$2.5 million to be added to Canadian purses
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Ontario Racing (OR) is pleased to announce an 8.9 percent increase over 12 months to all Ontario Signature, Grassroots and Rideau Carleton Standardbred race cards, to be distributed through the OR-managed $2.5 million Standardbred Stranded Purse Account.
On July 27, 2017, OR publicly announced it would distribute $2.5 million in stranded Standardbred purse funds to support Standardbred purse enhancements and supplements.
The fund distribution plan, which was subsequently approved by the OR Board of Directors, will take place over a 12-month period to maximize the impact of the increase. The 8.9 percent distribution increase will enhance the average Grassroots Standardbred race card purse by $3,101 and the average Signature Standardbred race card purse by $5,316.
The money will directly support Standardbred track purses, the area of horse racing in which most participants earn their living. This commitment is consistent with direction from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and agreed to by OR and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG).
The July 27 announcement made by OR contained comprehensive details of the purpose of the funds and provided answers to common questions regarding the distribution of the stranded purse funds.
OR manages the fund from a separate trust account and implements management, reporting and accountability mechanisms, in consultation with OLG, to ensure that funds are dispersed in alignment with OR's objectives of industry self-determination and sustainability.
Accounting and reporting will be undertaken separately from OR accounts and OR-managed Horse Improvement Program (HIP) trust accounts. The funds will also be part of OR's annual financial audit activities. The disbursement details and reporting and all related information will be posted publicly on the OR website.
Applicable racetracks will be required to demonstrate that any funds received are used solely for the intended purpose, which is to enhance race purses. Ontario Racing will analyze the impact of the Stranded Purse distribution on industry metrics, such as field sizes.
The stranded purse account was previously held in trust and managed by OLG. With the transfer of funds to OR, the industry association ensured the funds would be used to fulfill their original purpose: supporting both Standardbred purses and harness horse racing participants across Ontario. (Standardbred Canada)