04/03/2008 11:00PM

New Canadian Hall of Fame procedures

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ETOBICOKE, Ontario – The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame approved significant changes in its nomination and election procedures at its annual general meeting here at Woodbine on Thursday afternoon.

The nominating committee will now put up three candidates in four categories for both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds. The new categories will be male horse; female horse; jockeys; trainers or drivers; and veterans/builders.

Previously, nominees were split into only two categories – horses and people – and the veteran inductees were elected by a special committee.

Veterans are defined as people or horses whose careers concluded at least 20 years ago while builders include breeders, owners, media, and industry executives.

Beginning this year, each member of the election committee, which has been increased in size from 16 to 20, will be entitled to vote for just one candidate in each of the four categories. In past years, committee members could vote for up to three of the four nominees in each of the two categories.

Nominees will no longer need 75 percent of the vote to be inducted. Now, the top vote-getter, including ties, along with any other nominees who receive a minimum of eight votes will be inducted.

“We’re putting more onus on the election committee,” said Lou Cauz, managing director of the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame, who expects the voters to face some particularly difficult decisions under the streamlined procedure.

Public submissions to the nominating committee can be made until April 16. The nominees will be announced on May 5 and the inductees on May 20.

The Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame is located at Woodbine. This year’s induction ceremonies will be held on Aug. 28 at the nearby Mississauga Convention Centre. Actor and racing enthusiast Nicholas Campbell will be the guest speaker.