In conjunction with Woodbine and Ontario Racing, the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario announced Jan. 26 an equine welfare payment of $1,500 per horse to owners impacted by the early closure of the 2020 Woodbine meet. The track lost 12 race cards due to a COVID-19 lockdown mandated by the government.
In a post on Twitter, the Ontario HBPA said the program has decided to provide funding to owners with horses that were stabled at Woodbine and those that had horses in the region pointing to the track's remaining races.
Eligible horses include:
- Those stabled at Woodbine on the last day of racing, Nov. 22.
- Owners who did not have their horses stabled at Woodbine at the time but can show they were training in Ontario off the track and intending to enter their horse in one of the remaining days in the condition book.
- Those horses that worked or raced at Woodbine between Nov. 1-22.
- Horses training off the track must have been doing so in the province of Ontario.
No formal application from owners will be required and checks will be mailed out, the Ontario HBPA said. The horsemen organization thanked the provincial government, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission of Ontario, and Ontario Racing for supporting and approving the distribution of purse funds.