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Robert Burgess, Letter to John Snobelen, March 3, 2014

Published: March 5, 2014 8:43 am ET

Last Comment: March 11, 2014 12:26 pm ET | 28 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

A False Sense of Hope for the Standardbred Industry

If you are a reader of our industry’s websites, you will have read two recent major news reports on the status of the industry from John Snobelen and Sue Leslie. These enthusiastic news reports by two of our industry leaders were embellished during a follow-up joint interview with Norm Borg that is also available on the above sites.

As we perhaps head into a spring election, the above reports and releases issued by Mr. Snobelen and Ms. Leslie speak with great enthusiasm of “many positive advancements” and good news” that have been achieved to help Standardbred racing recover from the destruction imposed by the prior Liberal government through Mr. McGuinty and Mr. Duncan. From the perspective of a lawyer working everyday with horsepeople and industry participants, I cannot let this talk of “many positive advancements” pass without critical comment.

Standardbred purse levels (and therefore our business) were and are half of what they were pre-March 2012. We still do not share revenues from the slots, our most significant competitor for wagering dollars. The overriding anomaly is that this slot competitor still operates its business and still occupies our racetrack premises without compensation to any of the horsepeople. I suggest this is not a “positive advancement” or any kind of progress whatever.

While the Government of Ontario and its Transition Panel congratulate themselves for the temporary lifelines they are presently throwing to some racetracks in the province, our industry continues to die, farmers and horsemen are going bankrupt, and farms and homes are being lost.

Until this Liberal Government’s decision to cancel the Slots at Racetracks Program, we had a thriving industry that proudly supported 60,000 good, honest jobs in this province and generated more than $1.1 billion dollars a year for the Province of Ontario through SARP. Premier Wynne sat at the Cabinet table that cancelled SARP in 2012 and, in her year as Premier, has done very little to undo or remediate the damage done to our industry. The time to help is NOW.

The Government’s attempt thus far to mitigate the damage to our industry appears to have been designed to make Premier Wynne seem helpful to horse racing as she re-thinks another idea she fully embraced as a Minister in Premier McGuinty’s government. I cannot endorse what this Government has done for our industry by way of re-mediation to date. I am deeply concerned that our so-called industry leaders, such as OHRIA in the recent “Update” are prepared to compliment and praise the Province on what it’s done. The current industry realities are in fact to the contrary.

Thousands of people are unemployed. Breeding has substantially halted. Except for isolated examples horses are fetching far less than they have in previous years. Purses are down. A number of tracks are finding it difficult to run full cards or even operate. And yet the industry is supposed to be proud and appreciative of the work of this Government.

Our industry is dying and none of what Premier Wynne has announced to date is going to fix it, especially when the modernization strategy of the OLG is still on the table.

Standardbred horsepeople are being given by far the worst deal in all of this and aren’t being apparently heard by this Government or the OLG. It is our tracks that are going to be put out of business when competing casinos are built in their gaming zones and the slot machines are removed from racetrack locations.
You may recall that I wrote the Premier on December 20, 2013 seeking to make her aware of some of the current industry realities and the destruction that was taking place. I received a reply under date January, 21, 2014 from Premier Wynne appending a response to me from John Snobelen, as one of the Government’s Transition Panelists.

In his response, forwarded to me by the Premier, Mr. Snobelen states that the three-man Transition Panel had reached a conclusion that the SARP “was poor public policy.” Mr. Snobelen stated that his Panel had, in part, relied on the June 2008 Sadinsky Report in arriving at their opinion that SARP was poor public policy.

Everyone in racing knows that one of the main findings contained in the carefully researched Sadinsky Report emphasized the exact opposite of that being espoused by Mr. Snobelen at present. The Sadinsky Report reads:

“The Sadinsky panel fully supports the continuation of the Slots at Racetracks program at a minimum level of 20% of the revenue generated from slot machines.”

One would assume Mr. Snobelen would have read Dr. Sadinsky’s opinion on the real value of SARP. However, it now appears that the present Ontario Government may have been misled by its own three-man Panel on this fundamental issue. The current Transition Panel obviously chose not to follow or respect Dr. Sadinksy’s extensive professional research in regard to the positive merits of SARP.

As a consequence, Ontario’s Standardbred racing can no longer compete with racing in various neighbouring American states to the south, many of whom have essentially adopted SARP-type programs modeled on our former Ontario system. Hence our Ontario handle is down some 40% and the Ontario Treasury has been deprived of millions of dollars. Mr Snobelen and the Transition Panel should take notice.

Additionally, Mr Snobelen in his same letter of response to me also makes the following radical statement and proposition:

“You, (Robert Burgess) have been suggested that purses are the key economic driver of the horse racing industry. I, (John Snobelen) would respectfully disagree.”

If Mr. Snobelen and the Panel really believe this to be the case and really believe that purses are NOT THE KEY ECONOMIC DRIVER OF THE ONTARIO HORSE RACING INDUSTRY, then all is lost.

Should Mr. Snobelen be allowed, on a go-forward basis, to manage and govern Standardbred racing in Ontario based on his incredible misconception that purses are of secondary importance; then there is no hope or future for the Standardbred industry in Ontario.

We cannot race for blankets, ribbons or accolades. Our business is neither a hobby nor a toy for governmental or social experimentation.

On the contrary, Ontario Standardbred racing is a major sporting business involving the livelihoods of thousands of hardworking horsepeople, breeders, farmers and tradespeople. It is the racing purses that pay the training bills, the stable help and provide the funds to purchase breeding stock, new yearlings and new racehorses.

It is race purses that pay for the hay, grain, pickup trucks, trailers, stud fees, fuel and everything else that is required to sustain racehorse trainers, owners and breeders in our proud business here in Ontario.

In conclusion, Ontario Standardbred racing can no longer afford to experiment with non-competitive purses and inadequate race dates just because we continue to be deprived of the share of slot revenues that was allocated to us in our former partnership with the Ontario Government.

If you care about our industry, I urge you not to accept these “positive advancements” and the “good news” above offered by John Snobelen and by Sue Leslie.

Campbellville, Ontario, March 3, 2014
Robert B. Burgess

The views presented in Trot Blogs are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Standardbred Canada.

March 11, 2014 - 12:26 pmI see that a large group of

murray brown SAID...

I see that a large group of concerned Ontario Breeders has finally taken the bull by the horns and filed suit against the OLG. Hopefully its not too late. Other for waiting far too long, my only other wish would have been to also file suit against those individuals who brought our industry to its knees.

March 10, 2014 - 11:16 amI just want to say Ron you

john smith SAID...

I just want to say Ron you really do have something
there.There is an old saying,follow the money trail
and it will lead you to the truth about what´s really
going on.
Does anyone know what is going on with the Auditor
General´s Report on the Horse Racing Industry in Ontario?
I thought perhaps it would have been released by now.
One last thing Ron it is the hard working men and women
in this province and country that are the major
contributors as well as supporters of its welfare.
Just remember that it´s the tax dollars from our hard
earned money that pays the salaries of these people
who are supposed to be representing our best interest
and maybe they aught to think long and hard about that.

March 9, 2014 - 10:55 amI agree with Mr. Gangle 100%.

Carolyn Rae SAID...

I agree with Mr. Gangle 100%. We must in some way, contact Mr. Burgess, and arrange a meeting with him, with as many attending as possible, to see what his best advice would be going forward. Hopefully, Mr. Burgess is in agreement, and can, at this meeting, tell us what is needed on our part, and what sort of costs we are looking at. Perhaps we would only need to muster up a retainer to start, if the advice is that we have a better than 50% chance at winning. That being the case, the lawyers (or team of lawyers, if that is what Mr. Burgess thinks we need) may be willing to take, if not all, then at least some their fees out of the settlement agreement, and set up a representative group from each sector of our industry, with Mr. Burgess as the "chair" and spokesman for the group, since he is experienced in every sector of our industry. Too bad we didn't have any representation from the standardbred industry on the "Horse Racing Transition Panel", rather than Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing representation only. Plainly, these two sectors of Horse Racing in Ontario came out of this unscathed! As I am retired now, I am very willing to assist with fact finding, "digging" or clerical that may be required/requested by Mr. Burgess "free of charge".

March 9, 2014 - 10:05 amYou and me both Ron.

You and me both Ron.

March 8, 2014 - 5:59 pm“You, (Robert Burgess) have

Sean DeMarco SAID...

“You, (Robert Burgess) have been suggested that purses are the key economic driver of the horse racing industry. I, (John Snobelen) would respectfully disagree.”

Robert Burgess's response : "We cannot race for blankets, ribbons or accolades. Our business is neither a hobby nor a toy for governmental or social experimentation."

I honestly can't believe John Snobelen said what he said?

March 7, 2014 - 12:22 pmMr.Burgess again your ihsight

john smith SAID...

Mr.Burgess again your ihsight and facts are absolutely right
on the money.The SARP has been scrubbed,reduced racing dates
as well as purse monies has left the industry in shambles.
Now Mr.Snobelin and the transition panel have stated that purses
are not the key econonic driver in horse racing......well what
the heck is?
I thought that a strong economy was based on sound and financially
stable business operations,strong work force with growth potential.
Countless jobs have been lost already,operations either shutting
down or close to it.
The transition panel and others in gov.t. have ignored well thought
out studies such as Dr.Sadinsky´s professional research regarding
the positive merits of SARP.
These people seem to want us to get that warm and fuzzy feeling
from this,goose bumps and believe that everyuthing is just
TICKITY BOO,well its not.

March 7, 2014 - 10:56 amMy Response is to Paul

Jamie Higgs SAID...

My Response is to Paul Gangle:

Great thoughts Paul. I just want to add, If we can get everyone together on the same page. If we have an election in the Spring we need to lobby Queens Park like all the big players do. The NDP's public policy is to restore the slots program and I believe PC's have stated the same although now working with their buddy Godfrey. Whoever will have the best and most beneficial plan for both parties Should get a recommendation from the Horse Industry groups for all Horse Industry participants to vote that way. We now in my opinion have some leverage and with the 10's of 1000's of Horse Industry participants voting, Could mean a win or a loss for ridings in Rural Ontario. One would think they would fight for our votes if we all vote together.

March 7, 2014 - 7:52 amBob, through all of this you

Greg Perry SAID...

Bob, through all of this you have been the one voice of reason that makes sense for the horse people of Ontario. You can see by the positive comments here that most agree with your assessment of the situation. While many sit by and wait for the government to throw whatever scraps they want at us, you have led the charge to expose the falsehoods told by our government, the transition panel, and even some of our own representatives. If Ontario horse people are to be represented by one voice as has been suggested, I would hope that you would be part of that team. If lawsuits are a tool that should be employed please get them started now.

March 6, 2014 - 7:03 pmI have no more license or

I have no more license or horses, but I am with you on this 100% Mr. Gangle,in my point of view this is what has to be done. I dislike seeing people manipulated this way by a government(some people in the government) that want to fill their pockets along with their friends pockets, at the expenses of the horse people and the tax payers.

March 6, 2014 - 6:42 pmI do not know why you people

I do not know why you people (horse people)cannot look into the formation of a commission like the (Charbonneau Commission in Quebec that is looking into the corruption in the construction business in quebec)and have them look into the corruption in the government concerning the horse racing business, GOD knows there has to be some corruption when they start taking the bread out of the mouths of your family's.Let me ask you something, what is the greatest contribution to the welfare of our country,is it some JERK who breaks his promise and CONS his fellow man,or the ordinary fellow who pays his share and wants to make a living in what he has always done to feed his or her family.Have a good day, I wish I was 50 years younger and knew what I know today.

March 6, 2014 - 11:44 amGive'em hell, Bob. But the

Give'em hell, Bob. But the hand writing is already on the wall. The panel was hired by the Liberals to "pacify" us for the time being. The only solution is to do what the doctors did and that is..... FILE A CLASS ACTION SUIT.... for disrupting our businesses and livelihoods. As you know, we only have up to the end of March to do that due to the TWO YEAR statute of limitations. The SBOA is taking that approach and we should too. The gov't understands the implications of a legal action and will have to deal with it through the courts. The doctors got immediate results because the gov't didn't want to deal with them in the courts and possibly lose face. We have "pussyfooted" enough with this inept gov't and it's time to play HARDBALL. I think that there is enough support out there to accomplish this because of people who have devoted their entire lives and invested vast sums of money in the racing industry only to have the rug pulled out from under them without any consultation..... TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE...... The members of OHHA and COSA need to unite, put our differences aside and get on with preserving the Standardbred industry on a united front. Impose a reasonable fee throughout the membership to retain legal counsel and let's get on with it. Ask Bob Burgess to be our liason to deal with the lawyers, if he's willing, and let's take action NOW. Also let's invite the breeders in this action as well, as they were also adversely affected along with the rest of us. I am positive that a law suit, if filed, in the amount of a couple of billion dollars or more, would make the gov't "sit up in the buggy and take notice." These are my thoughts on this situation and I rest my case.

P.S. I invite any and all opinions with regard to this approach.

March 6, 2014 - 10:23 amThe time to remove the slots,

Brett Wright SAID...

The time to remove the slots, is not now, it was in March 2012. Each track should have locked the casino, shut them down and our bargaining power would have been a lot stronger than it is now. We are on the outside looking in. Ms. Wynne, keeps saying that the industry was too successful... what kind of logic is that. If this was the steel or auto industry you could bet your last dollar the government would be there to prop them up. Let just hope that a new government will have a different take on I see it, it’s our only hope.

March 6, 2014 - 6:26 amI would like to share with

jim rigg SAID...

I would like to share with you my thoughts and suggestions: First as always thanks to Mr. Burgess for His continued efforts! The SBOA has undertaken legal action and it will be an uphill battle for them and we should support them in any we can. Perhaps everyone could contact Ms. Candice Malcolm, She is the Director of the Ontario Taxpayers Federation and a former employee of Sun News, Her Email is [email protected] I would hope the Sun News Team make this plight of ours front and center the way they covered the Chief Spence Diet thing! This Govt and Panel has preached Transparency etc. for two years now and yet after asking MPP's a simple question "Why was Godfrey fired? and "Did He receive a severance package? Nobody seems to know or are afraid to ask! If we can get the Sun News Team behind us then we may have a chance to sway the public to see the wrong that has been done to us.

March 5, 2014 - 9:05 pmWell Written Mr. Burgess. It

brian hancox SAID...

Well Written Mr. Burgess. It is an absolute travesty that those appointed to Premier Wynne's three member panel no so little about the racing industry. I personally felt this way when Sue Leslie was telling horsemen from the get go to just remain calm that the Liberal Government needed time to come out with a plan for Horse Racing and that horsepeople need to give them a chance. Well to do horsemen that are not having to worry about losing their life long savings said change is good, give the liberals a chance everything will be all right. Now we all see where taken the Industry.

For John Snobelen and Sue Leslie to know so little about racing is a sin. Why don't they just come out and tell the truth. Once the casino's are built, operating and losing money, and they will, racing will be cut loose from all Government funding. The bonus for the Liberal government is that
the casino's will be financing the next election. Just wait and see.

John Snobelen needs someone to sit down and draw a cirle like the face of a watch. From this diagram Mr.Snobelen might possibly begin to understand and comprehend that racing is indeed a circle. If you have the purses you will get the horses, if you get the horses you will get the people,if you get the people you will get the bet and if you get the bet you fund the purses. That is what racing is all about "The Circle." Always has been and always will be.

March 5, 2014 - 6:07 pmAs always Mr. Burgess is

As always Mr. Burgess is correct in all he says and I must commend him on wording his letter in a simple and precise manner for all to understand, unlike other statements submitted about our industry. As Mr. Hill and Mr. Lantz said OHRIA is happy because thoroughbred racing appears secure, with exuberant purses. It appears 10% of the horseracing industry races for the lions share of money available. If the thoroughbred industry was to race for purses solely generated by itself it would fold like a house of cards. I feel all money infused into the industry by government should be on a percentage of participants in each of the 3 areas of horseracing. It has always amused me that the thoroughbreds can race for twice as much per card as the standardbreds on the WEG circuit

March 5, 2014 - 6:02 pmAs a long time standardbred

Dave Nicol SAID...

As a long time standardbred horseman I always look forward to the next honest comments of our industry from someone who always separates the wheat from the chaff, our own Mr. Burgess. Some of this constant drivel from the so called EXPERTS? providing advice to government at a cost of $$$$$$$$$$$$. As a taxpayer this ongoing waste frustrates me no end! All the ongoing lost unemployment in this industry has to be paid for by all of us to the tune of $$$$$? I wish I knew, or maybe I*m better off not knowing. I*d still rather pay them for working and paying taxes than WELFARE! Watching most of our competitors using the ONTARIO template to increase their incomes is a concern, it wasn*t that long ago we were at the top of this heap! Stay healthy Mr. Burgess and keep talking.

March 5, 2014 - 3:29 pmJohn Snobelen is doing

John Hill SAID...

John Snobelen is doing exactly what he is been told to do, put a happy face on this whole slot fiasco and make it look like the industry is ok. This whole thing still reeks of Paul Godfrey and Larry Tannenbaum as the poiticians are ignoring the facts and continue blindly in their quest for casinos, even if no one wants them. Godfrey controls the media,that is why we get no media attention. Its up to us, the standardbred horsemen to make our voice heard and I think having Mr Burgess as our voice would be the best thing possible at this time. I ask Mr Burgess what we the standardbred horsemen should do now to help ourselves, because those we have relied on now have what they want(thoroughbred racing)

March 5, 2014 - 3:25 pmVery good letter as always

Very good letter as always Mr. Burgess. And, Carlo is right - give them notice to remove all slot machines (only problem will be track owners who are still getting their millions). Bob, is there any way we can break from OHRIA and go to court on our own. For sure we need to be much more aggressive, we have done nothing. Mr. Snobelen can read so for him to say the Sadinsky report says the opposite of what it does say means he is outright wrong. Thank you for your continuing efforts.

March 5, 2014 - 3:01 pmAnyone who thinks The

Anyone who thinks The Canadian Racing Community would rise up against any Government or Government Organization has forgotten, does not know, or refuses to acknowledge what has happened the last 5 years in response to cancellation of the SARS program etc. The First Nations are as I write this Blockading Highways and are and will get responses to their concerns. I can only conclude that The Racing Industry are wholesale believers in the Bible. "The meek shall inherit the earth" NOT!!

March 5, 2014 - 1:51 pmNo way does Mr. Snoblen

Peggy Powell SAID...

No way does Mr. Snoblen believe that purses are secondary. He would be a fool if he did. We all love our horses and the racing business, BUT, just like Mr Snoblen, we also enjoy eating and getting paid for all of our hard work. How much did this panel get paid? I forget. It doesn't matter because it is just secondary. It seems to me that the Standardbred industry has created jobs for the existing 3 man panel and a few more buricrats ,that find it very easy to explain to us how we will live from now on. It will be their way or no way. By the way, does anyone know if the panel is getting paid minimum wage, or are they receiving their usual enormous, extravagant wage? I think we all know the answer. As far as I know, according to John Snoblen, Standardbred workers are the only people around who like to work for nothing. We are not all as stupid as he thinks we are.

March 5, 2014 - 1:23 pmWell said and completely

ellie mayhew SAID...

Well said and completely true.

March 5, 2014 - 1:23 pmTHANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, Mr burgess,I was wondering where you were,plans are being made for casinos all over ontario and the late responds to your letter just goes to prove that NONE OF THESE GOVERNMENT PEOPLE ARE TRUTHFUL,THEY ARE SIMPLY STALLING FOR TIME TO BUILD AND THEN REMOVE THE SLOTS AT RACE TRACKS,even an imbecile like myself can see demise in the racing business, I do not have to be a (SNOBELEN or LESLIE)to see that.These politicians are all afraid to lose their jobs and are threatened by the RICH and FAMOUS, to do what the RICH and FAMOUS want.Boy was I ever glad to see the Ukrainian people fight back against a corrupt government.You know, you can be kicked in the A-- so many times until you realize it hurts, I am just wondering how many times it will take the horse people to realize this. Those in the business that are making good money do not realize what they are in for, take to a few Quebec horse people, most of them had to move out,the rest went on welfare and unemployment and the same is going to happen to you if you do not wake up, it may already be to late Have a good day.Been there, done it, and seen it.Once again I wish you all a good day.

March 5, 2014 - 1:13 pmFirst of all the trust is

Norm Brunet SAID...

First of all the trust is gone with this government. So how can we invest in Ontario breds knowing full well that the rug can once again be pulled underneath out feet.
Second of all what Mr Snobelen is saying is that his vision of horse racing in Ontario will be of an industry or actually a hobby that will be racing for "blankets, ribbons or accolades."

That is not very encouraging for anyone in the race business.

March 5, 2014 - 1:08 pmWith all due respect

John Fallone SAID...

With all due respect Mr.Burgess I have watched an industry die over the last year and half. I am or was employed in this business not sure anymore. What I can't for the life of me is understand why no one has done a dam thing. There has been no backlash no interuptions no real news on the subject. Why are we not sueing, after all there was criminal activity by the pathership being broken. I still talk to people that say "its about time we stopped horse racing - why should we pay with our tax money". As the people involved in horse racing know this is the furthest from the truth, as we now are paying with the tax money.I beleive we have done very little to fight back and am very puzzled to why. Look at the teachers of Ontario - and the stink they raise. No names mentioned but when a racetrack turns down race dates because its inconvienent for them to be there and operate on live nights thats shows you who is in control of this mess. As I watch my fellow employies lose there livilyhood and homes with no conpensation I just shake my head. As for an election both the NDP and conservative party's will never re-instate they don't care as has been proven by the leader of the NDP three times now.Dear Mr.Burgess lets have a fund raiser and sue for what wrong has been done - its the only way.
I am sorry for my lack of grammer or spelling but I think you may see my frustration. Please lets do some thing NOW.

March 5, 2014 - 12:42 pmThe tracks are being forced

carlo renon SAID...

The tracks are being forced to work together...not a bad thing if they stand together and tell the OLG and Ms. Wynne they have 30 days to remove all slot machines from racetrack premises. Put the heat in their court for a change. Horse racing cant survive on this model and what happens in 5 years?

March 5, 2014 - 11:52 amBob As always, extremely well

Dave Snowden SAID...


As always, extremely well written and to the point. The main point is with so many people quitting and selling horses we are having trouble filling race cards NOW. And the OSS which was once the cream of the crop will have only 600-700 foals (1,000 mares bred in 2013) for all four divisions (trot/pace/filly/colt) to be paid in for 2016. With 150 foals/2YO category in 2016, you will see 120 starters, of which only 75 will be stake quality. It will make for extremely short fields.

The only remaining question is : are we dying a slow death or spiraling down?

March 5, 2014 - 11:44 amMr. Burgess is dead on; Mr.

Mr. Burgess is dead on; Mr. Snobelen is fiddling, while Rome is burning!
And here is the proof: In 2010 Vel Evans did an exhaustive study on horse racing in Canada entitled "The Economics Of Horse Racing In Canada" It was commissioned by the Federal Government, and I have quoted here the conclusion, which totally supports Mr. Burgess.

A significant decrease in racing opportunities or purse rewards, would
immediately place a large number of horses into farm‐inventory, with no return‐oninvestment.
At a time when prices and demand for horses are at a low point, it
would be challenging to find markets for these horses.
The $5.7 billion in economic impact that flows from horse racing in Canada, results
from the $3.1 billion in expenditures in this labour intensive industry. The complex
range of expenditures required for the production, care and racing of horses, ensures
that the economic benefits flow through several economic sectors (agriculture,
entertainment, tourism, manufacturing, gambling/gaming, etc.).
The multiplier effect of expenditures in horse racing can flow both ways – a
significant decrease in purse rewards or racing opportunities would have a cascading
negative effect on the economy as well. Purse rewards and opportunities to chase
purse money are the key motivators for owner investment.
Clearly, horse racing in Canada represents a complex economic structure. Those
involved in horse racing are horsemen first, with a passionate attachment to their
horses. It is apparent from the numbers that those in the racing business are not
chasing profits. For the opportunity to chase purses, they are willing to invest heavily
and drive a significant churn of expenditures.
The continued willingness of horsemen to invest in the sport of racing is key to the
significant economic benefit that the Canadian economy realizes from horses.

March 5, 2014 - 11:21 amKudos to Mr. Robert Burgess

Terry Lantz SAID...

Kudos to Mr. Robert Burgess for his continuing fight for horse racing in Ontario and standardbred racing in general, unfortunately it continues to fall on deaf ears. I have moved on from the sport I have loved (and still do) from my teenage years in Hanover, Ontario. My partner and I now own and run small but flourishing landscape company, but I sympathize for many good friends in the horse racing community that are dying a slow but sure death. As long as John Snobelen, and Sue Leslie (who's breed has only taken a slight financial hit) are going to bat for the thousand's are hard working people in the standardbred community then there is really little hope. Just look at Rideau Carleton Raceway, the majority owner is injecting money out of his own pocket into purses because as Mr. Burgess stated above, Mr. Snobelen believes purses "are not the key economic driver in horse racing".....really Mr. Snobelen, if not, what is??? And Ms. Leslie... Mr. Burgess fights for the standardbred racing community that you are supposed to be fighting for... the people who froze their hard working butts off this winter to race for "blankets, ribbons and accolades".

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