Equine benefit payments to be available to Quarter Horse Horsepeople

TORONTO, May 19, 2021 – Ontario Racing is pleased to announce that Quarter Horse horsepeople will have the opportunity to access certain purse funds that remain available under the Long-Term Funding Agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) in the event that live racing at Ajax Downs is suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds made available in the form of equine support payments correlate directly to Long-Term Funding Agreement purse funds that have been foregone as a result of the lockdown measures from the cancelled May race days. If live racing is still prohibited under provincial orders related to COVID-19 at the end of May, a new round of funding may be available to Quarter Horse horsepeople (subject to approvals) with new requirements for eligibility. Information pertaining to a potential benefit payment beyond May will be provided in a subsequent communication.
The aforementioned funds were already committed to the industry through the Long Term-Funding Agreement for Live Horse Racing between Ontario Racing and OLG.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Racing created a task force, as it did during the spring lockdown in 2020, to address the financial impacts to horse racing in Ontario.
“We are pleased to be in a position to offer these equine benefit payments to the Quarter Horse industry,” said John Hayes, Chair, Ontario Horse Racing. “From the onset of the pandemic last spring, Ontario Racing, along with OLG, and industry representatives, have worked diligently to assist horsepeople across the province whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19.”
Eligibility Requirements
  1. Horses are currently stabled in the province of Ontario; 3 YO and older horses are in active training for the upcoming 2021 Quarter Horse season at Ajax Downs as verified by the Quarter Horse Task Force. Horses must have made a start during the 2020 racing season as verified on Equibase.  3 and 4 YO horses that did not make a start during 2020 but were in training during 2020 may apply.  Approval is at the discretion of the Quarter Horse Task Force and supporting documentation may be required.   Horses meeting this criterion must apply for eligible equine welfare payments using the attached application form.
  2. Application form:
The Quarter Horse Equine Benefit application for this payment can be found here (Application Form). The deadline to submit your application to Ontario Racing is May 28, 2021. All mailed applications must be postmarked by May 28, 2021 in order to be deemed eligible. Please email or mail completed applications to:
Attn: Karen Allen – kallen@ontarioracing.com
Ontario Racing Management
555 Rexdale Boulevard
Toronto, ON
M9W 5L2
Important Notes:
  • All payments received must be used for the care and maintenance of Quarter Horse horses.
  • Any horse receiving assistance under this program must be in the province of Ontario. Horses that are trained by an AGCO licensed Trainer who predominantly races at Ajax Downs but are not stabled in Ontario may apply. Approval is at the discretion of the Quarter Horse Task Force. Horses approved under this criterion will be required to race at Ajax Downs for the entire 2021 meet, if approved to receive funding.
  • Once racing resumes in Ontario, horses who have received benefits under this program MUST make their first start at an Ontario Quarter Horse racetrack.
  • Ontario Racing reserves the right to request additional information to ensure all criteria has been met. Those receiving benefits under the program could be subject to an audit by Ontario Racing. Failure to meet the criteria will result in all amounts being repaid to Ontario Racing.
  • All decisions are at the discretion of Ontario Racing and are ABSOLUTE and FINAL.
  • Horses are currently under the care of an AGCO licensed trainer at the time the application is submitted.