TORONTO, October 6, 2017 – The Standardbred Alliance is pleased to announce Rideau Carleton Raceway (RCR) has joined the Ontario racetrack association.
“The Standardbred Alliance is very pleased to have Rideau come forward and ask to join in the success of this consortium,” said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. “The Standardbred Alliance has delivered on its fundamental objectives of creating Standardbred racing and wagering opportunities that focus on ease-of-access for new and existing customers, while offering consistent and coordinated racing opportunities with guaranteed purses for its participants. Rideau’s participation will only further ensure the association continues to achieve its key goals.”
The Ottawa-area facility, which will operate as a ‘Signature’ track, has offered two cards under the Standardbred Alliance banner.
Led by Woodbine Entertainment, the Standardbred Alliance members represent a three-tier racing hierarchy, ‘Grass Roots’ (Clinton Raceway, Hanover Raceway), ‘Signature’ (Flamboro Downs, Georgian Downs, Grand River Raceway, The Raceway at Western Fair and Rideau Carleton Raceway) and ‘Premier’ (Mohawk Racetrack and Woodbine Racetrack).
Rideau Carleton Raceway made several modifications in their racing program to join the Standardbred Alliance, including consolidating purses into fewer race dates, specifically winter evenings, which hold the potential for cancellation due to inclement weather and operational difficulties.
“We are thrilled to be joining the Standardbred Alliance,” said Richard Gardner, Secretary and Treasurer, RCR. “Joining the Alliance helps us to ensure long-term sustainability and growth for our track and enables us to continue to promote the sport of harness horse racing to new audiences.”
The National Capital Region Harness Horse Association (NCRHHA) will join forces with the Central Ontario Standardbred Association (COSA) in order to streamline processes and further support Ontario horse racing.
“We are very pleased to collaborate with COSA to solidify the future stability of our Standardbred racing community at Rideau Carleton and across Ontario,” said Gordon McDonald, President, NCRHHA.
“Working with the National Capital Regional Harness Horse Association will allow us to provide a unified voice for harness horsepeople racing at Woodbine, Mohawk and Rideau Carleton Racetracks,” said Bill O’Donnell, President, COSA. “This expanded partnership strengthens the foundation for Ontario Standardbred owners, breeders and horsepersons.”
“The strength of the Standardbred Alliance partnership, led by Woodbine’s team, has benefitted our racetrack greatly and allowed our track and our horsepeople to stay in business,” said Dr. Ted Clarke, General Manager of Grand River Raceway. “Adding Rideau to the partnership will strengthen the future for Standardbred racing in eastern Ontario.”
Woodbine Entertainment has been responsible for management and administration of the Standardbred Alliance since it was launched in 2014.
“A successful and sustainable horse racing industry continues to have an important role to play in the economic and social life of this province, especially in rural Ontario,” said Mr. Lawson. “The expanded alliance represents an unparalleled level of partnership.”