Update by Ontario Premier confirms 6 tracks committed to racing in 2013 with others expected to follow soon

Four More Race Tracks Sign Funding Agreements

New Ontario Government Committed to Sustainable Horse Racing Industry


March 8, 2013

The new Ontario government has reached tentative transition funding agreements with Western Fair, Clinton, Hanover and Grand River race tracks – the next step in ensuring race dates for the 2013 season.

Following recommendations from the Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel Report, the province intends to:

  • In consultation with the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association, integrate horse racing with the provincial gaming strategy to ensure future revenue streams for the  industry.
  • Complete agreements with interested race tracks in the coming weeks to provide transition funding for the next three years in order to ensure horse racing in the province.

The new Ontario government is committed to supporting a sustainable racing industry that is fair to industry partners and the people of the province.


“We’ve already made great progress with an agreement-in-principle with the province’s largest horse racing organization so that racing continues at Woodbine and Mohawk. We continue to work on transition funding agreements with other tracks while we work with the sector on a new market-driven model that works for the industry and is good public policy.”  — Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Agriculture and Food

“There is a genuine willingness within the industry to assume leadership to shape a new vision for the sector. The panel will work with the sector to help it move toward a sound future.” — John Snobelen, member, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel

“Today’s announcement sends the right signal of hope and confidence about the future of the horse racing industry in Ontario.” — Sue Leslie, president, Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association


  • Woodbine Entertainment Group, the province’s largest horse racing provider and operator of Woodbine and Mohawk race tracks, signed an agreement on Jan. 23, 2013.
  • The Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, made up of former cabinet ministers Elmer Buchanan, John Snobelen and John Wilkinson, released its final report on October 23, 2012.
  • Up to $30 million will be available for the Horse Improvement Program in 2013. The Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel, the Ontario Racing Commission and members of the province’s world class breeding industry are discussing the allocation of these funds.
  • OLG has reached agreements-in-principle with all fourteen race tracks in the province that host slot facilities.