On Friday, June 14, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food announced that the Ontario Government is extending its support of the Horse Improvement Program into 2015 to encourage the breeding of quality Ontario racehorses.
A release by the Ministry states that up to $30 million will be made available through the HIP program in each of the next two years to support the racehorse breeding sector and invest in equine research.
The releases states that the move is in keeping with the recommendations made by the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel after hundreds of hours of consultation with stakeholders. The release also states that the move will ‘boost support for Ontario-bred horses and enable breeders to continue to invest in the horse-racing industry.’
“This is great news for Ontario-bred weanlings and yearlings and a strong encouragement for breeders in rural Ontario who are building on a legacy of great racehorses,” Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel member John Snobelen was quoted as saying in the release.
The Ministry has stated that the move is part of the Ontario Liberal Government’s commitment to a sustainable future for the provincial horse-racing industry and the integration of horse racing into the province’s broader gaming strategy.
“Continuing to invest in this forward-looking program gives the horse racing and breeding industry confidence there will be a future here for Ontario-bred racehorses,” said Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne, who is also the Minister of Agriculture and Food.
The release also states that starting on June 21, the transition panel will begin consultations with stakeholders on creating a more sustainable horse-racing industry in Ontario, including integrating horse racing into the province’s gaming strategy. The final plan is due in October 2013.
(With files from the Ministry of Agriculture and Food)