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Buchanan: Breeds Must Work Together

Published: December 19, 2013 1:35 pm ET

Last Comment: December 24, 2013 9:47 am ET | 16 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Ontario Racing Commission Chair Elmer Buchanan has gone on the record as saying that the province’s three horse racing breeds must agree on a plan for the future or else the government will make a plan for them.

Buchanan’s comments, which have come via an interview with Dave Briggs, appear in a recent article by the Guelph Mercury

The article has quoted Buchanan as saying that the three racing groups –- which represent Ontario’s standardbred, thoroughbred and quarter-horse industries –- normally “can’t agree on anything.” The new ORC chair was also quoted as saying that Ontario horse racing will be moving away from a scenario where the breed representatives get together in meetings and say ‘We want money. We want money.'

Buchanan has said that the groups will be forced to work together going forward because the government will control both the “purse strings and the stick at the same time.” Buchanan went on to say that, “We as a panel believe that by having those two facets in the same organization, if you will, they can entice the industry to work together," adding, “If they don't, then there's no money. They can go on having races wherever they want, but they won't get government money if they don't either come together with decisions."

(With files from the Guelph Mercury)

December 24, 2013 - 9:47 amActually Norm Brunet, you are

murray brown SAID...

Actually Norm Brunet, you are incorrect about Pennsylvania. The only two racing breeds, SBs and TBs do work together to a great degree. That to a great extent is part of the success of the program. Of course they don't agree on everything, but they have regular discourse on all the issues and do work things out among themselves. In addition, the breeders and horsemen are also represented in these discussions. Early on in the game, the horse industry was advised that the only way they stood a chance with the government was to act together and speak with a single voice on the important issues.

December 21, 2013 - 10:47 amGet them out before they ruin

Get them out before they ruin everything, now they are DICTATING and bringing in the muscle, who put this guy there and then question yourselves

December 21, 2013 - 8:34 amWe simply don't have enough

Norm Brunet SAID...

We simply don't have enough money for three breeds. This is like throwing 1 bone to 3 dogs and asking them to share it. Maybe Buchanan should give us an example of 3 breeds working together in another jurisdiction in this world. California NO, PA NO , New York NO... By stating this Buchanan just showed how naive he is about the race industry. Sad that so many lives are dependant on this panel of bureaucrats. In the meantime the slots at our racetracks keep on chiming and we are racing less, for far less money.

December 20, 2013 - 11:38 amThe main difference between

Al Hudgins SAID...

The main difference between Kathleen Wynne and Elmer Buchanan's approach, is that one has an election to face. I don't think anyone should make the mistake of thinking that the reality of the Liberal's policy, is anything different than what Buchanan has stated. Any agreement going forward will be exactly the same as it has been since the cancellation of SARP. The politicians will be dictating the policy that they decide to implement. All the rest is merely window dressing.

December 20, 2013 - 11:19 amHis comments are an outrage,

jim rigg SAID...

His comments are an outrage, coming from a person who was hired to formulate a plan to help this Industry. What a joke! Is this the opinion of the other members of the ORC? The Panel, the OLG couldn't come up with a feasible plan after spending a sh-t load on consultants. Here's a plan, if there is not a time limit on launching a Class Action Law Suit for causing irreparable damage to the people in this Industry, I think that one Body can govern the Horse Racing Industry without any Gov't involvement. This Body would have to negotiate with the Race Track Owners to develop a true partnership with us. McGuinty's Gov't thought they had all their bases covered; However, there is one they forgot, which is "Due and Proper Disclosure". More to come.

December 19, 2013 - 10:13 pmThe tone of this entire

The tone of this entire interview is disgraceful. Kathleen Wynne's approach has been one of cooperation, not of threats of being beat with a stick. To use this reference in the same breath as comparing the government/industry relationship as a marriage is inappropriate and offensive. The horse racing industry has shown remarkable restraint over the past two years, now to be threatened by Mr. Buchanan is unacceptable. This type of language does not bode well for future negotiations. Yet another example of power going to a politician's head.

December 19, 2013 - 6:57 pmMr. Buchanan hit the nail on

Mr. Buchanan hit the nail on the head!
Ontario Racing Commission Chair Elmer Buchanan has gone on the record as saying that the province’s three horse racing breeds must agree on a plan for the future or else the government will make a plan for them.
The provincial electorate and the horse racing industry do not want/need inept, popularity contest winning politicians, who most likely only entered the contest for (the subsidy) personal gain, to make critical(closed mind) decisions.

December 19, 2013 - 6:49 pmIn one of my earlier postings

Dave Nicol SAID...

In one of my earlier postings I suggested we be very careful about insulting any of our horse racing family irrespective of breed and reiterate the same caution! We must revert back to one group of standardbred participants speaking on behalf of us all! Any thing less is no longer an option so let*s get busy and vote for one group to be our representatives, sooner rather than later. Unity has to be the first priority. Our world has changed and like a poker player we have to play the hand we*ve been dealt! I*m no fan of my hand but that*s all we have left. We have been negligent in allowing ourselves to be broken into small groups with less and less clout at the bargaining table. Be careful what you ask for - you might get it! When the election is called forget the popularity contest and elect the best people available, as what future we have left depends on it! It appears the new ORC chairman has offered us one chance to accept the carrot or the stick along with all other representatives, personally I*ll take the carrot, small though it may be!

December 19, 2013 - 6:46 pmI think I can safely say that

I think I can safely say that all breeds will agree to go back to the original program that was agreed by all parties. the program that we all invested countless dollars and time trusting an agreement with our very own government
The PCs brought a program to Ontario that was so successful that before long there will be 50 states in the US with Racinos and slot/revenue sharing programs. Liberals, be honorable and admit to the grave mistake you made. Your stubbornness is destroying families and businesses.

Elmer your comments are continuing BS we keep hearing to beat around the bush in delaying the salvation of this industry and not rectifying the problem. But I am sure you will get a well deserved raise for this novel concept you came up with to save all 3 breeds of racing

December 19, 2013 - 4:55 pmJust read the article and my

Tony Bolger SAID...

Just read the article and my 1st thought was no "marriage" can work or will work when one side dictates how the relationship works! Just ask any married couple!

2nd thought how did we go from being self sufficient and the government complaining that the slot money was a subsidy to now being subsidized and being told to get along or " we will make it for you"

Sounds like a dictatorship rather than a partnership!

Just sayin

December 19, 2013 - 4:52 pmI'm interested in Mr.

Bob McIntosh SAID...

I'm interested in Mr. Buchanans credentions, how many racehorses has he owned, raced or bred, of any breed? How many of you are tired of these professional politians with no racing background whatsoever telling us how to run our business .i would think it would have made more sense to have had someone with horse expertise on the panel and I'm sure they would have worked for less than $750 a day.

December 19, 2013 - 4:42 pmWell now all you horsepeople

Well now all you horsepeople who wanted to play nicey nice with the government instead of mounting an intense objection and demonstration from the beginning, how do you feel now? We have an extra government run agency to tell us what to do. The only thing that came out of the last year of talking was two cushy government jobs for the panel members. I'M OUT.

December 19, 2013 - 4:17 pmThe tone of what Buchanan

Georg Leber SAID...

The tone of what Buchanan says is threatening. We are being tested to see if we will do anything about it.

No matter what plan we come up with Snobelen will not accept it because it wasn't his.

We have to take the opinion that (some) track operators are not putting our best interests first. We always see the tracks as our allies when this is not true.

The Liberals probably have a spring election coming and they can ill afford to lose any more rural votes. The Liberals have to know what we want before the election so they can decide what they will do and we can decide how we will vote.

First things first. Jody and Bill have to step up and call a general meeting of harness horsemen by the middle of January. Some of the industry leaders have to play a role in developing a strategy for this meeting. We have to agree on a strategy before the spring.

For the racing fans, your comments are appreciated but don't direct it at the horsemen. Improving your lot in life will be up to the tracks and Mr. Snobelen. Even Ms. Wynne said you are getting new products to wager on. We have no idea what they are as we are not privy to their strategies. Horsemen have no say in that aspect of the business, never have and never will. Send emails to the tracks and Mr. Snobelen instead.

Georg Leber-ICR Racing

December 19, 2013 - 4:07 pmAmazing how the tone has

Randy Young SAID...

Amazing how the tone has changed ... from the time, not so many years ago, when the government had to entice the horse racing industry to house their slot machines ... because race tracks were the only places with gambling licenses and Ontario cities just weren't interested.

Perhaps the Horse Racing Industry should say to Elmer Buchanan: "You can go on operating your slot machines as long as you want, but get them out of our race tracks until your government is willing to make some sensible decisions"

December 19, 2013 - 3:25 pmThis is what you get when you

This is what you get when you give a little (allowing slots at racetracks). Looking back, government should have been told where to go when they were wanting to establish the slots at the tracks. That is basically what they are telling us now. It doesn't matter to them because they already have the slots up and running so now they are going to dictate to us on what we can and cannot do.

December 19, 2013 - 2:30 pmIt has already started

It has already started whereby the gov't is going to dictate to us on how we run our businesses. They can't run their own business without screwing up and now they are telling us how to run ours. Maybe it's time to build racetracks on the Indian reserves and the Indians can tell Buchanan "to go to hell" because they won't need gov't money and neither will the gov't get their share of the revenues. Why wouldn't we horse people be skeptic. We have every right to be. We got the rug pulled out from under us, even with legal contracts in place and since then, have been given no specifics on how this so-called new plan will work. Watch the exodus from Ontario now!

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