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Ontario Groups Meeting Tuesday

Published: March 4, 2019 10:50 am ET

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The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) is pleased to inform the industry that the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), Ontario Racing (OR) and Woodbine Entertainment have accepted a request by Jim Whelan, president of OHHA, for a joint meeting, which will be held this Tuesday (March 5).

“Since the recent announcement by Ontario Racing that would attempt to cause OHHA to cease operations on March 31, 2019, I have had discussions and received feedback from horsepeople from across Ontario, from the Provincial Government, and our fellow horsepeople’s organizations COSA and NCRHHA,” said Whelan. “All have agreed that we must make all efforts to work together for the betterment of the industry, especially since Standardbred horsepeople were never consulted about this decision.”

The Ontario Harness Horse Association was formed in 1962, and is the largest provincial Standardbred association in Canada, and second only to Ohio in North America.

“Since the end of the Slots at Racetracks Program in 2012, Ontario Standardbred purses have dropped by approximately $100 million, which has caused significant hardship to all horsepeople,” said Whelan. “We should be jointly focusing our efforts on making life better for our industry, rather than reacting to decisions which will cause further division and hardship within our large horse racing agricultural community in Ontario.”

Standardbred Canada received the following statement from OR in regard to the meeting announcement: 'Ontario Racing and two of its association board members, Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), are meeting with the Ontario Harness Horse Association to discuss the future of horse racing in the province and relay our vision as the representative voice that furthers the interests of a vibrant horse racing industry.'

(With files from OHHA and OR)

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