On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, representatives from Ontario’s Standardbred horse groups held meetings to discuss a unified strategy for the standardbred industry as it pertains to the OMAFRA Panel Report.
“It was a very positive meeting,” said Standardbred Canada CEO John Gallinger. “I’m very pleased that the industry has come together to speak with one voice.”
The group that met was represented by all four provincial horsemens’ associations – Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA), National Capital Region Harness Horse Association (NCRHHA), Northern Horsemen’s Association (NHA) and the Ontario Harness Horse Association (OHHA) – the Standardbred Breeders and Owners Association (SBOA) and Standardbred Canada’s Ontario directors. A common concern from the members in attendance was the need for clarification on certain items in the OMAFRA Report. The group has started working to generate a list of clarifying questions and constructive suggestions to the panel’s report.
“Once constructive suggestions have been developed and agreed upon, the group intends to work with industry stakeholders to make our ideas known,” continued Gallinger. “This could include working with the tracks, OHRIA, and meeting directly with the panel. We are all working towards the same goal of a strong and healthy industry.
“OHRIA has been working hard on behalf of the entire racing and breeding industry, and the Standardbred group wants to ensure that there’s a strong united Standardbred voice being heard both through OHRIA and directly from the Standardbred industry.”
Gallinger noted that the Standardbred group would be finalizing constructive suggestions shortly.
“We’re appreciative of the tremendous amount of work completed by the panel to date. There are still questions to be answered and areas of concerns to be addressed,” stated Gallinger.