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ORC suspends OHHA

June 11, 2004

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The Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) has announced it has suspended the Ontario Harness Horse Association's (OHHA) license to handle the distribution of purse checks. The action came after the ORC ruled that the OHHA had failed to provide documents regarding the ORC's investing of the organization's handling of the purse distribution.

"This is a heavy-handed, completely unwarranted action," OHHA chief operations officer John Walzak told Standardbred Canada. Walzak also noted, "This will jeopardize the ability of Ontario horsemen to receive their purse checks. It's an irresponsible action and frankly, I can't believe it."

ORC acting executive director Don Bourgeois said that tracks that have their purse distribution through the OHHA--nearly all of the province's B-tracks--will now have to take care of the payments themselves.

According to Walzak, the OHHA wil ask for a stay and hearing regarding the situation.

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