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New Ontario Racing Board

Published: October 7, 2016 2:44 pm ET

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On Friday, October 7, ‘Ontario Racing’ announced its new Board of Directors, and also announced that John Snobelen and Michael Keegan have resigned their positions with the organization.

Part of OR’s news item on the subject states that, ‘Ontario Racing expresses its appreciation for the hard work of Michael Keegan and John Snobelen. While both have resigned their positions as directors and are no longer connected to Ontario Racing, their service has laid the foundation for the success of the association.’

The news item explains that the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association has been acting in an advisory capacity to OR. Eight OHRIA directors now comprise Ontario Racing’s Board of Directors (on an interim basis). Those directors are Jim Lawson, Bill O’Donnell, Glenn Sikura, Walter Parkinson, Bob Broadstock, Bruce Barbour, Ted Clarke and Sue Leslie.

Additionally, the release states that as part of the transitional structure, a committee has been struck to create a new permanent governance structure that will be inclusive of industry interests and will be implemented in 2017. The governance committee will work collaboratively with external experts, including legal advisers, on creating a board structure, developing a code of conduct and creating bylaws.

The contents of the Ontario Racing announcement appear below.


ONTARIO RACING WELCOMES NEW TRANSITIONAL BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Ontario Racing, the new industry association for horse racing in Ontario, is pleased to announce a new board of directors.

While the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) has been acting in an advisory capacity to Ontario Racing, the following OHRIA directors now form the board of directors for Ontario Racing on an interim basis:

Sue Leslie
• Ontario Racing President & Secretary (Chair of the Board)
• President, Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA)

Bill O’Donnell
• President, Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA)

Glenn Sikura
• President, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS)

Walter Parkinson
• President, Standardbred Breeders Ontario Association (SBOA)

Jim Lawson
• Chief Executive Officer, Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG)

Bruce Barbour
• Executive Director of Racing Operations, Flamboro Raceway (Great Canadian Gaming)

Ted Clarke
• General Manager, Grand River Raceway

Bob Broadstock
• President, Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. (QROOI)

As part of the transitional structure, a committee has been struck to create a new permanent governance structure that will be inclusive of industry interests and will be implemented in 2017. This governance committee will work collaboratively with external experts, including legal advisers, on creating a board structure, developing a code of conduct and creating bylaws.

As this transition moves forward, Ontario Racing expresses its appreciation for the hard work of Michael Keegan and John Snobelen. While both have resigned their positions as directors and are no longer connected to Ontario Racing, their service has laid the foundation for the success of the association.

Once constituted, the board of directors will elect a new board chair and provide a strong industry perspective in representing the overall interests of the horse racing industry. The new directors represent a wealth of horse racing industry experience and knowledge that will position the association well to successfully tackle the challenging issues facing the industry.

Commitment to Transparency

A common critique of the horseracing industry in Ontario is that there is a lack of transparency and openness regarding decision making and funding. Ontario Racing is committed to doing things differently. To that end, we are sharing and posting on our website the breakdown of the Horse Racing Partnership Program (HRPP) funding, which is transferred from the provincial government to tracks that conduct live racing in Ontario. This information, found below, forms the beginning of what will be regular disclosures. As we move forward, this information will be found on a new section of the OR website and regularly distributed.


(With files from Ontario Racing)


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