Ontario Awards Program Enhancements Signed

Agreement includes $2 million in incentives for registered foals of 2013.

The Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society Ontario has signed an agreement with the Ontario Racing Commission that provides a $12 million enhancement to the breeders' awards program over the next five years.

According to a CTHS release, the agreement is a result of an effort that began Oct. 31 when the CTHS Ontario board endorsed and delivered to public officials a report entitled, "Measures Necessary To Save the Ontario Thoroughbred Industry." Its mission statement was "to identify the means necessary to stabilize and recover the Ontario Thoroughbred breeding industry."

Under the agreement, the current awards program will receive annual enhancements of $2 million for each of the next five years, with an additional immediate payment of $2 million as an additional incentive to "those within the province who have participated in the breeding of 2013 registered Ontario-breds."

As a result, the breeders awards will go from $3 million to $5 million annually, paid out across-the-board for first-, second-, and third-place finishes from the allowance down to the $12,500 claiming level, the CTHS said in a release. In addition, breeders of horses finishing first in $10,000 claiming level races and below will also be rewarded.

The CTHS said the previous cap of $75,000 per breeder has been raised to $100,000 and that the incentives are retroactive to the April 12 opening day of racing in Ontario.

The $2 million for breeders of registered Ontario-bred foals of 2013 will be available for dissemination later this month, the release said, and the foals must be registered not later than July 31 to be eligible.