Woodbine Entertainment is once again ready to show its support to the horse people of Ontario and Woodbine Racetrack during these trying times. This will happen with the help of its three brand new programs and special initiatives showing these people some love. December 23 is about to see the first special event in collaboration with Horses First Fund.
There are 130 individuals on the backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack and they are currently uncertain as to when live Thoroughbred racing will return on the premises of the racetrack. Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park’s management is willing to give them a helping hand during these trying times with several initiatives starting this week.
This year has taken its toll on the horse racing field of Ontario and Canada as a whole, with the latest changes happening just recently. The last days of November witnessed the official announcement that live Thoroughbred racing will have to be cut short due to the unprecedented situation. Woodbine Entertainment is the horse racing leader on a provincial scale.
It has promised to collaborate with the provincial government and support its decisions, remaining as flexible as possible. Woodbine Racetrack put an end to its 2020 racing season on November 22. Ontario’s provincial government announced new limitations affecting many businesses, the Thoroughbred racetrack being among them and new measures were introduced at 12:01 a.m. ET on November 23. The live racing part of the 2020 live meet was supposed to come to an end on December 13.
Horses First Fund is one of the most important factors in the horse field of Ontario, as it is there to support the Thoroughbred field in times of need. Both the racehorses and the people taking care of them and training them are eligible for support coming from this fund in case of large scale neglect, natural disaster, or other catastrophes.
December 23 is projected to see a hot meal program start, offering these individuals a chance to enjoy a hearty comforting meal every week going forward. Another special measure Woodbine Entertainment has implemented is the reduction of rent for the individuals living on the backstretch at Woodbine Entertainment. This is their permanent home, making it possible for them to cater to the horses’ needs on a daily basis.
Now that there are no live races and social distancing is recommended, their rent has been reduced to half. This is expected to make it possible for them to save more money and not struggle financially. Woodbine Entertainment has also made a third step in the right direction with the swelling of its annual donation. This year is about to see an additional CA$4,000 going to the Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada.
In a recent statement, Woodbine Entertainment made it clear that the all-sources handle this year amounted to some CA$462,041,545.76. This amounted to a CA$50-million year-on-year drop. The 2019 all-sources handle reached CA$516,189,419.44. the 2020 live meet included only 96 race days, missing some 35 days due to the unprecedented situation.