The Manitoba government has brought forward a three-year transitional plan to enhance the sustainability of the horse racing industry. This after analyzing the recommendations outlined in the final report from an external review of Manitoba’s horse racing industry
“The breeding, training and racing of horses in Manitoba is a significant economic activity that supports agricultural linkages and attracts visitors to our province,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is taking important steps to ensure the horse racing industry remains stable and secure now and in the future.”
In 2014, the previous government and the Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) reached a court ordered settlement, which ensured the province provide MJC with annual supplemental grants for a 10-year duration:
• $5.4 million for years one to four;
• $5.25 million for years five and six;
• $5 million for years seven and eight;
• $4 million for year nine; and
• $3 million for year 10.
The Manitoba government will collapse the remaining five-year framework into a three-year transitional structure for the Manitoba Jockey Club. The Manitoba Jockey Club, the Manitoba Horse Racing Commission and the Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit will have their funding maintained at current levels for the next three racing season to provide adequate time to develop a long term strategy.
“As standardbred horse people, we are appreciative of both public and government support for the horse racing industry” said Mike Williams, president, Manitoba Great Western Harness Racing Circuit. “In partnership with the Manitoba government, we will look at this transition period as an opportunity to continue searching for viable options for a completely sustainable standardbred industry in the future.”
The Manitoba government will work in collaboration with stakeholders on future actions related to the sustainability of the horse racing industry.