HIP Purse Distribution To Change

Published: December 14, 2018 10:20 am EST

Ontario Racing (OR) today announced a reallocation of the Horse Improvement Program (HIP) purses between the Thoroughbred and Standardbred racing, commencing in April, 2019.

The HIP program purse budget, worth approximately $25 million in 2018-19, will be redistributed in the following format:

  • 51 percent allocated to Thoroughbred racing and 49 percent allocated to Standardbred racing in 2019-20

  • 53 percent allocated to Thoroughbred racing and 47 percent allocated to Standardbred racing in 2020-21

  • 55 percent allocated to Thoroughbred racing and 45 percent allocated to Standardbred racing in 2021-22

The new funding distribution is a formula based on wagering by horse playing customers on races originating from Ontario’s Thoroughbred and Standardbred racetracks. Currently, 55 percent of all sources betting on Ontario horse racing is wagered on the province’s Thoroughbred racetracks and 45 percent on Ontario’s Standardbred racetracks.

“This updated Horse Improvement Program allocation formula furthers the interests of horse racing and breeding in the province,” said Katherine Curry, Executive Director, Ontario Racing. “The plan attempts to equitably address the challenges of Thoroughbred and Standardbred racehorse supply, which is critical to the success of Ontario’s horse racing industry.”

HIP will continue to be funded through a levy on pari-mutuel wagering revenues and delivered to Ontario’s horsepeople through purses, purse bonuses and related awards to owners and breeders of Ontario-bred and Ontario-Sired horses.

“Extensive discussions among key industry participants on Ontario Racing’s board of directors has allowed OR to create a funding formula which reflects the evolving nature of the sport in the province,” said Bill O’Donnell, President of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA). “To face the future, we must unite to make it grow and prosper.”

Ontario Racing manages the Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter Horse Horse Improvement Programs in support of the province’s horse racing industry. HIP was created by government to support the province’s racing and breeding programs, and its administration under the purview of its industry association.

“A strong Horse Improvement Program that will support current ownership and breeding of racehorses and develop new owners is paramount in making horse racing and breeding grow throughout the province,” said Sue Leslie, President of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA). “As racing in the province evolves, the industry’s understanding that we must continue to grow our fan base must stay intact.”

Ontario Racing represents over 95 percent of the horse racing industry, across all levels of racing and breeding of racehorses in Ontario, including representation by racetracks and horsepeople’s associations.




All source betting is a horrible way to divide the pot. It should be local on-track handles. Woodbine & Fort Erie I can find on any trip to the states. Only Ontario harness track is the Hawk. Some states you can’t even get harness at all. Totally unfair.
Then if you got your whales back, the pot would be greatly skewed to the harness side for local on track handle.
Your biggest bettors in the province are probably 80/20 harness to thoroughbred, and they are using rebaters elsewhere as the rebates are higher than the HPI program.

You can bet your bottom dollar Bill O’Donnell will be standing up for the Standardbred horsepeople on this issue!

Moving forward, what can we expect the split to be in 10-15 years from now ? With this system the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. T breds don't race in the weaker months like January where handle is lower so in a sense this comparison is not fair for both breeds unless the T breds start racing in the winter or the harness stop racing in the winter. So how many races do the T breds have in a year compared to Harness ?
Not sure that using a system that strongly disadvantages harness, because T breds always out handled harness anyways, no matter what jurisdiction ( N Y or PA. ).
No doubt Harness will have to downsize in order to stay relevant.
Maybe the HIP should consider the amount of jobs both breeds offer during the year. I don't see the T breds providing much jobs in the winter time. Just my 2 cents.


There is a change you must do, no Thoroughbred races after the second week of november

It would be nice if the put the percentages from last year and previous years to compare. That way we would know what we are dealing with.

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