Sue Leslie, long-time president of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario (HBPA), talks to Canadian Thoroughbred about recent victories including a new four-year racing contract with Woodbine Entertainment Group (WEG) that includes $18 million in new purses and Ontario Racing’s announcement it’s changing the Horse Improvement Program funding splits from 50/50 with the Standardbreds back to the traditional splits based on pari-mutuel wagering.

Despite these substantial improvements she says it’s been difficult fighting to keep the industry solvent in the seven years after it was announced the Ontario’s Slots at Racetracks Program was ending. Leslie also discusses the need to educate Woodbine’s management on the importance of horse racing’s short-term needs versus longevity, her concerns about Fort Erie racetrack’s viability, the tug of war between local and U.S.-based Thoroughbred breeders and staying positive despite a new Progressive Conservative government in power in Ontario.

Read the full story on Canadian Thoroughbred.