an account will be set up as well to take any financial donations. Information will be posted available as soon as possible.

Candidates Respond To OHRIA Survey

The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association has received some immediate response to the letter from Sue Leslie sent by email to all Ontario election candidates this past weekend.

OHRIA is posting the responses to support that have been received on the value4money.ca website and will continue to post the responses at they are received.

Also attached is the Ontario PC Plan for Horse Racing Jobs which was sent by a couple of the candidates who have responded.


Todd McCarthy – Ontario PC Candidate for the riding of Ajax-Pickering

“Count on me and the Ontario PC Party as the next MPP for Ajax-Pickering to stand up for your 60.000 member industry. We will restore the Slots at RaceTracks revenue sharing plan that was cancelled by the Liberal govt. I have pledged my unwavering support to Barry Picov and Bob Broadstock of Ajax Downs.”

Michael Ceci – Ontario PC Candidate for Willowdale

“While there are no horse racing tracks in my riding of Willowdale, the Ontario PC Party and I support Ontario’s horse racing industry. If elected, a PC government and I would work towards reversing the damages done to the industry by the McGuinty-Wynne Liberal governments. You can read our plan for horse racing jobs in the attached document. We’ve got a job to do. It’s time to get Ontario working better.”

Toby Barrett – Ontario PC MPP for the riding of Haldimand-Norfolk-Brant

“Mr. Barrett is behind the horse racing industry. Answers to questionnaires will come from the central party.”

Adam DeVita – Ontario NDP Candidate for Richmond Hill

Q1. Do you agree with this statement and will you support racetracks as sites for expanded gaming centres?
A1: We support the Slots at Racetracks Program. It makes sense to increase the enjoyment and excitement of race day with other festivities and games.

Q2. Do you think integrating horse racing, and specifically racetracks, into the OLG’s Modernization Strategy is the best option to maintain a sustainable horseracing industry? If not, what do you think is the best option
A2: I think the OLG’s Modernization Strategy was created for the purpose of expanding revenue to the government at the expense of other priorities, a sustainable horse racing industry and related jobs being one of them.

Q3. As a way of ensuring that HORSERACING remain sustainable, do you agree that racetracks should have the first right of refusal to host a new casino before
building new casinos in the same region?
A3: We are committed to openly consult with citizens about potential casino locations. This question seems to presume that there would be new casinos.

Q4. Do you believe the horse racing industry is economically important for the
province and would provide a better opportunity for increasing gaming revenue for the province than building new casinos?
A4: Yes.

Q5. Do you believe a revenue sharing partnership is the best way to ensure long-term support and viability of horse racing in Ontario? If no, what do you believe is a better option?
A5: Yes.

Jeff Yurek – PC MPP for Elgin-Middlesex-London

Yurek pledged his support for racing.

Celia Ross – Ontario NDP Candidate for Sault Ste. Marie

“There was outrage across rural Ontario when the McGuinty government (of which Kathleen Wynne and Ted McMeekin were senior cabinet ministers) abruptly announced the end of the ‘Slots at the Racetracks’ program – devastating the horse racing industry.

Ontario’s seventeen tracks provided $3.7 billion in revenue over the past 15 years: a critical industry for our province and its third largest agricultural industry next to dairy and beef. In 2012, Flamboro Downs supported 176 direct racing jobs, 250 race-day positions and provided about $4.5 million in revenue to the municipality; by 2013 as a result of the McGuinty-Wynne-McMeekin reorganization of the industry, Flamboro Downs went from 188 races down to 100.

Ontario’s New Democrats understand the horse racing industry is vital for tens of thousands of direct and indirect jobs in rural Ontario. Failing to consult and prepare industry for major changes doesn’t make sense. The Ontario NDP has called on government to re-introduce the SARP until a better plan could be agreed on in consultation with industry. Communities have made it clear that they do not want casinos that the Liberals were trying to force on them. The Ontario NDP is committed to a vibrant future for the horse racing industry and our agricultural sector.”

Garfield Dunlop – Ontario PC MPP Simcoe North

“I trust you know I’m fully behind the OHRIA, and recognize the magnitude of the challenge facing the industry as a result of the Liberals devastating cuts.

I hope to have the opportunity to continue working with groups like the OHRIA in the next legislature.”

John J. Martins – Ontario People Party Candidate for Etobicoke Centre

Q1.Do you agree with this statement and will you support racetracks as sites for expanded gaming centres?
A1: Yes, I would like to expand gaming centre to all racetracks

Q2. Do you think integrating horse racing, and specifically racetracks, into the OLG’s Modernization Strategy is the best option to maintain a sustainable horseracing industry? If not, what do you think is the best option
A2: It’s certainly a good option, so yes….I would like to secure the future of Fort Erie Race Track by seeking an historical designation and run it like Saratoga “Festival Days” model………..Parks Canada to trustee the track.

Q3. As a way of ensuring that HORSERACING remain sustainable, do you agree that racetracks should have the first right of refusal to host a new casino before building new casinos in the same region?
A3: Yes absolutely

Q4. Do you believe the horse racing industry is economically important for the province and would provide a better opportunity for increasing gaming revenue for the province than building new casinos?
A4: It was working fine before the Liberals killed SARP. Woodbine was becoming the star in North America attracting investment from America trainers. Now without SARP they have gone home.

Q5. Do you believe a revenue sharing partnership is the best way to ensure long-term support and viability of horse racing in Ontario? If no, what do you believe is a better option?
A5: Yes it’s the best option. If it isn’t broken…don’t fix it !

Donna Skelly – Ontario PC Candidate for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale

Skelly pledged her support for racing.

Ontario PC Plan For Horse Racing Jobs

Kathleen Wynne’s Pledge for Horse Racing

(OHRIA, Standardbred Canada)