'Voice of the Region'

Welcome to the National Capital Region Harness Horse Association website.

    Attention: NCRHHA and RCR Community

    Premier Doug Ford has announced that 'Horse Racing' is one of the services that can open/expand as of Tuesday May 19, 2020. This 'Stage 1' Re-opening allows for horse racing provided that there are no spectators and strict physical distancing measures and safety protocols are in place.

    RCR-NCRHHA Return To Racing Info-Video

    Covid-19 Ontario Minimum Racetrack Protocols (SC-ON RACING)

    The 1st RCR Racing Card is scheduled for Sunday June 7 Post Time 6:30PM. Racing will be held twice a week: Thursdays 4:00PM and Sundays 6:30PM. There will be a maximum of 10 races per card.

    Qualifiers are scheduled for Wednesday May 27 11:00AM & Wednesday June 3 11:00AM. Woodbine Entertainment is strongly encouraging all horsepeople to use Standardbred Canada's online new 2.0 Self-Serve entry system to enter horses to qualify and to race. To access the SC Self-Serve you must have a GMail account.

    May 27 Condition Sheet | June 3 Condition Sheet

    WEG Asks Trainers To Enter Online

    An AGCO amendment has been made to reduce the number of horses that are required to qualify. Any horse with a clean charted line between February 1, 2020 through March 19, 2020 will not be required to qualify upon the restart of racing, provided that the horse races within the first 60 days following the restart of racing.  Here is the AGCO website link with more info:

    AGCO Notice: Temporary Rules Amendment (SC-AGCO)

    May 2020 Purse Funds Allocation Update

    To apply for per-horse monthly owner-payments during the COVID-19 pandemic for eligible 3YO and older race horses, please see the NCRHHA submission form website link posted beneath the news updates. Please submit your completed form to Ontario Racing to qualify for funding.

    Trainers who do not receive payment for their April invoices by May 21 should contact ORM at syoung@ontarioracing.com. Please note that this date has been extended by 1 week.  We expect payments for the month of May to be distributed during the last week of May.

    Cheques for qualified Standardbred racehorses, drivers and trainers for the last week of March have now been fully distributed.  Please contact ORM at aglynn@ontarioracing.com if you have not received your cheque(s) or if you have any questions.

    Verification of all eligible horses has been completed. Questions regarding horses not approved for payment to be directed to the appropriate horseperson’s association.

    For OSS yearling nominations, the payment deadline has been extended from May 15 to June 15, 2020.

    Efforts to resume racing in the Province, albeit without spectators, are continuing.

    ON RACING: MAY 15 Purse Funds Allocation Update (May 15, OR)

    May 2020 CPMA + AGCO Notices & Bulletins Re: Retention Barn, EIPH Program, Medication, etc..

    On Tuesday, May 19, the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency advised the horse racing industry of measures that will be in place in the retention areas of racetracks in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. The contents of the CPMA release appear below in both English and French.

    CPMA Notice: Retention Barn Protocols(May 19, SC-CPMA)

    As the racing industry prepares for the resumption of racing, the AGCO is issuing a reminder to all racing participants looking to add a horse to the Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (EIPH) Program in Ontario. As announced in March, adding or removing a horse from the EIPH Program must be done online through the iAGCO portal at www.agco.ca/iAGCO 

    AGCO Notice Re: EIPH Program(May 14, OR, AGCO)

    On Friday May 15, the AGCO released a number of bulletins pertaining to a series of initiatives to advance the health and safety of our equine and human athletes.

    AGCO Special Bulletins Info/News link(May 15, SC, AGCO)

    May 2020 SC Important Notices

    Please also take note that SC is advising all its members to get ready for racing to resume and begin to renew horse eligibilities, make your ownership transfers and renew your SC membership, if required. SC is also pleased to launch Self-Serve 2.0, the upgraded and improved online entry program for SC member trainers.

    SC Launches Self-Serve 2.0 Self-Entry Program(May 15, SC)

    SC Info Update Re: Membership Fees, Eligibility etc..(May 11, SC)

    News Updates and Developments

    Equine Guelph Courses, News

    Equine Guelph via Thehorseportal.ca is is still accepting registration for its Fire & Emergency Preparedness online course which began May 4 (with extended access to June 30).The course has been updated with: developing plans for business disruptions, back-up planning and information regarding COVID-19.

    Fire & Emergency Prep Course: Registration Page (The Horse Portal)

    May 15, 2020 - Kawartha Announces Training Protocols

    Kawartha Downs will be open for training, on Wednesdays only, starting Wednesday, May 27. There will be two sets of times, and trainers must contact Jim Huck at 705-927-3122 to reserve their time slot which is on a first-come first-serve basis. interview. Qualifiers will be held on Saturday, May 30 at 12:00 p.m. as well as 4:30 p.m. on race days. All entries must go through Race Secretary Sheri Minler-Grabatin at (905) 854-6442. All qualifier entries must be entered on Thursdays.

    Kawartha Training Protocols Info-News Link (SC)

    May 12, 2020 - Jim Lawson Optimistic About June Live Racing

    In a May 12 'Stronger Together' video stream, WEG CEO Jim Lawson expressed optimism that racing in Ontario will resume as early as next month - June 2020. See the link below for a re-cap of the interview.

    Jim Lawson: May 12 Interview (SC)

    May 9, 2020 - Kawartha Downs Confident for Racing Season

    In a May 8 interview with The Peterborough Examiner, Kawartha Downs' GM says he's very confident there will be a live racing season this year at his racetrack. Link to the interview-report:

    Kawartha Downs: High Confidence for 2020 Racing Season (PE)

    May 7, 2020 - O'Donnell and Lawson on COSA TV

    In the May 7 episode of COSA TV Bill O'Donnell expresses optimism with respect to horsepeople's preparedness for returning to racing: ""The first and foremost thing is we have to keep ourselves distanced and follow the protocol. We did a good job of it the last couple days (in March). I think it will all work. We were very careful." Click the link below for the COSA TV video link and more info

    COSA TV: May 6 Interview with O'Donnell and Lawson (SC)

    May 6, 2020 - Jim Lawson ON Racing Update Newsletter

    On Racing continues to have positive discussions with relevant government agencies regarding plans to resume live racing in Ontario in June. All tracks will be required to provide Racing Re-Start protocols to OR to resume live racing without spectators and follow strict protocols that meet the requirements of the Government and public health officials. Click the link below for more details

    ON Racing: May 6 Newsletter (ON Racing)

    May 5, 2020 - Legalized Historical Race Wagering Requested

    It was announced on Tuesday, May 5 that WEG, ON Racing and Racetracks of Canada have approached the Federal Government and have requested that Historical Horse Racing be legalized. Click the link below for more details

    Historical Horse Racing Requested (ON Racing)

    May 3, 2020 - Kawartha Downs Hopeful For 2020 Racing Season

    Kawartha Statement Re: 2020 Racing Season (SC)

    May 2, 2020 - Hope For Racing By Early Summer At Grand River Raceway

    Jamie Martin, director of operations at Grand River Raceway is hopeful racing can start in late spring or early summer – but it won’t look the same as it has in the past.

    He is hopeful racing will resume sometime in June – if not, July. Here is the News-website link with the interview details:

    Jamie Martin: Interview re: Racing at GRR (Wellington Advertiser)

    May 2020 - Jim Lawson: Mid-June Target Date To Resume Racing

    Jim Lawson in a May 2020 Newsletter published on the Ontario Racing website says that On Racing is participating with The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in developing safety and physical distancing protocols that would be implemented in the event the government guidelines permit the resumption of live racing.
    He anticipates that Ontario could be as little as six weeks away from resuming live racing (under the strict conditions being developed with the AGCO). Here is the Newsletter link with all the info:

    Jim Lawson: May 2020 Newsletter (ON racing)

    April 2020 - SC 'Return To Racing' Blueprint Announced

    SC has released 'The Return to Standardbred Horse Racing in Canada Blueprint' to industry stakeholders to assist them in the planning and preparation of racing resuming at racetracks across the country.The goal of the blueprint is to provide guidelines for all facets of the industry to consider in the preparation of the return to racing, with minimal risk to participants, and proper internal controls. Here is the SC website link with all the info:

    SC: Blueprint For 'RETURN TO RACING' (SC)

    April 2020 - Industry Updates

    Industry Update From Jim Lawson (SC-ON RACING)

    Ontario Harness Racing : Waiting And Ready (SC-ON RACING) 

    Southwestern Ontario : Reaction To Funding Support (Windsor Star) 

    April 29, 2020 Funding Update

  • Cheques to cover April expenses are in the process of being issued. There is no need to apply for May cheques as we will be using information received for April.

  • The cheques for the last week of March eligible Standardbred horses have been mailed and should be received shortly.

  • A copy of your trainer’s invoice as well as proof of payment for the month of April is no longer required for submission. Trainers with owners in arrears on monthly expenses for the month of April alert Ontario Racing syoung@ontarioracing.com prior to May 21, 2020.

  • Please Note: It is not anticipated that there will be any live racing in Ontario during the month of May 2020. ON Racing is working with the AGCO on establishment of protocols to move, albeit with no spectators, toward the opening of racing.

  • ON RACING: Financial Relief Application Form (PDF)

    Gordon McDonald and John MacMillan

    COVID-19 Support And Resources For SC Members

    April 29, 2020 - SC has released 'The Return to Standardbred Horse Racing in Canada Blueprint' to industry stakeholders to assist them in the planning and preparation of racing resuming at racetracks across the country.The goal of the blueprint is to provide guidelines for all facets of the industry to consider in the preparation of the return to racing, with minimal risk to participants, and proper internal controls. Here is the SC website link with all the info:

    SC: Blueprint For 'RETURN TO RACING' (SC)

    April 26, 2020 - Standardbred Canada has met with Canada Life, providers of group insurance for SC members, to inquire about services and resources available for our membership to assist in managing through COVID-19. SC is sharing this list of free resources and tools for SC members to access, to maintain good mental health & wellness during COVID-19.

    SC: Mental Health/Wellness Resource Info Page

    April 16, 2020 - SC members whose SC memberships are expiring & who wish to renew MARSH Horse and Liability Insurance will need to renew prior to their birth date.

    Horse Liability Insurance Info Page

    April 3, 2020 - Standardbred Canada has compiled a list of online valuable resources during this pandemic. SC is also providing a reprieve on its fees for services such as Membership Renewals and Ownership Transfers.

    SC COVID-19 Resource Page/Info | SC Fees: Reprieve Info Page

    April 1, 2020 - Standardbred Canada in conjunction with Equestrian Canada is conducting a survey of its members to measure the impact of the pandemic on their work and business. Also SC  has an update regarding its ongoing advocacy on behalf of our membership facing financial hardship during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as offering support during this unprecedented disruption of normal business operations:

    SC Member Survey: COVID-19 Impact | SC COVID-19 Support Info Page

    COVID-19 Canadian Emergency Benefits Program (CERB)

    April 16, 2020 - The Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) is a new program that offers $500.00 a week for up to 16 weeks to those who lose pay because of the pandemic. It is available to wage earners, contract workers and self-employed people who don't qualify for employment insurance (EI).

    Applications are now open

    The benefit is be available to workers living in Canada who are at least 15 years old and who:

    • Have earned at least $5,000 in 2019 or in the year before their application from employment, self employment, employment insurance maternity and parental benefits, and/or similar benefits paid in Quebec under the Quebec Parental Insurance Plan (QPIP), or a combination of these sources.
    • Have earned NOT more than $1,000 (in employment income) for at least 14 consecutive days in a four-week period because of COVID-19, because they have temporarily stopped working, lost their jobs, are sick or in quarantine, or need to care for a child or a family member.

    Here is an info link with what you need to know:

    Canada: COVID-19 CERB Info Page

    COVID-19 Canadian Wage Subsidy re: Harness Industry

    April 27, 2020 - Recently, the Government of Canada announced its Emergency Employer Wage Subsidy Program. Standardbred Canada has broken down how the $71 billion program may be applicable to those in the Standardbred horse industry.

    Applications are now open

    Here is an info link with what you need to know:

    SC: Canadian Wage Subsidy Info Page

    ON Racing March 19-24 Support  funds

    March 27, 2020

    Financial relief, a total of $300 per horse, is being offered to those involved with Standardbred racehorses who were in-to-race at operational racetracks from March 19 to March 24.
    In order to facilitate payments to Standardbred horsepeople through this program and beyond, Ontario Racing is reminding Standardbred horsepeople to submit the names of all Ontario-based standardbred horses, 3-year-olds and up, in your care, currently in training to race in April 2020.  Trainer name, horse name, owner(s) name, and training centre name, must also be included.
    Details can be emailed or faxed to the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA): cathy@cosaonline.com or 905-854-2644.

    For transparency, the names of all standardbred horses and trainers will be posted on the Ontario Racing (ontarioracing.com) website and its affiliated social media channels.

    Eq Guelph: Free Online Courses

    April 16, 2020 - It has been announced that there is currently a survey that will allow Equine Guelph to know what additional courses participants are interested in taking while they are at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Equine Guelph Courses Survey Page

    April 2020 - Equine Guelph is offering a special discounted rate for its Fire & Emergency Preparedness online course. In response to industry requests during the COVID-19 pandemic, recent updates to the course will address many horse caretaker and facility owner concerns. The May 4 - 11 special edition of the course will be $60 (regularly $85). It is designed to be completed in one week, but Equine Guelph will be extending access for this vital and timely offering for six weeks, until June 30.

    Fire/ Emergency Preparedness - Registration/Info Page

    Sickness Prevention In Horses - Registration/Info Page

    COVID-19 News/Info Links

    All Active AGCO Licenses Extended For 1 year

    Post Time With Dan Gall: April 2020

    CPMA: Changes To Eliminations Guidelines

    A Closer look: COVID-19 and Racing

    COVID19: Caring For Your Horse

    COVID19: Facility Operations

    Horse Industry Reaction To COVID-19

    Impact of COVID19 On US Racing

    Other News

    When Racing Returns: Opinion (HRU, April 12, 2020)

    Surick and Oakes Plead Not Guilty

    Gural and Lawson Discuss Industry Indictments

    2020 Stats: RCR:Top Drivers | RCR:Top Trainers | RCR:Top Owners

    March 15 - RCR Results | ACGO-RCR Judges Report March 15

    RCR - 2020 YouTube Replays

    Hooter Shooter Snags RCR Preferred (March 15)

    Gagnon, Pouliot Steal Show At RCR (March 8)

    Cheque The Magic Cashes at RCR (March 1)

    YS Suzanne Sweeps To RCR Win (Feb 23)

    Berube With 5, Archer With 3: RCR (Feb 16)


    AGCO Important Info pages

    iAGCO Online Services Website

    Effective March 2, 2020, the AGCO will no longer be accepting paper forms, cash or cheques for horse racing-related licences & registrationsiAGCO online services is now live and all horse licensee transactions should be conducted through this online portal. There are also new rules and fee revisions that have gone into effect because of iAGCO online services. Please see the links listed below for more info

    iAGCO Portal Info - Bulletins 78, 79


    Standardbred Canada: Info-News links

    SC Statement On USA Indictments (March 2020)

    SC Nurse Mare Program: Info Page

    Call For 2020 Two-Year Olds In Training(Jan 2020)

    OSS 2020 Stallion Registration: Info page

    SC Microchipping Tour/Info Page (Dec 2019)

    Foal Registration Info Page

    Membership & Eligibility Fees Info Page

Equine Guelph: Free Online Courses + Equine Research Newsspan

Ontario Racing/Industry News

March 2020 News

February 2020 News

January 2020 News:

December 2019 News:

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