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Province Commits To Fort Erie

Published: September 25, 2014 11:35 am ET

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During a press event on Wednesday, September 24 at the Fort Erie Race Track, Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, stated that the Ontario Government will commit to at least 37 dates of live Thoroughbred racing at the border oval for the track’s 2015 season.

According to an article by Niagara This Week, Fort Erie hosted 37 dates this season, which means that the provincial government will be providing the track with roughly $7.9 million for 2015.

Jim Thibert, CEO of the Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium which operates racing at the track, was quoted as saying that the FERLC would be looking for another grant from the city for the 2015 season. The report has cited him as saying that his group would be looking for a grant of $500,000 or less. Earlier this year, Fort Erie granted the FELRC a $500,000 grant for racing at the track in 2014.

“We will be racing again in 2015,” Thibert was quoted as saying. “We wanted to make sure we spread that message before the end of the season.”

“I want to commend everyone at Fort Erie Race Track on a successful 2014 season. I am delighted Fort Erie is able to continue racing with support from our government’s five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan,” Leal was quoted as saying in a release by the racetrack. “Our government remains committed to working with industry, owners, breeders and track operators across Ontario in support of horse racing in the province."

An article by the Fort Erie Times has cited Thibert as saying that he is optimistic about the future of the track since it was recently sold to a group based out of Buffalo, New York.

“There will be racing next year, and we have new buyers who are willing to bring in investment,” Thibert was quoted as saying.

(With files from Niagara This Week and Fort Erie Race Track)

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