September 02, 2014
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Horse Improvement Program



The Horse Improvement Program (HIP) is a racing and breeding incentive program that was established in 1974. The program plays a direct role in increasing employment in the racing industry, helping Ontario farms remain economically stable and encouraging ownership in Ontario-sired horses. The Commission assumed responsibility for the management and administration of HIP in 2005.

The purpose of the program is to:

  • Supplement purses paid
  • Improve the quality and quantity of racing stock in Ontario
  • Fund equine research
  • Promote the Ontario-bred horse
  • Promote horse breeding and ownership in the province

The program plays a direct role in increasing employment in the racing industry, helping Ontario farms remain economically stable and encouraging ownership in Ontario-sired horses.

In 2004 the Horse Improvement Program was valued at $52.6 million.

What is the Ontario Sires Stakes Program?

The Ontario Sires Stakes is one component of the larger Standardbred Horse Improvement Program. It is made-up of a series of races held at racetracks across the province that are restricted to Ontario-bred horses registered in the program. In 2005 the Standardbred OSS Program was valued at $20.3 million.  This amount was distributed in the form of purses and Breeders’ Awards. All horses entered into Ontario Sires Stakes  races must have been sired by a stallion registered with the program and standing in the Province in the breeding year.  The progeny must then be nominated to and sustained in the program.

While not as extensive as the Standardbred program, there is a similar thoroughbred program conducted at Woodbine and Fort Erie Racetracks.

Who is responsible for the HIP program?

Prior to 1997, the Ontario Racing Commission controlled and administered the various programs under HIP. In conjunction with the many changes that occurred as a result of the reduction in the provincial tax on wagering, the Ontario Racing Commission delegated responsibility for the administration of the Horse Improvement Program to the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) effective January 1, 1997.  The Horse Improvement Program (HIP) was then administered by OHRIA, in accordance with the Rules of Administration (approved by the Commission on August 26, 1997).  In May 2005, the administration of the program was transferred back to the Ontario Racing Commission.

pdf download

HIP Annual Report 2008-2009 Part 1

pdf download

HIP Annual Report 2008-2009 Part 2

pdf download HIP Annual Report 2004 - Part 1
pdf download HIP Annual Report 2004 - Part 2
pdf download HIP Annual Report 2004 - Part 3
pdf download HIP Annual Report 2004 - Part 4
pdf download HIP Annual Report 2003 (OHIRA)

How is the program funded?

HIP is funded through a wagering levy which amounts to two (2) per cent of total wagering, plus an additional two (2) per cent from triactor wagering. In addition the Standardbred Ontario Sires Stakes receives 8.37% of the horsemen’s share of the slot revenue and 30% of the horsemen’s share of the SRA money. The Thoroughbred Improvement Program also receives 8.23% of the horsemen’s share of the slot revenue and 25% of the horsemen’s shore of the SRA money.

How are the funds allocated?

 

The funds collected are allocated to the two breeds by an approved formula. To meet their respective needs, programs have been tailored differently for each breed.

Standardbred HIP Program

1. Equine Research

One (1) per cent of the total wagering levy (not including the additional triactor funding)

2. Program Administration

Of the remaining funds

3. Overnight Purse Supplements (59%)

4. Ontario Sires Stakes Program and Trillium races (41%)

Thoroughbred HIP Program

1. Equine Research

One (1) per cent of the total wagering levy (not including the additional triactor funding)

2. Program Administration

Of the remaining funds

3. Overnight Purse Supplements (70%)

4. Breeders’ Awards, Ontario Sires Stakes and Supplemental Stakes Program (30%)