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Purse Funds Of Cancelled Races To Continue To Support Horsepeople

Published: April 9, 2020 8:23 pm ET

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Ontario Racing is pleased to notify industry participants that -- by application -- horsepeople will have the opportunity to access certain purse funds that remain available under the Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) as a result of the suspension of live racing in the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These funds were already committed to the industry through the Funding Agreement for Live Horse Racing between Ontario Racing and OLG. To enable this access, Ontario Racing, OLG and the other parties to the Funding Agreement have entered into an amendment to the Funding Agreement, a copy of which will be posted on the Ontario Racing website.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Racing created a task force to address the financial impacts on the horse racing industry. The Ontario Racing Task Force has worked closely with OLG to structure the below interim process which is available to all three breeds – Standardbred, Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse.

Eligibility Requirements

In order to be eligible to receive funds pursuant to this interim measure, owners must complete an application which must be submitted to Ontario Racing Management Inc. (ORM). Eligibility requirements for this program include the following:

  • Horses must be trained and raced by an Ontario-based trainer with a valid AGCO license

  • Certification that the horse is resident in Ontario, or has completed a Stall Application for the 2020 race season, or is otherwise verified to be coming to Ontario for the 2020 race season

  • The horse’s first start following the resumption of racing in Ontario must be at an Ontario track, unless otherwise approved by Ontario Racing

  • Horses must be at least three years old, and either have not yet raced or have raced since January 1, 2019

Subject to meeting the above eligibility criteria, for the months of April and May, should racing continue to be suspended, racehorse owners will be eligible to receive the following payments, each of which is estimated to cover half of the monthly costs associated with boarding, feed and training fees (veterinary, blacksmith, shipping, and other fees are not included in this estimate):

  • Thoroughbreds - $1,500/month

  • Standardbreds - $1,000/month

  • Quarter Horses - $750/month

Horse owners can apply for payments under this interim measure by submitting an application form to Ontario Racing, c/o Sarrah Young [email protected]. Application forms are available on the Ontario Racing website and at the bottom of this note.

Standardbred horses that were qualified to race during the last week of March will be eligible to each receive $300, and drivers and trainers will receive five percent (5%) up to an accumulated maximum of $25,000 for each group.

If the suspension of live horse racing in Ontario as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic continues beyond May 31, 2020, the Task Force intends to present a revised proposal to OLG for the reallocation of purse funds under the Funding Agreement, which will include payments for two-year-old racehorses as well.

Ontario Racing will continue to pay the 1.5% of purses to the horseperson’s associations so they can continue to offer benefits, benevolence activities and additional assistance to those in need.

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