About the SBOA

Welcome to the SBOA (Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association) website.

The Standardbred racing industry in the province of Ontario has deep-seated roots stemming from the 17th century when the first trotting races were held usually in fields and the mid 18th century when racing took place on official courses with horses in harness.  From a historical perspective, Standardbred racing is part of our heritage and occasionally you can find evidence of small fair tracks that still exist today that were once hubs of activity.

Over the centuries, the main objective of Standardbred breeders hasn’t changed: to select bloodlines that will produce the fastest horses.  However, the sport has greatly evolved.  Today, horse racing and breeding is the second largest agricultural sector in the province with annual recurrent expenditures by breeders and owners in excess of $2 billion.  Over 60,000 full-time, part-time and seasonal jobs have been generated.

The SBOA has also undergone many changes.  Originally, the group formed in the late 1960’s as the Ontario Standardbred Improvement Association (OSIA) with the goal of promoting the breeding of quality Standardbred racehorses in the province of Ontario.  The group was quite active, lobbying the government to employ measures that would make it attractive to breed horses in this province.

In 1974, the Ontario Sires Stakes were introduced.  Today, Ontario has developed the reputation of having the best Sires Stakes program in North America.  One of the key elements of the Ontario Sires Stakes program is that stallions need to be registered with the program and resident in the province of Ontario for 170 consecutive days.  Any foal resulting from a mating to a stallion registered with the program is Ontario Sires Stakes eligible.

After a series of name changes, the group is presently known as the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario (SBOA).   The mission of the SBOA is to continue to encourage and support the growth of a financially viable and sustainable breeding industry while representing and clearly defining the breeders’ position on major issues to our industry partners, government and regulators.  It also aims to provide breeders with improved communications and education resources.

The SBOA is involved in a number of initiatives that include but are not limited to:

  • Providing a leadership role as an advocate of breeders’ priorities and interests with the government, regulators and other industry participants.  The SBOA is consulted with on a regular basis on issues pertaining to the breeding industry such as the Horse Improvement Program review and the Ontario Mare Residency Program.   The SBOA has a representative on the OHRIA (Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association) that is considered to be the primary interface for the Industry with government, the Ontario Sires Stakes Publicity and Promotion Committee, the Standardbred Review Committee and the Horse Improvement Program.
  • Development of the New Owners Mentoring Program as a means of providing those that have an interest in horse racing, a unique opportunity to become a new owner.  Each group consists of 9 new owners and an assigned mentor who acts as an interface between the trainer and ownership group.  This provides individuals an opportunity to learn first hand about many facets of horse ownership.   For more information refer to the New Owners Mentoring Program link.
  • Support of the breeding industry through the establishment of two SBOA stakes races held for 3 year old racing fillies (pacing and trotting).  This helps provide additional racing opportunities for racing fillies that will transition into high quality broodmares once their racing career has come to an end.
  • Provision of yearling credits at several venues to be used at Ontario yearling sales as a means to promote attendance and purchase of Ontario eligible yearlings.
  • Enhanced communication through a regular column that appears in the Canadian Sportsman as a means informing members about important issues and upcoming events as related to the Standardbred Breeding Industry.
  • Supports education to breeders and the care and welfare of the horse through sponsorships.  The SBOA has made a $25,000 donation in support of the Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society where retired or non-racing Standardbreds are re-trained and placed for adoption.  As well, a $25,000 donation was provided to the Regional Equine Agricultural Centre of Huron (REACH) that offers unique programming including reproductive short courses.
  • Hosts an annual banquet to acknowledge the best including; leading horses on the Ontario Sires Stakes circuit, top O.S.S. trainer (Johnston Cup), top O.S.S. driver (Lampman Cup), Masterfeeds Award, along with the Chisholm and Van Bussel Awards.


Interested in joining us as a Director?  Please Download Nomination Form by Clicking here.

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