Day At The Track

Battle lines drawn in Contract dispute

08:23 AM 01 Jan 2009 NZDT
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Well things are starting to heat up in the Big Smoke sports fans and by the looks of things live racing is coming to a halt. The Horsemen have decided to boycott the entry box as of Jan. 1st by not submitting entries for the Jan.5th card at Woodbine.

At the center of the contract dispute or settlement to be is The Silver Spooned Kid himself, David Wilmot, who's flanked by his meandering Penguins, Jamie Martin and Bruce Murray, also known by their aboriginal WEG given names, Saythis and Saythat.  

While on the other side of the circled square stands The Bearded Bears, President, Jimmy Whalen and C.O.O. John Walzak of the Ontario Harness Horse Association flanked by OHHA directors Bob Young, Darrel MacArthur and Bill O'Donnell, The Three Tenors.  

All the while this main event is dead locked in battle, bashing it out, verbally sparing, delivering blow after blow to their opponent in the back round lurking, waiting patiently to chew or rip a tendon from the legs of the Bearded Bears are the Jackals. The laughing Hyenas a newly formed Separatist Breakaway Fraction called SHOP.

Supposedly a group of disgruntled horse owners not content with OHHA's representation who seem to think they have the right to weigh in on this contentious issue of banishment and swing their following of misguided souls, who have joined their Judas troop, to back WEG and the Kid and continue to race at Woodbine to appease the betting public.  

This group of rich aristocratic, we know what's best for the horseracing industry, know it alls, think they're slick, prodding the two protagonists slugging it out on the circled square. Acting like doubting Thomas's cheering for one openly then the other when approached but in reality amongst them they have at least two members who have owned or have run racetracks in the past or are at this present time still running one, Dr. Ted Clarke and Scot Rowe and don't for one minute think they aren't on The Silver Spooned Kid's e-mail contact list.  

Awe but the plot thickens once we choose to deceive.  

None the less both sides have contract issues, concerns, supported by tempers and attitude while it seems only one contentious issue is standing in the way of a settlement.  

The Private Property Act. 

It's like a thorn being thrust deep into the ribcage of the Silver Spooned Kid by The Bearded Bears as the Penguins waddle around screeching, "what should we do, what should we say" and the Three Tenors let loose with a fantastic rendition of Lenard Cohen's Hallelujah forcing the Jackals to circle the ring from a safe distance laughing aloud to the Kid's communication department, Anonymous Standardbred Canada, "what about the betting public, we‘ll lose them if we don‘t keep the show going in Toronto. All will be lost, all will be lost." their cold words, echo around the coliseum looking to attract some more faint hearted separatists.  

The Bearded Bears rally the rank and file circling the circled, circled square and throw down the blood soaked gauntlet of ostrasization, fresh from the wound in the Kids ribcage and demand the right to race.  

That all men are innocent until proven guilty by a regulatory body appointed by the Provincial Government and as long as a horsemen has a valid ORC card, he has the right to race until it is taken away by the aforementioned regulatory body not by you, The Silver Spooned Kid. 

The Kid is wild, adamant with anger, his ego bruised, sending his blood pressure sky rocketing as he shouts back to the Bears, "I won't give up the right to Lord over this horseman's association's and victimize individuals as I see's fit to do so," and again, so instructs Saythis and Saythat to release a press release informing, anonymous Standardbred Canada his loyal and faithful communication department of his decision to stand firm and teach these Standardbred peasants a lesson.  

Walking back to his layer of evil, WOODBINE LIVE the Kid reveals his strategy to Saythis and Saythat, "I'll cause an impending racing stoppage that I won't have time to deal with until late next week after the 5th of Jan. We'll see how many lily white horsemen these contrite Bears can convince to stay out of my draw box by then." Before closing the front door in the faces of the Penguins the Kid issues his last demand of the Day, "See that anonymous Standardbred Canada writes it up lads. ASAP. My public will want to know what my plans are." 

End Of Act One. 

It's easy for me to say or write this farcical tale.  I stand and watch from a neutral corner, well almost neutral, without racing at Woodbine, I won't be able to bet on the only racetrack in Ontario where when you want to gamble a couple of hundred bucks on a horses nose and go undetected by the odds board you can but that won't hurt me to badly. I‘m not always right when I place a big bet and well sometimes a change is better than a rest, (ask my investment broker) maybe I‘ll turn my sights towards London‘s Western Fair Raceway. I'll be alright.  

I hope I've made you chuckle or at least crack a smile because to me this whole contract confrontation is just plain laughable. I have been making light of it because I believe there is really only one clear and proper solution to the entire Woodbine contract fiasco. Quite simply put. Mr. Wilmot wake up!!!  

What you are asking the Horsemen and OHHA to concede on is wrong and you know it. The entire country knows it as a matter of fact the entire continent knows it a well.  

OHHA has received numerous letters of encouragement emboldening them to not give in to your totalitarian demands. That Horsemen and Horsewomen aren't second class citizens in North America and shouldn't be treated as such.

It's time for change Sir. No longer will the public support the victimization of trainers at your whim.  

Over the course of the past three years, your evoking of the PPA against the trainers charged in the sheep wormer scandal and incarcerating Casie Colman into the retention barn for months without a fair trial has caused more damage to the reputation of Standardbred horse racing than any cheat has ever accomplished.  

Mr. Wilmont do you not think they're people just like me sitting, watching, wagering on the races at Woodbine working in factory's that have unions to represent their rights and privileges?  

Have you ever herd of The Canadian Auto Workers Union. It's called the CAW or how about OPSU or CSW or CPPM they all represent working stiffs just like OHHA does and we the betting public can see right threw your little intimidation tactics. We don't like it Mr. Wilmot. We all believe in due process ask Steven Truscott how it feels to be victimized. 

Mr. Wilmot your trying to orchestrate a contract decision in your favour to save face when you know deep down inside your wrong.  

Let the ORC handle expulsion in the industry. 

If certain individuals need to be removed from the industry because they have committed a crime and have been proven guilty, the ORC will bring down the sword of justice. They are more than capable to do the job. It doesn't need to rest on your shoulders, quite frankly there not wide enough to handle the responsibility so why take on the burden? 

Man up Mr. Wilmot.  

Sign the contract and get on with building a new and friendly environment a new WEG where owners and trainers of the future can conduct business with pride and walk with their heads held high unified with their business partners OLGC the ORC and WEG. Be leader and set a good example for the rest of the tracks in the Province Sir. 

The entire industry is waiting on you David Wilmot. How long will you make them suffer? 

Robert Leatham. 


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