02/18/2011 3:00PM

Woodbine, Ontario horsemen agree on five-year contract


The Woodbine Entertainment Group and the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario have signed an agreement which will ensure 167 dates of live Thoroughbred racing at Woodbine every year for the next five years.

The current agreement was due to expire on March 31.

“In an environment of short-term contracts and reduced race days, the HBPA is pleased to get this agreement signed with Woodbine,” said Sue Leslie, president of the HBPA, in a press release on Friday.

“It sets in place the framework to allow the industry to grow and allows owners and breeders to develop a longer-term plan with some confidence.”

Jamie Martin, WEG’s executive vice president of racing, echoed Leslie’s enthusiasm.

“It gives us stability on race dates and horsemen’s relations for the next five years, and allows us to focus on building on the successes we’ve realized with our ontrack Thoroughbred product,” said Martin.

Woodbine’s 2011 Thoroughbred meeting begins April 2 and concludes Dec. 4.