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Board Governance

Ontario Racing (OR) is pleased to announce that OR governance has continued to evolve to ensure the Board of Directors is representative of the broader horse racing industry and to ensure that OR is led by experienced and knowledgeable individuals.

With great thanks for her dedication and service, Sue Leslie has stepped down as Chair of OR’s Board. She will continue as a Director representing the Horsemen’s’ Benevolent and Protection Association (HBPA) and will serve on the Executive Committee as Immediate Past Chair. Effective February 1st 2017 Ms. Leslie was succeeded by Hugh Mitchell as interim, non-voting Chair of OR’s Board of Directors. Mr. Mitchell’s experience and knowledge of Ontario’s horse racing industry, and his passion and commitment to the longevity of the industry, make him an ideal candidate for this role.

OR has added three additional Director positions to the board. One of these positions has been assigned to a regional race track representative and as such, OR has reached out to Kawartha Downs, Hiawatha Horse Park, Leamington Raceway and Dresden Raceway to request that they nominate representatives to be considered for this role. OR has engaged these tracks in a collaborative decision making process, and hopes to share the name of the successful candidate to this seat in the coming weeks. Two additional Director at large positions have been approved and a process to select candidates is being developed.

In addition to these changes to board composition, OR is pleased to announce further strengthening of the governing framework of the Board of Directors. A Code of Conduct for Directors has been approved, and will guide the way that the Board of Directors conducts business and represents the industry. It can be found here (LINK) on the OR website.

In addition, three Board committees have been formalized including an executive committee, a governance & nominations committee and a strategic planning committee.

The Board of Directors will also be supported by three advisory groups: one representing horse players and customers, one representing equine welfare and one presenting Standardbred horse persons. Representatives from the industry will be invited to participate in the advisory group structure, including those not represented at the Board of Directors’ level. Through this structure, OR seeks to ensure that industry perspectives and needs are reflected and considered in the decision-making processes. The terms of reference for these groups are in the process of being developed, and will be shared once finalized. Invitations to the industry for nominees will be issued. Please visit the OR website for more details on the new advisory committee structure.

These changes reflect the commitment of OR’s Directors and staff to continued improvement and governance evolution, to best serve and represent the interests of the horseracing industry in this province.

Learn more about Ontario Racing's Board Governance:

An overview of the Ontario Racing governance structure.

The Ontario Racing Board of Directors is representative of the broader horse racing industry to ensure that OR is led by experienced and knowledgeable individuals.

To promote and further the interests of horse racing in the province by fostering a trusted partnership with government and supporting the industry's self-determination for a sustainable horse racing industry.

The Ontario Racing Association (Corporation) (OR) is committed to ensuring that it maintains the highest standards of integrity and membership/industry trust.


The Ontario Racing (OR) Conflict of Interest Policy enforces the existing OR Code of Conduct. This policy ensures integrity in all decision-making processes of the board of directors of OR is maintained by ensuring that directors are free from conflict or potential conflict in their decision making. The policy outlines the directors’ fiduciary duty to avoid conflicts of interest.  The policy will assist all directors and officers to understand their obligations when a conflict of interest or potential conflict of interest arises.

Read here: Conflict of Interest Policy


The 2017-2018 Ontario Racing (OR) Business Plan describes the activities that OR will undertake over the next two years to significantly advance its strategic mandate and the fulfillment of its strategic objectives.  It reflects a deliberate and focused approach to building a long-term foundation for success, with an emphasis on inclusiveness, engagement, credibility, and transparency.

Read here: 2017-18 Business Plan