As part of its mandate as agreed to with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation through the Long Term Funding Agreement, Ontario Racing (OR) will assume management of the Thoroughbred Horse Improvement Program (TIP). OR, who annually directs the Horse Improvement Program (HIP) in support of the province’s horse racing industry, will commence administration of the Thoroughbred Horse Improvement Program for the 2019-20 season.
Ontario Racing currently administers the Standardbred and Quarter Horse HIP Programs but had previously contracted out administration of the TIP program to the Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (CTHS).
“Ontario Racing is streamlining its Horse Improvement Program operations to bring stability to the TIP program, allowing for greater transparency and stronger administration of the purse fund for the entire horse racing industry,” said Katherine Curry, Executive Director, Ontario Racing. “Ontario Racing has substantial expertise in overseeing this type of initiative and it has been determined that it is in the best interests of the province’s horse racing industry to bring the administration of the Thoroughbred Horse Improvement Program back under OR’s full sponsorship. The change has been ratified by Ontario Racing’s Board of Directors indicating the industry’s full support.”
Ontario Racing represents over 95% of the horse racing industry, across all levels of racing and breeding of racehorses in Ontario, including representation by racetracks and horsepeople’s associations.
The HIP program was created by government to support the Ontario horse racing industry and its administration under the purview of its industry association and as such, subject to a high level of transparency and reporting.
Administration of the HIP programs forms a substantial part of Ontario Racing’s mandate. HIP requires a total industry perspective on performance indicators including various quality and quantity metrics. The investment should be evaluated in light of the overall effect on the entire Ontario racing program. Direct administration will also allow the HIP program to be evaluated against comparable industry programs in other jurisdictions.
“Ontario Racing has administered the HIP programs for the Standardbred and Quarter Horse breeds of our industry with great success,” said Bob Broadstock, President of Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. “OR’s management team will offer similar innovative financial and technological solutions to the Thoroughbred Horse Improvement Program that will be cost effective and will balance and further the interests of the Ontario’s entire horse racing business.”
Affairs and allocations of the full Horse Improvement Program, including TIP, will continue to be deliberated at Ontario Racing’s board committee level and approved by its full board of directors, led by John Hayes, the organization’s Independent Chair. The CTHS will continue to have a seat on the TIP committee.
The 2018 Ontario Thoroughbred Racing season concludes on December 20. The timing of the 2019 racing season (meet openers are set for April 20 at Woodbine and May 28 at Fort Erie), offers orderly timing on the transfer of executional duties of TIP from the CTHS to Ontario Racing.