MEDIA RELEASE (May 15, 2018) Despite comments made by Niagara Falls PC candidate Chuck McShane during last night’s Rally in Niagara Falls for Ontario PC candidate Doug Ford, the Fort Erie Live Racing Track Consortium (FELRC) has achieved a number of milestones over the past couple years thanks to the ongoing efforts and collaboration of MPP Wayne Gates, the Town of Fort Erie and the FELRC.
“A recent funding commitment from the Ontario Government shows its interest in a sustainable horse racing industry and builds confidence to all those affiliated, including the breeders. To say that the Fort Erie Race Track is in trouble is not only misguided but also hurtful to the progress we have worked so hard to achieve,” said Mayor Wayne Redekop.
Earlier this month, the Ontario Government agreed to a 19-year commitment that will help all race tracks in Ontario maintain sustainability. The agreement provides up to $105 million to the province’s horse racing industry — standardbred, thoroughbred and quarter horse — for a seven-year term beginning April 1, 2019, with two six-year extensions that can be automatically granted by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming corporation.
“This agreement is a significant step toward ensuring the vitality of horse racing in Fort Erie. It is the result of years of collaboration with the sector, the Ontario government and our local MPP. Any publicity that suggests that the track is in trouble is patently inaccurate and makes it more difficult to attract horses and patrons. The truth is that the Fort Erie Race Track is doing better now than it has in years. It is anticipating an increased number of races and horses racing this year. In fact, there are 200 horses in the backstretch as of last Wednesday’s count, which is 50 more than this time last year,” said Redekop.
The FELRC will be celebrating its 121st race season with 40 racing days scheduled for 2018. This year’s live racing season begins at the Fort Erie Race Track on Tuesday, May 29.
– 30 –