June 4, 2018

Mr. John Hayes named Independent Chairman of Ontario Racing; full board announced

TORONTO, June 4, 2018 – Ontario Racing (OR) today announced the full composition of its new Board of Directors.

The first order of business for the new Board was electing, unanimously, Mr. John Hayes, the Independent Chairman of the Board.

Mr. Hayes brings significant business management and executive expertise to the role of OR Chair, with former positions in finance and administration positions with General Electric, Black & Decker and Home Depot.  He also has over 25 years of experience as a Standardbred race horse owner. He previously served as Gaming Director with Ontario Lottery and Gaming, with operational responsibilities at Georgian Downs, Ajax Downs, Grand River Raceway, Woodbine and other racetracks across the province. He most recently served as an At-Large Director of Ontario Racing.

“I am honoured to be appointed to the Independent Chair of Ontario Racing,” said Mr. Hayes. “I have a passion for horse racing and am confident in the direction and approach of Ontario Racing. I look forward to working with the industry’s diverse group of stakeholders to create a sustainable future for the sport in Ontario.” 

In addition to Mr. Hayes, there are 10 seats, five from industry associations and five from racetracks, on Ontario Racing’s Board of Directors.

Bill O’Donnell (President, COSA, on behalf of Standardbred Horsepeople), Sue Leslie (President, HBPA, on behalf of Thoroughbred Horsepeople), Bob Broadstock (President, Quarter Horse Racing Owners of Ontario, on behalf of Quarter Horse Horsepeople), Walter Parkinson (President, SBOA, on behalf of Standardbred Breeders) and Bernard McCormack (President, Cara Bloodstock, on behalf of Thoroughbred Breeders) will represent the Associations on the board.

Jim Lawson (CEO, Woodbine Entertainment, on behalf, of Premier Thoroughbred Racetracks), Jim Thibert (CEO, Fort Erie Live Racing Consortium, on behalf of Signature Thoroughbred Racetracks), Jessica Buckley (President, Woodbine Mohawk Park, on behalf of Premier Standardbred Racetracks), Hugh Mitchell (President, Western Fair District, on behalf of Signature Standardbred Racetracks) and Ian Fleming (General Manager, Clinton Raceway, on behalf of Grassroots Standardbred Racetracks) will represent the racetracks in the new composition.

“John brings substantial expertise and vast perspective in the areas of racing, finance and administration to his role as Chair of Ontario Racing,” said Mr. Mitchell. “His previous experience on the OR Board, combined with his extensive grassroots racing experience make him the ideal person for this position.”

“Ontario Racing Management (ORM) looks forward to working with John and the rest of the Ontario Racing board in building a long-term foundation for success for the province’s horse racing industry,” said Katherine Curry, Executive Director, ORM. “Ontario Racing’s emphasis on transparency, inclusiveness, credibility and engagement to continue to develop confidence and credibility with all stakeholders in the industry will be critical to its achievements. Ontario Racing has laid the foundation for long-term success for all of its stakeholders.”

 

About Ontario Racing 

THREE BREEDS. ONE VISION.

Ontario Racing is a non-profit horse racing industry association and is recognized by the provincial government as the authority for horseracing in Ontario. Ontario Racing is directly responsible for setting an annual program of races, attracting new horse owners, implementing breed improvement programs, growing the fan base and connecting the industry with the government and general public. Ontario Racing gives horse people in the province significant control and responsibility over their future. Ontario Racing is establishing new ways of doing business and building new relationships. Ontario Racing is committed to listening to horse people and giving them a voice, in support of a vibrant racing industry.

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