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OHRIA Issues Industry Update

Published: February 18, 2014 5:19 pm ET

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The Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) issued an update to the horse racing industry late Tuesday afternoon.

OHRIA's President and Chair Sue Leslie issued the statement, and the contents of the update appear below.

OHRIA is pleased to report that there have been many positive advancements towards stabilizing the horse racing and breeding industry during the first weeks of 2014.

OHRIA continues to work closely with Ontario Horse Racing (OHR) led by John Snobelen and the Ontario Government to ensure that horse racing and breeding are integrated into the Province's gaming strategy. Integration continues to be OHRIA's top priority, as ultimately new revenue streams are required to allow horse racing and breeding to grow again. Some has been accomplished as we continue to raise awareness of the importance of our industry. Presentations and solutions are being presented to the OLG as alternatives that will include Ontario horseracing and protect the future for Ontario horse people.

Thanks to the efforts of HBPA, OHR and many others, the Fort Erie racetrack will be hosting live thoroughbred racing in 2014 thus ensuring two venues for thoroughbred horse people to race their horses in the Province. Details regarding the start date, number of race dates and purses offered are currently being discussed and will be released once confirmed.

A deal to run 27 days of quarter horse racing has been reached in principle, congratulations to QROOI and the Picov family for their hard work to make this a reality for the Quarter Horse Industry.

Funding for the Horse Improvement Plan and the Ontario Sires Stakes Program has been approved by the Ontario Racing Commission after extensive consultation with the industry.

Woodbine live thoroughbred meet is ready to start April 12 with a purse structure similar to 2013. The 2014 stake schedule has almost been finalized and will be released shortly. Horses are shipping in as of Feb 18 (today), a much earlier opening to last year.

The Alliance between Standardbred racetracks operating in southwestern Ontario is almost finalized. This cooperative effort will enhance the Standardbred racing and breeding product by minimizing costs and help ensure long term stability for the industry.

Work is beginning this upcoming week with the other regional tracks and talks with Rideau in Ottawa are underway.

OHR, led by John Snobelen is meeting with individuals both inside and outside our industry to discuss marketing and promotion for the upcoming year.

In response to encouragement from OHRIA, to keep the industry better informed, update letters to the Minister are now being posted on the ORC website.

OHRIA will also be providing more frequent updates to the industry with information as it becomes available.

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