Welcome to the OHHA

September 12, 2014

For the ninth year in a row, OHHA will offer college/university entrance scholarships to children of active OHHA members. For 2014 one scholarship will be at the university level in the amount of $2,500, and two will be at the college level in the amount of $1,500 each. Money will be distributed upon proof of registration at an Ontario college or university.

Application deadline is November 7, 2014.

To qualify, submit a completed application form (available here or by contacting the OHHA office) by mail on or before the due date to:

Scholarship Committee
Ontario Harness Horse Association
35 Crawford Crescent
PO Box 429
Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0

For further enquiries please contact Brian Tropea at the OHHA office: 905-854-6442 or 1-866-774-6442 ext. 222.

July 25, 2014

The Ontario Harness Horse Association supports the proponents behind the EquiLottery initiative, a new horse-racing product that adds lottery money directly into on-track handle.  To read the Press Release, please click here.

June 23, 2014

The Ontario Harness Horse Association has prepared a response to the current situation as it unfolds in the Meadowlands.  To read the Press Release, please click here.

June 9, 2014

To read the response from the New Democratic Party, please click here.

To read the response from the Liberal Party, please click here.

To read the response from the Progressive Conservative Party, please click here.

June 2, 2014

OHHA has sent letters to all party leaders asking them a series of questions regarding their plans for the horse-racing industry in Ontario.

To read the Press Release, please click here.

To read the letter as was sent to the 3 party leaders, please click here

 

April 30, 2014

On Monday, April 28, the Office of the Auditor General of Ontario released its Special Report pertaining to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Modernization Plan.

To read the report, please click here.

 

March 14, 2014

Mr. Tony Doucette, host of CBC – Windsor Morning, interviewed Brian Tropea last Wednesday (March 12th).  To listen to the communication please click on

Brian’s interview.

February 3, 2014

Brian Tropea was interviewed by radio CFRU 93.3. earlier today.  To listen to this interview click on the link below, once opened, click on the arrow in front of February 3, 2014 Hoofbeats, and, as a final step find 13:32 on the gold bar.  

Brian’s interview

 

January 21, 2014

The Ontario Harness Horse Association would like to remind its members of the upcoming

Annual Membership Meeting

Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 6:00 pm

Best Western Plus Milton Inn (Banquet Room)

161 Chisholm Drive, Milton, ON

We strongly encourage members’ attendance as the business and future of the association will be discussed.

 

November 21, 2013

OHHA Board of Directors Election Postponed

OHHA Annual Membership Meeting Notice

Election of OHHA’s board of directors historically has been held each year on the second Tuesday in December as stipulated in the association’s bylaws.

For 2014 the board has decided to postpone this year’s election process due to the considered creation of one SB horsepeople’s association as outlined in the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel’s report that was delivered last month.  Performing the administrative responsibilities attached to an election has always been a costly exercise and the board felt these costs would not be warranted under the current circumstances.

In order to maintain due process a vote will be conducted during the Annual Membership Meeting and if members in attendance at that meeting indicate an election should be held the process will be started immediately after the annual meeting. 

Members having questions or concerns regarding this decision are encouraged to call the OHHA office.

The 2014 OHHA Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for 

          Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – 6:00 pm
          Best Western Plus Milton Inn (Banquet Room)
          161 Chisholm Drive, Milton, ON

 

October 29, 2013

For the eighth year in a row, OHHA will offer college/university entrance scholarships to children of active OHHA members. For 2013 one scholarship will be at the university level in the amount of $2,500, and two will be at the college level in the amount of $1,500 each. Money will be distributed upon proof of registration at an Ontario college or university.

Application deadline is November 21, 2013.

To qualify, submit a completed application form (available on the this website (get involved – scholarships) or by contacting the OHHA office) by mail on or before the due date to:

Scholarship Committee
Ontario Harness Horse Association
35 Crawford Crescent
PO Box 429
Campbellville, ON L0P 1B0

For further enquiries please contact Brian Tropea at the OHHA office: 905-854-6442 or 1-866-774-6442 ext. 222.

October 16, 2013

The Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel has delivered its Final Report to the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food.   To read the report please…..Click here.

October 9, 2013

The Ontario Racing Commission is seeking public input regarding Standardbred race date changes submitted by Western Fair and Flamboro Downs.  To view the ORC notice please……Click here

July 2, 2013

On Friday, June 28, the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel released its draft plan for the future of horse racing in Ontario.  Industry participants have the opportunity to provide their input at four scheduled meetings  or by written suggestion.

The report, information regarding registration for the meetings and email address for written suggestions can be accessed by clicking on the links in the notice below.

Ontario’s Horse Racing Industry
Transitioning to a Sustainable Future

The Ontario government is committed to supporting a sustainable racing industry that is fair to industry partners and the people of the province. The Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel has been directed to develop a plan that sets a clear path forward on:

  • growing the fan base and enhancing wagering revenues,
  • improving the governance and regulation of the horse racing industry,
  • developing a sustainable funding model, and
  • promoting excellence in racehorse management and breeding.

The panel will also work with industry partners, the Ministry of Finance and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation to integrate horse racing into the broader Ontario gaming strategy.

In early July the Panel will hold public meetings open to all interested parties, to discuss their draft plan for a sustainable Ontario horse racing industry.

You can download the panel’s draft plan, entitled “Toward a Sustainable Future – a Plan for Horse Racing in Ontario,” and are invited to submit written suggestions on how it can be improved. The Panel will incorporate stakeholder and public input into their final plan, which will be released October 2013 to allow for phased implementation beginning April 1, 2014.

For further inquiries, please email: horseracingtransition@ontario.ca

 

June 24, 2013

ONTARIO’S HORSE RACING INDUSTRY

Horse Racing Public Meetings

Ontario has asked the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel for a plan that sets a clear path forward on:

  • growing the fan base and enhancing wagering revenues
  • improving the governance and regulation of the horse racing industry
  • developing a sustainable funding model, and
  • promoting excellence in racehorse management and breeding.

The Panel is required to submit its final plan by October 2013 to allow for implementation on April 1, 2014.

Public meetings are open to all interested parties and will take place as follows:

Monday, July 8, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Western Fair District Raceway
900 King Street
Carousel Room
London ON

Tuesday, July 9, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Woodbine Raceway
555 Rexdale Boulevard
Toronto ON

Wednesday, July 10, 2013
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Ajax Downs
50 Alexander’s Crossing
Ajax ON

Thursday, July 11, 2013*
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Rideau Carleton Raceway
4837 Albion Road
Ottawa ON
*Services for this meeting will be provided in English and French.

To register for a session or to sign up for web-ex or teleconference , please:

You can also submit comments online. The Discussion Paper will be posted on this site by the end of June.


April 22, 2013

YOU ARE INVITED TO A SPECIAL DINNER WITH ANDREA HORWATH AND TARAS NATYSHAK

This event is scheduled for Thursday, May 9 at 6:30 pm in West Copetown.  For further information and the registration form please…..Click here.

 

March 13, 2013

DINNER WITH TIM HUDAK RESCHEDULED

Due to a scheduling conflict encountered by the PC Party it is necessary to reschedule the dinner with Tim Hudak which was originally slated to take place on March 19th.

This PC fundraiser is now confirmed for Tuesday May 14, 2013; venue and time unchanged.  The amended registration form can be accessed here.

The Executive Director of the PC Ontario Fund and OHHA thank you for your understanding and offer sincere apologies to those who have already registered in case this date change causes any inconvenience.

 

January 10, 2013

OHHA BOARD ELECTS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

The OHHA Board of Directors met yesterday, January 9, 2013, to elect the Officers and Executive Committee for 2013.

Ken Hardy was re-elected as President for a third term.

Mr. Hardy thanked the board for its continued support.  He acknowledged the difficult circumstances in which the racing industry currently finds itself and he expressed his concerns pertaining to the future of racing.

Other members of the OHHA Executive Committee are:

First Vice President:  Jody Jamieson

Second Vice President:  Kent Baker

Treasurer:  Paul Lindsey

Executive Members:  Peter Core, Dave Gibson, Anthony Haughan, Jim Whelan and Mark Williams

 

December 7 2012

ANNUAL MEMBERSHIP MEETING

The OHHA Annual Membership Meeting is scheduled for

Saturday, January 26, 2013 – 2:00 pm
Delta Meadowvale Hotel (Hazel McCallion Room)
6750 Mississauga, Ontario

 We invite and encourage all our members to attend this meeting.

 
November 1, 2012

OHHA RESPONDS TO OMAFRA PANEL REPORT

The Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA), which represents the majority of Standardbred horsepeople in Ontario, after careful consideration of the final report as prepared by the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, would like to share its initial reaction to the publicized content.

Unfortunately, we are not greatly surprised by the recommendations as communicated by the panel.  Given the process that has surrounded the government’s intentional dismantlement of the harness racing sector the outcome appears to have been predetermined.

To be clear, the decision to kill the Slots-at-Racetracks Program was made before the release of the Drummond report.  Mr. Drummond, in his recommendations, noted the program should be reviewed, not eliminated.  OHHA has historically supported a review realising there were issues with the existing arrangements, particularly the minimal reinvestment by some racetracks into the infrastructure in order to enhance the industry.

Misinterpreting the recommendation from the Drummond report, the government announced that SARP was dead, effective March 31, 2013.  A multitude of reasons were provided for this decision: it was going to help the fiscal position of the province, it was a “subsidy” to the industry, the industry was unsustainable, a new model was needed…..  We have heard it all and none of the reasoning withstands even the most basic test of scrutiny.

Given the public pressure applied by OHHA and others, the OMAFRA panel was appointed to appease the industry and buy the government time.  This week we were presented the final report excluding a segment of financial information.  The panel developed a model based on revenue generated from pari-mutuel wagering in 2011.  The report clearly demonstrates that the impact will be significant, particularly on the Standardbred industry.

While we applaud the recommendations calling for accountability and transparency, obligations we have repeatedly asked and encouraged the ORC to enforce, OHHA will not and cannot accept a report that buries a dagger in the back of its membership.

Investments by our members and members from other organizations have grown the economy.  In addition to the SARP program contributing in excess of $14 billion dollars to the provincial treasury since its introduction, direct taxation from the economic activity generated by the racing sector is approaching a quarter of a billion dollars.  $1.25 Billion dollars per year have been received by the government to provide services for our fellow citizens.  Apparently “a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush” doesn’t register with this government.

The panel shows a certain level of naïveté by suggesting that gutting Standardbred race dates and purses will keep Ontario competitive with other jurisdictions.  Given that our major competitors south of the border are increasing racing opportunities and purses, we will become far less competitive in racing opportunities, purse monies and in the breeding shed.  How will the demand for the Ontario Standardbred increase under these circumstances?  What will be the loss of economic activity and loss of revenue for government under this proposal?

The extreme bias favoring the A Thoroughbreds is an affront to the Standardbred industry.  While we will not engage in a divide and conquer discussion, to recommend that Standardbreds lose 54% of race days and over 60% of purse monies, compared to a minimal decline of race days and purses for A Thoroughbreds, is a grave injustice by any measure.  Yes, we will hear about the tremendous cut to the Thoroughbred B tracks and OHHA deeply sympathizes with those who will be affected at Ft. Erie Racetrack.

The fact that government doesn’t want a partnership on slot machines but is willing to partner with racetracks on other types of gaming is more than a little confusing.  Of course, none of this increased gaming revenue is available to horsepeople, but will be used to offset racetracks operational expenses.

While we thank the panel for its time and effort we feel deeply disheartened.  This is a confidence-shaking report, a bad deal for harness racing, and a bad deal for the people of Ontario.

The panel refers to OHRIA as representing the horse racing industry.  However, this particular association certainly does not seem to represent the rank and file of the harness racing sector.  The latest results of its efforts could not have made this any more evident as reflected in its initial submission to OMAFRA and the ensuing final report presented by the panel.

As we mentioned at the beginning, this was a political process designed to achieve a pre-determined outcome to the benefit of a few and the detriment of many.  Ending the SARP was never about the dismal fiscal position of the province; they could have enhanced the program if they wanted to improve the province’s finances.

The only rational response is to reject the report.  We must continue to work with all elected officials to move the industry forward in a meaningful manner.  As we have since our inception (1961), OHHA will continue to provide open and responsible leadership on behalf of all its members and we welcome and value our members’ continued input.

For further information contact:
Brian Tropea, General Manager
905-854-6442 or 1-866-774-6442 ext. 222
Email: brian@ohha.ca

ON OCTOBER 30, 2012 THE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY TRANSITION PANEL’S FINAL REPORT WAS RELEASED.

To read the report…..Click here.

ON AUGUST 17, 2012 THE HORSE RACING INDUSTRY TRANSITION PANEL RELEASED ITS INTERIM REPORT.

To view the report…..Click here.

Panel to Work With Industry on Future of Horse Racing

 June 7, 2012 10:00 AM

McGuinty Government Helping Industry Transition to More Sustainable Future

Ontario is moving forward with consultations to help the horse racing industry transition from the Slots at Racetracks program to a more sustainable, self-sufficient model.The consultations will be led by a panel of three former cabinet ministers — Elmer Buchanan, John Snobelen and John Wilkinson.The panel will:

  • Work with the industry to help develop a vision for the future.
  • Provide recommendations to the government on how to allocate transition funding.
  •  Advise on the modernization of other industry revenue sources to assist the industry in becoming more self-sufficient.

A final report from the panel is expected in late summer 2012.

QUICK FACTS

    • Ontario will provide up to $50 million over three years in transition support to the industry.
    • Employment Ontario will help displaced workers in the industry find jobs and training.
    • Since 1998, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has provided nearly $3.7 billion to horse racing in Ontario through the Slots at Racetracks program.
    • The industry is expected to receive a payment of $340 million from the OLG this year.
    • The Slots at Racetracks Program gives 20 per cent of gross slot revenue. That money is shared equally between the track operator and those involved with running horses at the respective tracks. The program will end on March 31, 2013.

 

 

CONTACTS

  • Mark Cripps
    Minister’s Office
    416-326-3069
  • Susan Murray
    Communications Branch
    519-826-3145

 

 Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
ontario.ca/agriculture

 

 

racing industry facing serious declines

The 2011 racing season has been completed and the statistics are now available. The new racing model developed and implemented by the Ontario Racing Commission for the 2011 season led to declines in purses paid, opportunities and pari-mutuel wagering. To view a comparison between 2010 and 2011 click here.