As you are aware, Ontario Racing decided effective April 1, 2019, without consultation with OHHA, to withhold the financial support necessary for our organization to continue to provide a range of benefits and representation to members of our industry. Traditionally, these funds have come from a deduction of the horse persons’ purse accounts. The Ontario Racing board has decided to redirect the funding to COSA, the horse people’s group for Woodbine Mohawk Park.
We are continuing to work with the Province of Ontario and Ontario Racing to develop a long term solution to this situation and believe we are making progress.
The Ontario Harness Horse Association continues to advocate on behalf of Standardbred horse people throughout the province. We remain the only Standardbred horse person’s group that provides representation to our industry throughout the Province. We continue to believe in a single, unified voice for Standardbred horsepeople, that is democratically elected by its members.
We do support a vision of horse racing in Ontario where the industry is self- governing, horsepeople have the opportunity to earn an honest living, and we can continue to contribute to and grow the rural agricultural economy that we are so much apart of.
OHHA has always believed there are challenges with the Ontario Racing model and the long term funding agreement and have been working with the Government to seek resolutions to some of these matters, but have declined to join at least until progress is made.
We want to see a horse racing industry that is accountable to the people who make horse racing in Ontario what it is: the horsepeople. While we think racetrack owners and industry associations can contribute to that future, for us, we know that it is the horsepeople in this province that will make the difference and that’s why we’re continuing to advocate for you.
This phase of our work to improve Ontario Racing and expand on the vision of a self-governing horse racing industry requires that we work cooperatively with government and try to find some common ground with Ontario Racing.
We will continue to keep you updated in the coming days and weeks as things progress and we get a better understanding of what is to come.
For now, I’d like you to rest assured that the Ontario Harness Horse Association remains strong and will continue to responsibly represent the interests of Standardbred horsepeople in Ontario, as we have done for more than five decades.
We are grateful for your continued support.
For further information please contact Brian Tropea at 1-866-774-6442 (toll free) or 905-854-6442, ext. 222, or by email firstname.lastname@example.org