Ontario Breeders Say Government Deal ‘Too Little, Too Late’

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Although Woodbine Entertainment Group announced its support for the five-year plan handed down from a government panel on Friday, Standardbred breeders in Ontario say the deal is “too little, too late” to repair the damage to their businesses.

After the end of the Slots At Racetrack program, many horsemen moved their operations elsewhere and while the plan provides $400 million to the racing industry, the amount of cash headed to the Standardbred industry is down by more than half, according to reporting by The Hamilton Spectator.

Standardbred breeder Jim Whelan said that the plan to concentrate full-time Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine does little to reverse the tides that set in after the industry was left reeling from uncertainty. These days, he said horsemen shipping horses of both breeds to the United States for breeding and racing–which also means their money is flowing out of the province.

“I can’t sustain a livelihood in Ontario based on this program,” Whelan told the Spectator. “Literally, at 57 years old, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

Read more at The Hamilton Spectator 

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  • Oscetra

    It truly has been tragic, what has happened to Ontario Thoroughbred/Standardbred communities. Just wiping them out.

  • Convene

    Hey they need the money so they can do things like handing out 500 grand to bring a hockey game to ONE city. As if there isn’t enough hockey already.

    Harness racing may survive, at least at some level; some tracks do still have slots. Thoroughbreds? Well, Fort Erie is the oldest track of all up here and a true gem in one of the nicest towns in the country. To see it go breaks my heart. Even the mayor of Kingston, with whom I frequently disagree, is upset about this blow to his home town. Woodbine? That is yet to be seen.

  • Right then, Right now

    Lesson #1: Liberals will always find a way to pay for their out-of-control spending addiction.

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