Standardbred Groups Meet

Published: November 8, 2012 07:21 pm EST

On Tuesday and Thursday of this week (Nov. 6 and Nov. 8), representatives from Ontario's Standardbred horse groups held meetings to discuss a unified strategy for the standardbred industry as it pertains to the OMAFRA Panel Report.

"It was a very positive meeting," said Standardbred Canada CEO John Gallinger. "I’m very pleased that the industry has come together to speak with one voice."

The group that met was represented by all four provincial horsemens' associations - Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), National Capital Region Harness Horse Association (NCRHHA), Northern Horsemen's Association (NHA) and the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) - the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (SBOA) and Standardbred Canada's Ontario directors. A common concern from the members in attendance was the need for clarification on certain items in the OMAFRA Report. The group has started working to generate a list of clarifying questions and constructive suggestions to the panel’s report.

"Once constructive suggestions have been developed and agreed upon, the group intends to work with industry stakeholders to make our ideas known," continued Gallinger. "This could include working with the tracks, OHRIA, and meeting directly with the panel. We are all working towards the same goal of a strong and healthy industry.

"OHRIA has been working hard on behalf of the entire racing and breeding industry, and the Standardbred group wants to ensure that there's a strong united Standardbred voice being heard both through OHRIA and directly from the Standardbred industry."

Gallinger noted that the Standardbred group would be finalizing constructive suggestions shortly.

"We're appreciative of the tremendous amount of work completed by the panel to date. There are still questions to be answered and areas of concerns to be addressed,” stated Gallinger.



Sandra Pupatello is the only candidate running for Ontario Liberal leader that was not part of the government when the shortsighted and disastrous OLG direction was announced last March, as she had taken a year off. She is also planning to run in a 2013 Windsor-Tecumseh by-election.

I have let her know that if she runs on a platform that includes a two-year extension to Slots-At-Racing, including a return of slots to Windsor, Fort Erie and Sarnia, then she will earn thousands of volunteers that will help her get elected as Liberal leader and Premier. Extending the SAR partnership for two more years will also provide our provincial government with $2.2 billion in revenue for schools, hospitals and to keep taxes low, as OLG has zero plans or ability to replace that revenue by March, 2013.

As she may be our best hope, I encourage all of you to phone or email Sandra to let her know that if she extends SAR for two years, she will receive tremendous province-wide support, and have a significantly smaller provincial deficit to work with.

To any and all groups and individuals who made this meeting a reality---thank you from so many of us who hanging on to the hope that horse racing in Ontario will survive and thrive after March 31, 2013!

Congratulations to all of you involved in this momentous occurence! Finally we can speak with one voice, now we have to hear our one voice be heard by the officials. Hope you all shook hands left handed? If not I*m proud of you all as I have always been. Now show everyone what a world class industry can accomplish if we stand shoulder to shoulder! Thanks again!

Allelujah. Miracles will never cease! Maybe now, we can get somewhere and work towards a positive outcome for all of the industry. Thank you John Gallinger, COSA, NCRAHHA, NHA and OHHA for finally doing what is right for the Standardbred people and horses in Ontario.

This is the best news the standardbred industry has heard so far. Congratulations and thank you for finally getting together and hopefully unified!!

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