Ontario Racing is pleased to notify industry participants that Thoroughbred 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 Toronto Region 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, as it did during the spring lockdown, to address the financial impacts to Thoroughbred horse racing in Ontario.
Due to the Toronto lockdown coming at the end of the Thoroughbred racing season in Ontario, Ontario Racing Management Inc. (ORM) will work closely with WEG and HBPA to obtain the list of active horses who either raced since November 1st and/or were stabled at Woodbine Racetrack. The distribution of these funds will not require an application.
Subject to being deemed eligible based on the above criteria, racehorse owners will receive a one-time payment of $1,500 for each eligible Thoroughbred horse, 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).
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.
In addition, Ontario Racing has arranged for increased flexibility when dealing with potential future lockdowns in the province by sharing the details of a streamlined support payment process with OLG.
Upon OLG’s approval, Ontario Racing will be in a position to apply a consistent approach to reallocating undistributed purse funds in the event of a lockdown, similar to other support programs offered to the industry in the past year. This increased flexibility and consistent approach will allow Ontario Racing to provide industry support in a timely manner should other racetracks in Ontario be impacted by future pandemic control measures.