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Boost For Ontario's Standardbreds

Published: September 12, 2014 3:19 pm ET

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Today, in advance of the Fall Standardbred sales, the Ontario Racing Commission is pleased to announce revisions to the 2015 Standardbred Improvement Program.

Purse bonuses for two-year-old Ontario Sired horses will pay 5% on 2015 Ontario Sires Stake races and 20% on 2015 overnight races. These improvements will boost the earning potential of the 2014 yearlings and encourage more owners to purchase Ontario Sired Standardbred horses. This equates to a projected $700,000 in new purse bonuses.

The proposal, which was brought forward by the Standardbred Advisory Group, was approved by the ORC Board this week. Elmer Buchanan, ORC Chair, said "It is encouraging to see innovative ideas brought forward by the industry, especially those ideas that demonstrate a strong commitment to the breeding sector."

OMAFRA Minister Jeff Leal is delighted with the confidence demonstrated in the future of Ontario horse racing. “The demand for Ontario-bred yearlings is gratifying for all the people who have worked hard to ensure a bright future for Ontario horse racing. The Ontario Horse Racing Partnership Program is working. Congratulations to all concerned, we are all looking forward to a great 2015 racing season.”

The enthusiasm for the Ontario racing industry was evident at the 2014 Canadian Premier Thoroughbred Yearling Sale, held annually each September at the Woodbine Racetrack. One hundred and thirty five yearlings sold for an average price of $33,081, more than a 50% increase from the previous year.

“Our local breeders have struggled for the last couple of years. It is with renewed optimism and well deserved success that those who persevered through these trying times have finally been rewarded as a result of faith and confidence, now prevalent in our Ontario-Bred / Ontario-Sired program,” said Yvonne Schwabe, Sales Chair and Director of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society.

Standardbred Canada's Canadian Yearling Sale, set for September 14, is also predicted to be successful.

Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) wishes to thank the Standardbred Advisory Group for its leadership in developing the incentive designed to benefit Ontario owners and breeders.

“Ontario Sired” is defined as a foal sired by a stallion that is recognized as an Ontario Sire by the Standardbred Improvement Program in the year of conception.

Year after year Ontario breeders produce leading performers, trotters and pacers. Most recent successes are trotting mare Bee A Magician and pacing horse Somebeachsomewhere, who absolutely dominated in their Ontario Sires Stakes (OSS) races as well as the elite Grand Circuit races. Virtually all of the sport’s most coveted races have been won by an Ontario Sired performer.

(with files from OMAFRA and OHR)

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