The three member OMAFRA panel, charged with the transition of horse racing in Ontario, today issued a statement revealing their expectations regarding the purse structure of the Ontario Sires Stakes program.
The full statement, issued today in response to a request for clarification from the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario, is as follows:
“With the implementation of the recommendations by our panel, and with fine tuning of the funding in the weeks ahead, it is our expectation and intent that the current purse structure for the highly successful OSS program could be maintained for 2013 and beyond.”
Anna Meyers, President of the SBOA, sees the written statement as an important step in restoring confidence in Ontario’s world renowned breeding sector.
“The SBOA has asked the panel for clarity and they’ve provided this written response,” said Meyers. “At Harrisburg this week, we’re hearing a lot of questions from breeders that are selling Ontario-sired horses. We believe it is extremely important that buyers understand that this vital program will continue in its entirety and we hope this will give them confidence as they make buying decisions this week.”
While Meyers is pleased with the statement, she cautions that there is still work to be done. “We feel there is a lot of discussion that needs to take place on a number of issues, and we’re very hopeful that we’re able to to make meaningful progress on behalf of the many standardbred breeders in Ontario.”
The panel, which consists of Elmer Buchanen, John Snobelen and John Wilkinson, last month issued their panel report on the future of horse racing in Ontario.