OLG Allocates Prize Money To Horse Upkeep
Ontario horseracing drew to a complete halt on March 23. All industries typically reliant on mass gatherings have been forced into a state of complete lockdown. And the horseracing industry has sadly not been spared.
But even though all races have now been placed on the backburner, the horses obviously require ongoing care regardless of whether or not races are run, and so caretakers have had to dig deep into their pockets in order to ensure that the animals remain fed and groomed, exercised and in good health – a task now made considerably easier thanks to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) having now made available a sum of unused prize money available according to the provisions of a special Funding Agreement.
A Welcome Amendment
Instead of keeping the money allocated to the state for the purposes of supplementing prize money, the OLG has now allocated those funds to horse owners by way of an amendment to the existing Funding Agreement. Funds are allocated specifically for the maintenance and upkeep of the horse population until such time as what races are in a position to resume in the province.
Owners are required to file an application for financial aid if in need of assistance, with funds to be allocated based on certain qualifying criteria. Conditions include that any horse applied for must have been trained by a local trainer who is licensed by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario. A stall application will also have to have been signed into force for the year, and the horse to which the funding applies must be 3 years old or up.
Time Will Tell What Happens Next
If approved, the monthly amount allocated will depend on the breeding status of the applicable horse. Thoroughbred horses will receive a monthly allocation of CA$1,500 per month, whereas standardbred horses will receive CA$1,000 per month. At CA$750, quarter horses will receive a slightly less generous allocation.
All amounts have been determined as such so as to make provision for at least half of the monthly expenses typically associated with taking care of a horse in its specific race category. The announcement has been welcomed by horse owners all over the province and will continue for as local lockdowns remain in force.
The OLG has furthermore said that in the event that lockdowns continue beyond May 31st, new amendments may have to be made to the existing funding arrangement.