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OHHA: "Members Unite"; OR: "Future Vision"

Published: February 7, 2019 8:00 pm ET

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The Ontario Harness Horse Association has issued an open letter to its membership regarding the recent development that Ontario Racing has directed the Woodbine Entertainment Group to cease making administration payments to OHHA, effective March 31, 2019.

Late last week, Ontario Racing informed the industry that the Central Ontario Standardbred Association is intending to offer benefits coverage to all Standardbred horsepeople in Ontario, effective April 1, 2019.

Officials with OHHA announced that they would fight the decision, and the Ontario horsepersons’ group has reiterated its position via its open letter to the OHHA membership.

“OHHA is actively working with all levels of government to reverse Ontario Racing’s decision and is seeking meaningful changes to how our industry is governed to prevent future power grabs like this from happening,” states an excerpt from OHHA’s open letter. “We are confident that the government will not let this stand.”

The open letter concludes by stating that, “While COSA and Ontario Racing are suggesting Standardbred horsepeople are required to join COSA to receive benefits going forward, your benefits are not currently at risk and we are asking OHHA members to stand in solidarity with OHHA while we work to ensure all the benefits we provide remain in place.”

To view the Open Letter to OHHA Members, click here.

In response to OHHA’s open letter, Ontario Racing has said that, “Ontario Racing supports its member, the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), and its vision to offer all horsepeople who race at Ontario Racing member racetracks a strong and comprehensive benefits program. Ontario Racing and COSA are aligned in their focus to secure a viable future for the horse racing industry in Ontario.”

COSA issued a response to OHHA’s open letter, stating that, “The funding that OHHA currently receives will be transferred to COSA beginning April 1, 2019 from OR. This funding will be used to provide all eligible horsepeople with the opportunity to enroll in the COSA benefits program. For further information and eligibility requirements, please access the COSA website at”

(With files from COSA, OHHA and OR)

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