August 1, 2014

Ontario Racing Commission Now Reports To OMAFRA

The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) will be reporting to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA), effective immediately. The announcement of the ministry change was included in a news release which indicated that an agreement in principle has been made between the Government of Ontario and Woodbine Entertainment Group.

ORC Chair Seiling has already had communications with Minister McMeekin and ORC Executive Director Steve Lehman has spoken with a number of senior OMAFRA personnel. As it has with other ministries, the ORC looks forward to building a strong working relationship with OMAFRA.

The ORC will continue to support and be a resource to OMAFRA as the racing industry works to move to a more self-sustaining model.

For further information, please contact Rod Seiling at the Ontario Racing Commission at: 416 213-0520.

(ORC)

Dr. Anne Walker Appointed To ORC

Chair of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) Rod Seiling has announced that Anne Walker, BSc, MSc, DVM, JD of Beamsville, Ont. has been appointed by the Government of Ontario as a member of the ORC for a period of two (2) years, effective September 12, 2012.

Dr. Walker is a practising civil litigation lawyer and veterinarian. She has also owned, bred and raced Thoroughbreds for many years. “I have loved horses and horse racing all my life. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to contribute to the success and integrity of this sport, and the welfare of those individuals and horses who make it all possible.”

She obtained a Bachelor of Science (Honours), Biology, First Class, from York University, followed by a Master of Science in Clinical Pathology and a DVM, with Honours, from the Ontario Veterinary College in 1986. After working for a number of years, she returned to the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto where she obtained a law degree in 2000.

Chair Seiling is very pleased to welcome a Commissioner with such a varied background.

“Dr. Walker’s experience and insight will provide valued input to the regulatory process. We all look forward to her joining the governing Board at such a critical time for horse racing in Ontario.”

(ORC)

Open Letter From Ontario Racing Commission Chair Rod Seiling

 

From Chair Rod Seiling
Ontario Racing Commission

The announcement by the government on February 13, 2012, ending the Slots at Racetracks Program, has created uncertainty for the industry including the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC). As was announced, however, the status quo does remain until March 31, 2013, when the slots program expires.

During this time the ORC will continue to enforce the Rules of Racing, protect the health and welfare of the horse and the racing participants, oversee racing through the Ontario Racing Program and administer industry programs such as the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Quarter Horse Program.

With respect to the Horse Improvement Programs and the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program, there will be no structural changes to the programs for 2012. Stakes races will be run as advertised, purses and rewards will be paid, and development programs, particularly in the area of developing the wagering product, will go ahead. Moving forward, the ORC will be working with each breed group to help them shape their programs for the future. The ORC understands the uncertainty and the need for clarity, and will work with the industry to identify the immediate needs of the breeding community, as well as the future of these important programs. The long term viability of horse racing in Ontario, it goes without saying, is dependent on a reliable supply of quality horses.

The ORC will continue to provide the same high standard of regulation the industry both expects and demands. As to the future, the ORC will, as it has in the past, structure itself to meet the demands that the new Ontario horse racing industry will require of its regulator. The government has made it clear in communications to the ORC that it will require this commission to provide regulatory oversight for horse racing in Ontario.

Sincerely,
Rod Seiling