On Friday (November 21), Ontario Racing Commission Executive Director Steven Lehman offered Trot Insider an update on the previously-announced five-year enhanced Horse Improvement Program (HIP) for Ontario Standardbreds.
In late October, Lehman penned a letter to Jeff Leal, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, stating that discussions were ongoing with the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) to design an “enhanced Horse Improvement Program for Ontario Standardbreds not to exceed $12 million in total funding.”
Discussions were ongoing and had been set to resume in mid-November.
Lehman told Trot Insider on Friday that he was pleased to offer an update on the progress with the discussions with the SBOA regarding the collective work to design the five-year enhanced Horse Improvement Program for Ontario Standardbreds.
The executive director of the ORC also told Trot Insider that he was providing the update jointly with Walter Parkinson, the president of the SBOA.
“Representatives from the ORC and the SBOA met on November 12,” Lehman said. “Both the SBOA and ORC agree that this was a very productive meeting, and greatly advanced the drafting of a plan to support Standardbred breeding. Later, Walter, representing the SBOA, briefed the HIP Standardbred working group on the basic elements of the plan.”
Lehman went on to say that, “The ORC and the SBOA are confident that, pending some additional discussion and approval by our respective Boards, we will be able to release the details of the program prior to the end of this calendar year.”