The Horse Racing Partnership Plan
A successful and sustainable horse racing industry continues to have an important role to play in the economic and social life of this province, especially in rural Ontario.
The Horse Racing Partnership Plan, which comes into effect April 1, 2014, is the government's five-year plan to invest up to $500 million to support a world-class horse racing industry in the province. The plan reflects the hard work and genuine willingness of many in the horse racing industry to work together and build a new partnership with government.
Standardbred Alliance of Tracks
Critical to the success of the plan is the formation of an innovative, world-leading alliance of standardbred tracks including Woodbine, Mohawk, Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Western Fair, Clinton, Hanover and Grand River.
The alliance represents an unparalleled level of partnership and provides a solid foundation for Ontario Standardbred owners, breeders and horsepersons. The tracks will work together to implement operational efficiencies, co-ordinate a year-round racing calendar, develop a program of racing that is attractive to foreign and domestic customers, and establish consistent purses.
Additional Support for Regional Tracks
The plan provides the appropriate public support to maintain a foundation for racing, but, more importantly, it provides the industry with opportunities for growth. By increasing funding for purses and operational support for regional tracks -- Fort Erie, Ajax, Rideau-Carleton, Kawartha Downs, Sudbury Downs, Hiawatha, Dresden and Leamington -- the government is giving operators the tools to develop new sources of revenue and build business relationships that will support a sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario.
Integration of Horse Racing into the Province's Gaming Strategy
The government's ongoing support of the horse racing industry is based on accountability, transparency and providing each sector of the industry -- owners, breeders and racetrack operators -- with the potential to be profitable.
Integrating horse racing into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation's modernization plan will help achieve those goals.
Integration will include opportunities to develop new gaming products in partnership with OLG as well as consideration of horse racing in the land-based gaming modernization process.
Supporting Ontario Racehorse Breeders
The heart of the industry is the racehorse and Ontario has a proud history of breeding some of the world's greatest.
The enhanced Horse Improvement Program will provide incentives to recognize excellence for Ontario Bred and Sired horses racing in their home province. By continuing to support Ontario's racehorse breeding sector, the plan will maximize the economic impact of racing in Ontario.
The plan has taken measures to ensure that racehorses are treated humanely both while they are racing and after retirement. Funding provided to Equine Guelph will assist with development of programs to address health and welfare issues of retired horses and overall horse and herd health concerns of the industry in Ontario.
2014 Race Dates
Ontario has a rich history of horse racing -- a history that will continue this season and for many years to come. The Ontario Racing Commission has the most up-to-date information on 2014 race dates.