Ontario Racing has just revealed that there will be support benefits for Ontario’s Standardbred horsepeople who have been affected by the most recent suspension of live harness races. The funds are available under the Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, and the horse racing leader has announced the requirements for the eligible applicants.
The horse racing industry has been put on hold at the province at the start of this April, as the provincial government issued a new stay-at-home order. Initially, the lockdown was on course to be only 28 days, but it was later extended to May 20. This has left all horsepeople at a disadvantage due to the sport enduring several suspensions since the beginning of the unprecedented situation.
Benefit Payments for May
Chair of Ontario Racing, John Hayes, stated that the company and the Crown Corporation remain devoted to the support the industry in such difficult times. He continued by saying that the last 14 months have been extremely grim for the live harness industry and its thousands of workers. Both institutions realize their responsibility towards the sector and will provide more benefits.
In order for horsepeople to be eligible for the benefit payments, their horse must meet certain requirements. The payment for the month of May is CA$1,000 per horse. This applies to any horse stabled in the province with a charted line in 2021, and it is not currently racing outside of Ontario, or horses that are training outside of the province without returning before April 5.
The second requirement applies for horses that are currently preparing to race and are stabled in the province for the month of May, who will also be eligible to apply for the CA$1,000 relief payment. This includes unraced in 2021 three and four-year-olds. Any horse that started in Ontario between September 1 and December 23, 2020, that was stabled in Ontario at the time of the start and remained in Ontario until December 23, 2020.
Ontario Racing reminds that horsepeople who have applied for the April benefits do not need to submit applications for the month of May to receive the new payments. All horses who meet the three requirements must remain in the province in May and their first start must also be at the province as soon as live harness races return. All application forms must be submitted before June 2, 2021.
It is worth noting that live horse racing was just allowed to recommence after the provincial government announced its economic restart plan. Woodbine Entertainment announced its new starting date for its thoroughbred and its standardbred seasons respectively on June 18 and June 14. However, the equine leader is considering applying for an earlier starting day as most horsepeople are already at the tracks and good to go.
This week Woodbine Mohawk Park is scheduled to have an action-packed set of qualifiers, divided into three days. Starting from Thursday, May 27, to Saturday, May 29, the horse racing track will feature a total of 44 exciting qualifying sessions, with over 377 horses taking part. Many fan-favorite and already established fillies will be racing against each other so be sure to check it out.
Source: “Apply For May Benefit Payments” Standardbred Canada, May 26, 2021
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