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OR Continues To Support Horsepeople

Published: April 15, 2021 3:28 pm ET

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Ontario Racing is continuing to communicate with the Ontario Government in regards to vaccinations for horsepeople, the need for the safe return of live racing, and the industry’s ongoing commitment to the highest standards of health and safety throughout the pandemic.

Over the past 13 months, Ontario Racing, the voice of the Ontario horse racing industry, has been in constant contact with various elected officials, providing updates and information on how the industry has been affected by COVID-19, and the measures it has taken to conduct all aspects of racing in the safest manner.

Recently, Ontario Racing announced that Standardbred horsepeople have the opportunity to receive equine benefit payments (for cancelled April race dates) as a result of the suspension of live racing in the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic, through certain purse funds that remain available under the Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). It is OR's expectation that equine benefit funds will continue to be distributed through the lockdown period.

Ontario Racing is also actively working with industry partners, and others, in an effort to determine the potential for equine-related support payments for Ontario Thoroughbred horsepeople. With Ajax Downs’ opening day of racing scheduled for May 12, preliminary discussions with Quarter Horse representatives will take place in the near future, should the current lockdown measures be extended.

Ontario Racing will provide horsepeople with updates regarding vaccinations, the resumption of live racing, and any other important details, as they become available.

“It has been an extremely difficult past 13-plus months for the many hardworking horsepeople in our industry whose livelihoods have been severely impacted by the pandemic,” said John Hayes, Chair, Ontario Racing. “We remain dedicated to ensuring the best interests of horsepeople are both heard and understood.”

(Ontario Racing)

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