OHHA Against Further Reduction Of Live Race Dates In Ontario For 2011

Published: December 3, 2010 02:34 pm EST

After a meeting of the Ontario Harness Horse Association Board of Directors on Wednesday, December 1, OHHA has taken the position that it cannot support any further reduction of live racing dates in Ontario for 2011 from their

current levels.

In taking its position, the Board of Directors took note that every reduction in live race dates has resulted in a drop of standardbred handle, to the detriment of the Ontario industry. To date, there is no evidence that any further reduction of live race dates would provide any benefit.

“OHHA would be willing to look at the individual circumstances of a particular track,” stated OHHA President Don Amos. He further noted, “However, with the closure of tracks in Quebec and Western Canada, as well as the large influx of trainers from jurisdictions such as Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, it is imperative that Ontario trainers are not squeezed out from racing opportunities.”

OHHA will submit its position to the Ontario Racing Commission in response to the ORC’s request for position statements on this issue to be received by next Monday.

(OHHA)

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I'm not sure how taking product out of the equation is going to help the situation here in Ontario. My involvment of many years in the workplace tells me that product needs to change with the times and better product needs to replace what isn't selling. To simply take it away and not offer a better replacement is counter-productive to good business management.

I commend the OHHA for taking a stand on any further reduction in race dates. I feel this has gone too far already and there is no wonder why we are seeing a constant decline in handle as the race dates reduce. Marketing 101 tells you; exposure, exposure, exposure, how do we expect to grow an industry or try to save an industry by reducing race dates. I question if the reduction in the purse monies ,mentioned in the sustainability plan, will not come from reduction of purse amounts but by means of reduction of races. This I do not feel is a path to success, we need to embrace the dates we currently hold and promote the hell out of them, get harness racing in the public's face, not reduce venues available to them. I feel the horsemen are well aware there will be a reduction in purses, the sustainability plan has prepared them for that, but not a reduction of 92 race dates for 2011. How is this proactively promoting this sport in an air of decline?? The Meadowlands may be on their way out, as sad as this is, and believe me I am a constant promoter of "Save the Meadowlands", am I the only one to look at this as an opportunity for the Ontario Harness Racing Industry to gain some market share and revenue?? Return to the basics of marketing and budget for 2011 with the same amount of dates as 2010, then we can base the results on true numbers, we can not continue to compare apples to oranges. This is where all the issues have come from in the past and will continue to plague this industry in the future. Reduction of race dates will only further dramatize the issues the industry has and will put more questions in the general publics mind.