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Ontario Racing announces COVID-19 aid package for horsepeople

Posted in Home Page articles, horse-health, Equestrian News

Ontario Racing announces COVID-19 aid package for horsepeople

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TORONTO, March 27, 2020 - Ontario Racing today announced financial support in line with existing race cancellation practices aimed at the province’s Standardbred horsepeople in light of the COVID-19 virus pandemic which has resulted in the cancellation of live Standardbred horse racing in Ontario.

Financial relief, a total of $300 per horse, is being offered to those involved with Standardbred racehorses who were in-to-race at operational racetracks from March 19 to March 24.

“These funds are to assist owners in efforts to pay horse racing bills, specifically their trainer expenses, who must in turn pay their staff, including grooms and others,” said John Hayes, Independent Chair, Ontario Racing. “Via our task force, we will continue to discuss with government the further financial support that might be available to Ontario horsepeople.”

In order to facilitate payments that may be available to Standardbred horsepeople through this program and beyond, Ontario Racing is reminding Standardbred horsepeople to submit the names of all Ontario-based standardbred horses, 3-year-olds and up, in your care, currently in training to race in April 2020. Trainer name, horse name, owner(s) name, and training centre name, must also be included.

Details can be emailed or faxed to the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA): cathy@cosaonline or 905-854-2644.

For transparency, the names of all standardbred horses and trainers will be posted on the Ontario Racing ( website and its affiliated social media channels.

The industry task force is made up of a cross section of participants in the industry well-versed in the intricacies and ramifications of the sport’s shutdown in Ontario.

Ontario Racing board members John Hayes (Independent Chair), Sue Leslie (Thoroughbred horsepeople), Bill O’Donnell (Standardbred horsepeople), Jessica Buckley (Premier Standardbred tracks), Ian Fleming (Grassroots Standardbred tracks), Bob Broadstock (Quarter Horse horsepeople and breeders), plus Ontario Racing management members Jonathan Zammit and Katherine Curry, comprise the group.

The task force is committed to keeping the industry informed of developments with respect to financial relief as they take place.

Visit for further updates from the Ontario Racing task force, and comprehensive coverage of horse racing in Ontario.

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