Years of uncertainly have come to an end for the employees and horse people of Fort Erie Race Track. Today, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Jeff Leal, reiterated the government’s commitment to the continuation of live thoroughbred racing at the historic site.
This season, which is the first of a five-year partnership between Fort Erie and the government of Ontario, has once again proved to generate a successful outcome.
“The co-operation of our horse people and employees has resulted in Fort Erie providing a competitive racing product that has been well received by the local betting public and our international customers,” said Rick Cowan, COO of the FELRC.
The racing schedule for 2015 will not be less than the 37 days conducted in 2014 and the number of race days will be determined in the FELRC application which is subject to approval by the Ontario Racing Commission.
This announcement will generate confidence amongst the horse people who can reinvest in their industry after a prolonged period of uncertainty which resulted in a horse inventory problem throughout the province.
“I want to commend everyone at Fort Erie Race Track on a successful 2014 season. I am delighted Fort Erie is able to continue racing with support from our government’s five-year Horse Racing Partnership Plan,” said Minister Leal. “Our government remains committed to working with industry, owners, breeders and track operators across Ontario in support of horse racing in the province.”
Sue Leslie, President of the FELRC as well as President of the HBPA, thanked Minister Leal for his unwavering commitment to Ontario horseracing and breeding. “His personal attendance here today sends a reassuring message to the hard working horse people and racetrack employees here at Fort Erie,” said Leslie.
“It’s wonderful to have Minister Leal here to confirm that the government is committed to racing at Fort Erie Race Track,” said Fort Erie’s Mayor Doug Martin. “This is great encouragement to those who rely on the racetrack as their source of income.”
Efforts are already underway in terms of planning, by the FELRC Management team, for a successful 2015 racing season.