December 23, 2014
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Ontario Horse Improvement Program

The Ontario Horse Improvement Program celebrates more than 30 years as one of North America's most successful industry programs, setting the standard for excellence year after year. The Program continues to produce world quality horses than can compete on the international stage.

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 Horse Improvement Program is …

  • To benefit the Ontario racing industry in general and to grow the industry in a sustainable and responsible way
  • To support the Ontario breeding sector
  • To invest in Equine Research
  • To promote participation in the Ontario Horse Improvement Program.

The Horse Improvement Program 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, both the Standardbred Improvement Program and the Thoroughbred Improvement Program receive a percentage of the horsepeople’s share of slot revenue. The budget for the 2009 Horse Improvement Program, including both the Standardbred Improvement Program and Thoroughbred Improvement Program, is valued at $47,000,000. 

Learn more about the Standardbred Improvement Program . . .  More
Learn more about the Thoroughbred Improvement Program . . .  More
Learn more about the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program . . .  More

Program funds entrusted to the Ontario Racing Commission are audited and reviewed annually by a firm of Chartered Accountants, the results of which are published each year in an Annual Report of the Horse Improvement Program.

pdf download

HIP Annual Report 2010 Part 1

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HIP Annual Report 2010 Part 2

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HIP Annual Report 2008-2009 Part 1

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HIP Annual Report 2008-2009 Part 2

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 Audited 2008 HIP Financial Statements

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 Audited 2007 HIP Financial Statements

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 Audited 2006 HIP Financial Statements

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

Goals and Objectives of the Horse Improvement Program

The identified goals and objectives for the Horse Improvement Program are …

  • Rewarding Excellence
  • Developing programs that support a strong and sustainable live racing product in Ontario which attracts enhanced wagering
  • Developing and supporting programs that foster, sustain and encourage investment within the breeding sector
  • Supporting the Ontario breeding sector as a priority with programs and race conditions that create incentives for the breeding and purchase of Ontario offspring (yearlings in particular)
  • Supporting the Ontario breeding sector over the long-term, with programs that
  • Encourage investment in the breeding sector
  • Encourage the purchase of Ontario offspring
  • Maximize the value of Ontario offspring
  • Include long-term returns to owners of Ontario-bred horses, Ontario breeders and Ontario stallion owners
  • Support improvement in quality, not just increased quantity in breeding program
  • Encourage improvements to the broodmare band, as well as the stallion population
  • Establishing conditions for allocation of HIP funds for overnight races
  • Investing in equine research

Promoting the Ontario Horse Improvement Program to:

  • Brand the Program and provide education on program benefits and eligibility requirements
  • Introduce our products to new people

The HIP levy on wagering provides funds for the administration of breed-specific support programs for all three Ontario racing sectors. Program elements specific to the Thoroughbred breeding (and racing) sector are developed and administered under the banner of the Thoroughbred Improvement Program. Program elements specific to the Standardbred breeding (and racing) sector are developed and administered under the banner of the Standardbred Improvement Program. Breeding and racing sector development programs for the Quarter Horse sector are included in the administrative structure of the Quarter Horse Racing Industry Development Program.

Review of the Horse Improvement Program

In late 2006, the Board of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) mandated a review of the Horse Improvement Program, to determine if the Program was continuing to be effective within the context of the current environment for breeding and racing in Ontario. The Board received the results of the review in early 2008 and accepted the recommendations of the Final Report, which in turn lead to the restructuring of the program in that year.

Learn more about the Review of the Horse Improvement Program.  More

2007 Ontario Racing and Breeding Industry Profile Study

The Industry Profile Study presents the results of telephone interviews completed with more than 400 industry stakeholders during 2007, which were used to provide background supporting data to industry discussions surrounding the Horse Improvement Program Review. The Industry Profile Study reports on general demographic profile information, data on participation activities, and costs to participate in racing and breeding in Ontario (in 2007).

pdf download  2007 Ontario Racing and Breeding Industry Profile Study