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2017 World Trotting Conference Symposium Information

The Symposium at The World Trotting Conference: Investing in the Future
Wednesday, August 16 and Thursday, August 17, 2017

This year’s World Trotting Conference will take place in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. All day on August 16th, and during the morning of August 17th, the Symposium portion of the event will feature content and top speakers from Canada, and around the world, to talk about the future of the sport with the theme being Investing in the Future. Visit the WTC Symposium Speakers page for the full roster of experts.

This is your chance to visit PEI, engage in valuable and entertaining sessions about the industry, and meet delegates and participants from around the world. After the Symposium, you are encouraged to stay in beautiful PEI for the final leg of the World Driving Championship on Friday, August 18th, and the Gold Cup & Saucer on Saturday, August 19th.

This is a ticketed event. To purchase tickets for the symposium click here.

Wednesday, August 16

9:00 am - Taking the Regs out of Regulations

Join Jean Major, Chief Executive Officer of the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, as he outlines a new approach to regulating the horse racing industry. The standards-based approach has been launched in the Ontario Gaming market and the regulator is now working with the horse racing industry and its stakeholders looking for input and direction as AGCO is charged with overseeing the horse racing regulation in Ontario. Known around the world for his innovation and forward thinking, Mr. Major will provide a keynote message for all delegates attending.

Speaker: Jean Major, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

9:45 am - A Brave New World (New ways of betting on horses)

The world of gaming is changing for a new generation of tech savvy customers. How can horse racing reinvent the way we wager to meet the demands of the next generation? This panel will explore new platforms, from fantasy to lotteries, and look at what the sport must do in the future to keep horse betting relevant.


Moderator: Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Canada

10:45 am - Break

11:00 am - The Health and Welfare of the Standardbred Racehorse: Major Concerns and Challenges

Speaker: Dr. Kathleen MacMillan, Atlantic Veterinary College at the University of Prince Edward Island

11:30 am - Innovative ways of tracking horses (Microchip)

Microchipping is the way many horse organizations are tracking and identifying the animals. Looking at a traceability challenge from beyond a legislative requirement and incorporating different perspectives, including an animal's behaviour, creates a more robust system that is easier for people and animals. This presentation will be on the latest discovery of a new location for microchip implantation, a location where microchip migration is no longer an issue.

Speaker: Adrienne Herron, M. Sc. P. Ag., traceability systems specialist

12:00 pm - Lunch (presented by Woodbine Entertainment)

Speaker: Tom Via, Woodbine Entertainment Group

1:00 pm - Protecting our Horses (Drug control and Research)

Various initiatives are underway throughout the world to clarify issues influencing horse health, well-being and welfare, and to promote international collaboration. This panel will focus on some of the major concerns in our industry, including Drug Control, Environment Contaminants and the latest Research on Cobalt.


2:00 pm - The Facts about the Fracs (Fractional Ownership)

With an aging membership, the horse racing industry is in dire need of new horse owners. With today's higher cost of living, it is getting harder and harder to introduce horse ownership to the younger working generation. Is fractional ownership the answer to this problem? The panel will discuss the "new way" of owning a horse, or just a fraction of a horse.


Moderator: Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Canada

3:00 pm - Break

3:15 pm - Measure to Manage (Working with Government)

How should horse racing and governments work together? This session will look at examples from within Canada and abroad to see what is working, and how tracking information and data can help the industry advance.


Moderator: Dan Gall, Standardbred Canada

4:00 pm - The Lightning Round: 50 Marketing Ideas

We'll ask top marketing minds to each provide us with their 10 best ideas. With the timer running, we'll hear 50 one-minute pitches to change harness racing. The ideas can be big, long-term concepts, or short-term, low-hanging fruit. There are no limits. At the end of the session, members of the audience will be asked to score their three favourite ideas. We'll announce the most popular ideas at the end of the day.


Moderator: Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Canada

Thursday, August 17

8:30 am - Breaking Through Social Media

Angel Suarez is the Executive Vice President at Red Circle, a full service advertising agency that has worked with nearly 100 casinos and racinos around the country over the last 15 years. His team creates and executes marketing campaigns that include brand development, targeted media planning and buying, online marketing, database marketing, social media, website design, and more.

Speaker: Angel Suarez, Red Circle

9:15 am - Generation Next (Breeding Incentives)

In some parts of the world, horse population has declined drastically over the past few years. What can be done to entice breeders to breed more mares to solve the horse shortage issue? The panel will present successful programs from around the world, and new ideas to promote breeding.


10:15 am - Break

10:30 am - It's a Small Small World (International Simulcasting)

It’s 2017 and international simulcasting is a reality. The coming years will define how races are distributed and wagered on around the world. Issues like data transfer, common betting rules, currency exchange, commingled pools, tote protocols, and methods of signal distribution, are among the many questions that the industry must address – as the wagering world gets smaller and smaller.


Moderator: Scott Finley, PMU France

11:30 am - Is it time for whip-free racing?

How do we look in the eyes of the public? Whip use in racing is a very controversial issue and is increasingly become an animal welfare concern. Different jurisdictions are now opting for a whip free racing where others are allowing and regulating the use of the whip. Is it time for whip free racing? This panel will discuss the reasoning of banning or allowing the use of the whip.


  • John Campbell, President & CEO of the Hambletonian Society

  • Brent Stone, AGCO Director of Racing

  • Melissa Keith, US Harness Writers Association member and freelance harness racing journalist

  • Geoff Want, Chairman of Harness Racing Australia

Moderator: Darryl Kaplan, Standardbred Canada

12:15 - Lunch, presented by OLG

Speaker: Dr. Cal Bricker, OLG

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