Trot Insider has received clarification on Thursday's announcement of increased Horse Improvement Program (HIP) funding from the Province of Ontario and Ontario Lottery & Gaming.
Thursday's announcement from the Province stated that "the government will provide $10 million per year to support programs for breeders and horsepeople through the Horse Improvement Program (HIP). This will support breeding and industry development for Ontario-bred horses and will be administered by Ontario Racing, replacing the Enhanced Horse Improvement Program previously administered by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs."
There was confusion over whether the announcement pledged an additional $10 million or brought the current Enhanced HIP funding to $10 million.
According to Scott Blodgett, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance, the support amount is a complete replacement of previous Enhanced HIP funding.
"[The Long-Term Funding Agreement] also includes $10 million each year to support programs for breeders and horse people through the Horse Improvement Program (a replacement of the current Enhanced Horse Improvement Program)," said Blodgett in an email sent Friday. "This is an additional $3.5 million beyond what the sector currently receives and operational funding for eligible racetracks through the optional Slots at Racetracks Program designed to directly support the horse racing industry and rural communities."