As of Monday, October 15th, the final report from the Horse Racing Industry panel is in the hands of the Minister of Agriculture, Ted McMeekin but many are left wondering if the current state of affairs in the Ontario Legislature will affect its use?
In an interview with The Motts, Horse Racing Industry Transition Panel member and former Cabinet Minister John Snobelin explained that when the house prorogues, the cabinet still sits and the ministers are still working. He said that nothing in the report requires legislation so the government is still in a position to act on the file, and every indication that he has had is that they still intend to act on the file.
Snobelin said he can’t comment on the contents of the report, which represents the consensus of himself and fellow panelists Elmer Buchanan and John Wilkinson, but he remains optimistic about the future of horse racing in the province despite the cancellation of the Slots at Racetracks program.
“I think the industry can be saved,” speculated Snobelin. He has been encouraged throughout the process by the sophistication and co-operation of the people in the horse racing industry, who have been very receptive to looking at the economic realities of the situation and asking what can be done to build a solid foundation for the future.
While he refused to forecast what the government might do with the report, Snobelin commented that Minister McMeekin has been very proactive on the horse racing file and nothing in the report will be a surprise. It is typical for such a report to take up to three weeks to be prepared for public release under normal process.
Meanwhile, the Forest City Standardbred Yearling Sale in London, ON concluded last weekend with an average of $10,519 over 257 head. That compares to the 2011 average of $18,311 for 263 head and an average that has ranged as high as $24,128 in the past 10 years. The 2012 Canadian Standardbred Yearling Sale at Flamboro Downs in September averaged $8,329 over 246 head, down from the $14,621 in 2011.
The 2012 Canadian Bred Yearling Thoroughbred Sale at the Woodbine Sales Pavilion in early September averaged $25,432 over 155 head, compared to $32,456 over 148 head last year.