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Starter Bonus Pilot Programs Approved

Published: August 24, 2011 7:42 pm ET

Last Comment: August 25, 2011 12:41 pm ET | 3 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Following the recommendation of the Implementation and Monitoring (IM) Group of the Ontario Racing Program, ORC Director John Blakney has approved the launch of two Guaranteed Starter Bonus Programs, one at Sudbury Downs at $75 and the second at Georgian Downs at $200. Both programs started in early August.

The starter bonus at these two tracks will be paid to the owner of every horse that starts in a race, with the exception of Ontario Sires Stakes events, and under the Pilots will not be considered purse earnings.

The Ontario Racing Program recognizes the challenges of the isolated racetracks, where distance from available horse supply has a significant impact. At Georgian Downs, the starter bonus has been put in place to encourage entries, by providing a minimum level of certainty that some of the costs associated with shipping horses will be covered. At Sudbury Downs, the starter bonus will also help defray stabling costs for those horses that enter to race.

At Georgian Downs, the $200 starter bonus will be paid out on every horse under a pilot program that will run to the end of September. A review of the impact on horse entries will be made to determine if the program will be continued.

At Sudbury Downs, the starter bonus will be $75 and will also be paid out on every horse. At Sudbury the pilot will run to the end of the meet in December. Similarly, a review of the impact on horse entries will be made to determine if the program will be continued in 2012.

In both cases, track management and separately the horsepeople associations will provide a written report on their observations and recommendations moving forward.

“Due to economy and the investment cycle in horse racing, we are very challenged with horse supply in 2011. The industry is looking at innovative ways to maximize entries, and providing incentives beyond the traditional purse structure is one,” said Mike Wilson, one of the spokespersons for the ORP. “We recognize the high costs associated with racing horses, and hopefully the starter bonus will help.”

The Ontario Racing Program was developed in consultation with the stakeholders to coordinate local, regional and provincial issues related to the conduct of horse racing, where the success of horse racing in Ontario is best served through a consideration of the broader issues. The program is built upon a framework approved by the Ontario Racing Commission. The Implementation and Monitoring Group was established to provide oversight, decide on variances, monitor results, ensure compliance and encourage development of the program.


August 25, 2011 - 12:41 pmRoy Everything is more


Everything is more expensive in the periphery areas of any economy. Horsemen should be compensated more in Sudbury b/c of the cost of doing business there; whether they ship in or stable on the grounds. Kind of like the "northern allowance" that the gov't pays its employees to work and consequently live in Northern parts of Canada.

P.S. don't take the 400 @ rush hour,or any other time really, use Hwy 9, 89 and then 21 across.

your welcome

August 25, 2011 - 9:10 amThe way I read the scheme

Roy Steele SAID...

The way I read the scheme horses who train at sudbury also qualify so thats money for something your already doing. Plus I take it you have never travelled that Highway Toronto to Barrie or you wouldnt have made the comment you did. Took a horse there last year from London 51/2 hours and the horse coooked in the trailer. Said I would never race there again the 200 bucks may just change my mind

August 24, 2011 - 9:22 pmWhy is the bonus almost 3

Why is the bonus almost 3 times greater at a track in the core of Ontario both economically and geographically. Economics 101 - Sudbury is in the periphery of Ontario and should, for many reasons, be offered a greater bonus than tracks in Southern/Western Ont.(If the impetus of this bonus is to offset costs to horsepeople).Since the standardization of B track purses, there is no longer a monetary incentive to drag your stable to Chelmsford.

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