TORONTO, April 23, 2021 – Ontario Racing is pleased to announce that Thoroughbred horsepeople now have the opportunity to access certain purse funds that remain available under the Long-Term Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) as a result of the suspension of live racing in the province due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds made available in the form of equine support payments correlate directly to Long-Term Funding Agreement purse funds that have been foregone as a result of the lockdown measure from the period of late April to early May. If live racing is still prohibited under provincial orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic at the end of May, a new round of funding will be available to Thoroughbred horse people (subject to approvals) with new requirements for eligibility. Information pertaining to a potential May benefit payment will be provided in a subsequent communication.
The aforementioned funds were already committed to the industry through the Funding Agreement for Live Horse Racing between Ontario Racing and OLG.
“We are pleased to be able to provide these Thoroughbred equine benefit payments,” said John Hayes, Chair, Ontario Racing. “Horse racing, like so many other industries, continues to be greatly impacted by COVID-19. The Ontario Racing team, OLG, and industry representatives, remain committed in assisting horsepeople and horses throughout the province. We appreciate your patience and support as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times for our industry.”
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Racing created a task force, as it did during the spring lockdown in 2020, to address the financial impacts to horse racing in Ontario.
An equine benefit payment in the amount of $1,125/horse is available for April providing the horse meets one of the following criteria requirements:
1. 3-year-old and older horses that were stabled on the Woodbine Racetrack backstretch up to and including April 17, 2021, in preparation for the 2021 racing season. No application is required for horses meeting this criterion.
2. For horses not stabled at Woodbine Racetrack and were stabled in the province of Ontario up to and including April 17, 2021, 3-year-old and older horses must have had two official timed workouts on or before April 17 either at Woodbine Racetrack and/or Fort Erie Racetrack. Workout information must be verifiable either through Equibase, or official clocking reports produced by the Woodbine and/or Fort Erie Race Offices. Horses meeting this criterion may apply for equine benefit payments by using the application form (see below).
The Thoroughbred Equine Benefit application for this payment can be found here (Application Form). The deadline to submit your application to Ontario Racing is May 7, 2021. All mailed applications must be postmarked by May 7, 2021 in order to be eligible. Please email or mail completed applications to:
Attn: Sarrah Young – email@example.com
Ontario Racing Management
555 Rexdale Boulevard
· All payments received must be used for the care and maintenance of Thoroughbred horses.
· Payment to be directly deposited into horsepersons’ accounts for those who are automatically approved; cheques to be issued upon request.
· Horses that have transferred ownership for the 2021 racing season MUST provide a Bill of Sale to Woodbine or Fort Erie Race Offices
· Once racing resumes in Ontario, horses who have received benefits under this program MUST make their first start at an Ontario Thoroughbred racetrack, unless otherwise approved by Ontario Racing.
· Ontario Racing reserves the right to request additional information to ensure all criteria has been met. Those receiving benefits under the program could be subject to an audit by Ontario Racing. Failure to meet the criteria will result in all amounts being repaid to Ontario Racing.
· All decisions are at the discretion of Ontario Racing and are ABSOLUTE and FINAL.
· Horses are currently under the care of an AGCO licensed trainer at the time the application is submitted.
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