Jack Darling's Blog
Seeking Answers On Purses
Published: July 8, 2016 9:17 am ET
Last Comment: July 13, 2016 7:26 pm ET | 24 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments
The harness racing industry in Ontario needs a boost in purses to be the strong and viable industry that we and the government want and there is a certain amount of urgency to it.
As we all know, expenses are high and purses have to be at a certain level to justify investment. A lot has been discussed recently about developing ways to attract new owners to the business. The best and only way to do this in my opinion is to make the purses adequate enough to give them a chance to make a profit. WEG needs to have purses big enough to keep the best quality horses here in Ontario so they can continue to provide the best quality of racing in North America. Purses at the signature tracks are at a level that allows for a break-even situation at best. The purses at the smaller tracks are not economical at all and basically ensure failure.
The reason I bring this up now is this: I was recently asked to participate in the writing of a letter to the Alliance, Government and the old OHRIA requesting a purse increase for horsemen. This was eight weeks ago and unfortunately we still have not received a proper response despite marking the letter URGENT. There is a province-wide underpayment of several million dollars, money that is desperately needed by horsemen and owners. This money is ours and we shouldn't have to go to these people begging for it but that is what we are faced with. This money has been just sitting there doing nobody any good and should be released right away to stimulate our industry as well as the Ontario economy. Getting this money in circulation is what we all need.
After several meetings and still no satisfactory response, Bill O'Donnell, Jim Wellwood, Mark Horner along with Sue Leslie are meeting with John Snobelen and Ontario Racing next Thursday to try to get some action on this. We are talking about a significant increase to purses here and I hope we have overwhelming support from horsepeople and I ask Mr. Snobelen and OR to act quickly on our request.
It would be helpful if you let your feelings be known to Ontario Racing and Mr. Snobelen.
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