Ontario Horsemen Reach Accord with Woodbine

Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Ontario Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association signed off on a new five-year contract that guarantees the province 167 live Thoroughbred dates each year through 2008.

Key aspects of the deal also include a 50-50 split of live and simulcast wagering commissions, and a 50-50 split of revenues from the slots both at Woodbine and Mohawk. Thoroughbred and Standardbred horsemen in the province share the split from the slot revenue.

The deal runs through March 31, 2008. The HBPA membership ratified the contract on May 20, 2003.

"This agreement brings stability to our horse racing operations," said Hugh Mitchell, Woodbine Entertainment's senior vice president of racing. "It is a testament to the willingness of both parties to grow our business together."

"The new agreement sets out the parameters of our new working relationship with Woodbine Entertainment Group," said Nick Coukos, executive director of the HBPA. "It enforces the strong will of the parties committed to ensuring that the relationship will work towards our common goal, namely the enhancement and betterment of thoroughbred racing in the province."