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MILTON, ONTARIO & EAST RUTHERFORD, NEW JERSEY - Anticipation continues to grow among harness racing horseplayers in North America for Friday's inaugural 'Can-Am Pick 4' at Woodbine Mohawk Park and The Meadowlands. The 'Can-Am Pick 4' requires horseplayers to select the winners of two races at Woodbine Mohawk Park and two races at The Meadowlands. The 'Can-Am Pick 4' will have a $0.20 minimum and low 15 per cent takeout. The 'Can-Am Pick 4' sequence is as follows: Leg One: Woodbine Mohawk Park - Race 10 (Post Time: 10:40 p.m.) Leg Two: The Meadowlands - Race 10 (Post Time: 10:52 p.m.) Leg Three: Woodbine Mohawk Park - Race 11 (Post Time: 11:04 p.m.) Leg Four: The Meadowlands - Race 11 (Post Time: 11:16 p.m.)   To help prepare horseplayers for the inaugural 'Can-Am Pick 4', Woodbine and The Meadowlands' team of announcers, hosts and racing analysts have done their homework and provided tickets for Friday's action. Click here to Download free program pages for the 'Can-Am Pick 4'.   Team Woodbine Ken Middleton Leg One: 1,2,3,4,6 Leg Two: 4,7,10 Leg Three: 1,6,7 Leg Four: 1,2,4 Cost: $27   Mark McKelvie Leg One: 1,2,3,9 Leg Two: 4,7,10 Leg Three: 1,6,9 Leg Four: 1,4,5,6 Cost: $28.80   Jason Portuondo Leg One: 1,2,5 Leg Two: 4,7,10 Leg Three: 1,5,6 Leg Four: 1,5 Cost: $10.80   Chad Rozema Leg One: 1,2,8 Leg Two: 7,9,10 Leg Three: 1,6 Leg Four: 4,5,6 Cost: $10.80   Team Big M Dave Brower Leg One: 1,2,3,9 Leg Two: 1,4,5,7 Leg Three: 1,2,5,7 Leg Four: 2,5 Cost: $25.60   Dave Little Leg One: 1.3.6.8 Leg Two: 5,7 Leg Three: 1,6,7,9 Leg Four: 1,2,4,6 Cost: $25.60   Bob Hollywood Heyden Leg One: 2,4,7 Leg Two: 2,4,9 Leg Three: 4,7,8 Leg Four: 1,6,9 Cost: $20.20   Ken Warkentin Leg One: 2,3,4,8 Leg Two: 4,7,10 Leg Three: 1,2,3,6 Leg Four: 2,4,6 Cost: $28.80   Jessica Otten Leg One: 2,3,6,10 Leg Two: 1,4,7,10 Leg Three: 1,6,7 Leg Four: 1,4,6 Cost: $28.80     Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications C: 905-864-9110

MILTON, March 21, 2018 – Woodbine Entertainment today announced a mandatory payout for the Standardbred Jackpot Hi-5 on Saturday, March 30 at Mohawk Park. The Jackpot Hi-5 carryover currently sits at $443,868.29 and horseplayers will have just three more opportunities to win the entire Jackpot, as Hi-5 wagering will be suspended ahead of the mandatory payout following this Saturday’s card (March 23). The most recent Jackpot Hi-5 mandatory payout was conducted on December 22, 2018. Horseplayers wagered more than $619,026 of new money on the Hi-5, which had a carryover of $352,873. Past mandatory payouts have topped more than $1 million in new money wagered and returned large payouts. A mandatory payout in December of 2016 saw more than $2 million in new money wagered, while in December of 2017 the payout was $49,437.10 for a $0.20 winning ticket. The Jackpot Hi-5 requires horseplayers to select the top-five finishers in order and features a $0.20 minimum wager with a 15 per cent takeout. The wager is offered nightly on the final-race of each card. Live racing continues Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at Woodbine Mohawk Park. Post time is 7:10 p.m.     Mark McKelvie Woodbine Communications

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Two giants of harness racing are not only introducing a new wager that combines their considerable assets this Friday (March 22) but are also tackling an industry-wide source of frustration in the hopes of pleasing the customer. The "Can-Am Pick-4" will make its debut and requires a player to correctly select the winners of two races at the Meadowlands and two more at Woodbine Entertainment's Woodbine Mohawk Park. The bet will have a 20-Cent minimum, so players who are accustomed to a 50-Cent wager will have the option to increase their base bet or use more horses in the hopes of catching several longshots during the sequence. It will also sport a low 15 percent takeout. Leg One of the CAP4 will be Woodbine Mohawk Park's 10th race (post time, 10:40 p.m.), followed by the Meadowlands' 10th (10:52 p.m.), WMP's 11th (11:04 p.m.) is the third leg before the wager concludes with the 11th (11:16 p.m.) at the Big M. If all goes according to plan, the entire bet from start to finish will take 36 minutes, which is certain to be a hit with horseplayers. "For us, it's important to get things done in a timely fashion," said Klaus Ebner, Senior Manager of Simulcast Services for Woodbine. "The Can-Am Pick-4 locks up the customer's funds for a short span, allowing them to churn winning money into more wagering opportunities." But harness racing's two biggest tracks in terms of visibility and handle have more up their sleeves. The subject of post-time "drag" will be addressed by both tracks beginning with the Friday races. "As industry leaders, one of our goals - as well as our friends at Woodbine Entertainment - is to shorten the post-time drag before our races go to the gate," said Big M Chief Operating Officer and General Manager Jason Settlemoir. "We will both be doing this as the leaders of this industry. We want to move the needle back on these outlandish drags but it will take an industry-wide initiative to make it happen. We will be taking the first step in doing so and are hoping that our fans will continue to wager the same or more." Both tracks are aiming for the following: -At three minutes past zero minutes to post, countdown clock starts -At four minutes, call to post -At five minutes, race goes off "This will allow the customer to understand when the race is going off," said Ebner. "It will have some certainty for them. Our main goal is we don't want our customers having to choose between wagering on Woodbine Mohawk Park and the Meadowlands. The coordination of post times will allow them access to the best two harness racing products in the world. We have worked together to stay off one another (not race at the same time) to the best of our abilities and, for the most part, the staffs at both tracks do a great job of doing that."   GET READY FOR MAYHEM: The NCAA college basketball tournament will be on overload this week with a full slate of games scheduled for Thursday through Sunday (March 21-24). Also on overload will be college basketball fans who will be watching and wagering on all of the hoops action in the Meadowlands' FanDuel Sportsbook, where there is plenty of comfortable seating with many food and drink options from which to choose. The action begins at noon, with 16 games on Thursday and Friday, before eight more matchups on Saturday and Sunday.   ORANGE CRUSHES: Driver Andy Miller, aka The Orange Crush, hot the hot hand last weekend (March 15-16) at the Big M, piloting seven horses to victory lane. Jenn Bongiorno paced the trainer's colony, winning three times from only five starts.   CALLING ALL T-BRED 'CAPPERS: On Saturday (March 23), the Meadowlands is hosting a National Horseplayers Championship qualifying event with a pair of seats to the NHC Final in Las Vegas (Feb. 7-9, 2020) on the line. The qualifier has a $400 entry fee. Pre-registration is recommended but walk-ups on the day of will be accepted. Need more information? Contact Rachel Ryan at raryan@playmeadowlands.com or go to www.playmeadowlands.com.   Dave Little Meadowlands Media Relations  

The Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association has announced the appointment of Debbie Francis as the new Executive Director of the organization. Francis was the successful candidate in an extensive search to fill the position and she will assume her new role at the end of April. "Debbie comes to us with over twenty years' experience in the harness racing industry as an owner and a breeder," says ASBA president Wayne MacRae. "The ASBA Board of Directors believes her experience and skill set will be a great asset to the ASBA and the Atlantic Sires Stakes program," adds MacRae. Francis graduated from Mount Saint Vincent University with a Bachelor of Business Administration and she is currently a Councilor for the Municipality of West Hants. Francis is also the newly elected vice president of the Truro Harness Horse Owners Association. Francis resides in Sweets Corner, NS, with her husband Peter and son Gregory, who also shares a passion for the harness racing industry. "Over the past twenty years I have followed my Dad's lifelong passion for this industry and I am looking forward to working with the Board of Directors and members of the ASBA as I take on this new role in the industry my family has always enjoyed so much," says Francis. Francis will assume the role of Executive Director at the ASBA's Annual General Meeting on April 28. The AGM will take place in the Red Shores at Charlottetown Driving Park grandstand at 1 pm. Francis takes over from outgoing Executive Director Lynne MacLennan who held the position for the past eleven years. MacLennan has moved on to another position in Cape Breton. The ASBA administers the Atlantic Sires Stakes program which was formed over fifty years ago to promote the Standardbred horse industry in Atlantic Canada. Today the program showcases the best young horses in the region and offers participants and spectators the finest in harness racing action.   Lynne MacLennan Executive Director Atlantic Standardbred Breeders Association

Guelph, ON March, 18, 2019 - Responding to research needs of the Ontario racing commission (now AGCO), a recent study led by Dr. Janice E. Kritchevsky, at Purdue University College of Veterinary Medicine, reveals use of thyroxine supplementation is deleterious to racehorse's performance and may result in cardiac arrhythmias. Researcher Dr. Janice E. Kritchevsky was selected to do this work by the Equine Guelph Research Committee with AGCO support.   Kritchevsky explains, "Thyroid disorders are actually rare in horses." The concentrations of thyroid hormones, including thyroxine, can be measured in blood. Blood thyroid hormone concentrations outside the normal ranges can lead one to believe hypothyroidism (low production of thyroid hormones) may be the cause of a horse looking a little lethargic. However, abnormal thyroid hormone concentrations can occur after a high grain diet meal, after trailering fatigue, training stress, or if a horse is ill. In actuality, administering thyroid medication to a horse fighting a respiratory infection can compromise the animals natural response to the infection.   Horses that benefit from thyroid hormone supplement tend to be suffering from Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or insulin resistance, neither syndrome is recognized in fit racehorses and they are both quite rare in other performance animals. Thyroxine supplementation may have a place in treating some over-conditioned (obese) horses at risk for laminitis. To diagnose a thyroid disorder, it is not enough to perform a one-time blood test; instead, a function test must be conducted. In a function test, two thyroid hormones are measured in the blood, then the horse is given a releasing hormone, and the two hormones are measured again. If the thyroid hormone concentrations do not respond normally, then there may be a true thyroid disorder. Kritchevsky adds, "In the case of over conditioned horses, thyroxine supplementation is to be used only until the horse reaches a normal body weight."   The misconception over thyroxine supplement use among horse owners and trainers may stem from the initial reaction to the drug, which can cause a flat or less spirited horse to appear more alert and hypersensitive. In Kritchevsky's study using fit Standardbreds, they did find a behaviour change after administration of Levothyroxine. The horses became quite alert and more difficult to handle but then they fatigued quicker.   When Dr. Kritchevsky gave Levothyroxine (a thyroid supplement) to the horses, it resulted in changes to blood concentrations of all thyroid hormones. Horses given 0.25mg/kg Levothyroxine went to maximum heart rate quicker, but the horse's blood lactate concentration did not change post-exercise, which told the researchers that they had the same level of fitness. The drug was not found to be performance enhancing. In fact, four out of the six horses in the study developed cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heart beat) when treated with Levothyroxine and one developed atrial fibrillation. Atrial fibrillation is a serious performance limiting condition that can be career ending.   Kritchevsky thanks Equine Guelph and AGCO for providing the lion's share of the funding for this important research on thyroxine supplementation. This research was done in response to reports of open containers of thyroxine supplement that were observed during barn visits as part of out of competition testing by ORC (now AGCO). Elevated blood concentration of thyroxine has been documented on numerous occasions on post-race blood testing of horses from Ontario tracks.   Kritchevsky says, "This is an important problem anywhere! People are using thyroid supplement and it does not do what they think it is doing. This research is important for all, including racing commissions. While thyroxine is not a foreign substance, as this study indicates, high levels render the horse unfit to race."   Some officials believe thyroxine should be regulated and next steps in research may include developing an assay to test for a carrier protein that is excreted indicating a high thyroid.   Stay tuned to Equine Guelph E-News for more updates about this study.     Web Link(s): http://www.equineguelph.ca/news/index.php?content=610     Jackie Bellamy-Zions Communications Equine Guelph  

Trois-Rivieres, QC - The Quebec Jockey Club has announced that for the 2019 harness racing season the Hippodrome 3R will be racing on Friday nights along with the normal Sunday's afternoon cards. The 40-day live race meeting gets underway on Sunday, April 28. There will also be one special Thursday night race card on August 8. The complete race season calendar can be found at www.quebecjockeyclub.com. The final day of the race season is Sunday, November 3. "We have tried Tuesday and Wednesday live racing," Said Murielle Thomassin, Director of Racing at H3R. "And it is too tough for people who work to come out to the races so we decided to go with Friday nights and try and take advantage of the start of the weekend." In addition to Friday night racing, post time has changed for this season. Friday night first race post time will be 7:00 pm and on Sunday's post time will be 1:00 pm. The summer prize of the race season, the $200,000 Prix D'Ete for four-year-old pacers, is set for Sunday, August 18 along with the third leg of the Breeders Cup Series for three-year-old pacing colts and fillies also on the program. The richest race program of the season will be on Sunday, September 8 with the $480,000 finals for both the Breeders Cup and Future Stars Series. From the Quebec Jockey Club  

MILTON, March 14, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment would like to issue a reminder to all owners and trainers of Friday's (March 15) stakes payment deadline. The first round of sustaining payments are due for all 2019 major stakes. Sustaining payments are also due Friday for the 2019 Champlain (foals of 2017), 2020 Simcoe (foals of 2017) and 2019 SBOA Filly Stakes (foals of 2016). Below is the full list of major stakes with sustaining payments due Friday:   Pepsi North America Cup (3-year-old pace) Armbro Flight (3-year-olds & older, fillies & mares trot) Canadian Pacing Derby (3-year-olds & older pace) Canadian Trotting Classic (3-year-old trot) Casual Breeze (3-year-old filly trot) Elegantimage (3-year-old filly trot) Eternal Camnation (2-year-old filly pace) Fan Hanover (3-year-old filly pace) Goodtimes (3-year-old trot) Maple Leaf Trot (3-year-olds & older trot) Metro Pace (2-year-old pace) Milton (3-year-olds & older, fillies & mares pace) Nassagaweya (2-year-old pace) Peaceful Way (2-year-old filly trot) Roses Are Red (3-year-olds & older, fillies & mares pace) Shes A Great Lady (2-year-old filly pace) Somebeachsomewhere (3-year-old pace) William Wellwood Memorial (2-year-old trot)   Woodbine also handles the administration of stakes events contested at various tracks across Ontario. Nominations and sustaining payments are due Friday for the following events:   Grand River Raceway (Sustaining): Battle of Waterloo (Ontario Sired 2-year-old pace) Battle of the Belles (Ontario Sired 2-year-old filly pace) Flamboro Downs (Sustaining): Confederation Cup (4-year-old pace) The Raceway at Western Fair District (Nominations): City of London Series (Ontario Sired 4-year-olds and younger, pacers and trotters)   All stakes details can be found by visiting www.Woodbine.com/Mohawk/Horsepeople/. Stakes payments can be made online by clicking here. If sending payments by mail, envelopes must be clearly post-marked no later than March 15, 2019 or payment will not be accepted. Registered mail is recommended.     Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications C: 905-864-9110  

MILTON, March 14, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment has announced that tonight's card of live racing at Mohawk Park has been cancelled due to deteriorating track conditions caused by mild temperatures. Live racing is scheduled to resume Friday evening. Post time is 7:10 p.m.   Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment, Mohawk Park Manager, Communications  

The 94th Hambletonian Future Wager at the Meadowlands will open its first pool Friday, March 15 at 11:00 a.m. in conjunction with the final payments taken on the harness racing trotters for the $1 million Hambletonian and $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks. This will be the first of four pools opened in advance of the race to be held Saturday, August 3 at The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, NJ. Wagering will be available at racetrack and online sites throughout North America and internationally and wagering for the first pool will close on Sunday, March 17 at 11:00 p.m. (EDT) A team of harness racing analysts and handicappers led by Meadowlands announcer Ken Warkentin, whose Road to the Hambletonian annually tracks the leading candidates to the race, selected a group of 14 trotters out of the 199 colts, fillies and geldings that were made eligible to start in the Hambletonian after the final February 15 payment. The wager will be discussed at length on The Meadowlands weekend simulcast show. Though fillies have their own division in the $500,000 Hambletonian Oaks, several have started in the $1 million event for males in recent years, most recently Atlanta, who became just the 14th filly to win a Hambletonian. The 14 horses assigned odds in the pool will be listed in alphabetical order. The mutuel field, #15, will consist of the remaining horses eligible, including all fillies eligible to the Oaks. There are no supplements permitted to the Hambletonian or Oaks. The minimum future wager is $1.00 and all future wagers are win wagering only. The winner of each pool will be determined by the official first-place finisher in the 2019 Hambletonian. The second future pool will open Friday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m. through Sunday, June 2, closing at 11:00 p.m. The third future wager pool will open Friday, July 5 at 11:00 a.m. through Sunday, July 7, and close at 11:00 p.m. The fourth and final pool opens Thursday, August 1, after the entries and elimination heats are sorted, and close at post-time of the first elimination and/or heat of the Hambletonian on Saturday, August 3. The Hambletonian Future Wager will be set-up in the tote system as one separate event. The event code is MZX. Past performance lines for the Hambletonian eligible horses will be available free of charge on the Meadowlands website playmeadowlands.com. All rules and updates can be found there and on www.Hambletonian.com. 2019 Hambletonian Future Wagering - Pool #1 HD - Horse - Morning Line Odds 1. CHAPTER FASHION 20-1 2. CHIN CHIN HALL 10-1 3. DONT LET'EM 10-1 4. FORBIDDEN TRADE 15-1 5. FORECAST 20-1 6. GIMPANZEE 4-1 7. GREEN MANALISHI 6-1 8. GREENSHOE 8-1 9. HUDSON RIVER 20-1 10. KINGS COUNTY 20-1 11. OSTERC 20-1 12. PROSPECT HILL 15-1 13. SOUTHWIND AVENGER 10-1 14. SWANDRE THE GIANT 12-1 15. All Other Horses - 8-1 ***************************************************************** The 2019 Hambletonian Future Wager Official Rules The 2019 Hambletonian Future Wager Official Rules 17% Takeout Win Wagering Only - $1 Minimum The Hambletonian Future wager will be four (4) separate wagering pools during the months of March, May, June, July and August, with the winner of each pool being determined by the official first place winner of the Hambletonian on August 3, 2019. Each pool will remain open for a period to be determined by the association, but in any event, not less than three (3) days nor more than ten (10) days. The pools shall each be open for the same length of time. The starting and closing date of the wager will be determined by the association and will be promoted to the public. Each Hambletonian Future wager shall be win wagers only and each pool shall be separate and independent. Calculation and distribution of winning wagers will be made following the official results of the 2019 Hambletonian. The minimum wager shall be one dollar ($1.00). Each pool shall be comprised of up to fifteen (15) betting interests. The top fourteen (14) betting interests shall be determined by the New Meadowlands Racetrack handicapper and listed alphabetically. The number fifteen (15) betting interest shall represent the mutuel field, which will include all other runners not listed in numbers one (1) through fourteen (14). The fifteen (15) betting interests will appear in the daily race program with morning line odds on each day the wager is offered. Following the close of each month's Hambletonian Future wagering pool, the final odds and/or probable payoffs will be listed in the racing program and released to the media. No refunds will be issued. All wagers are final once the patron has left the window. Career-ending injuries, death and failure to start are not subject to refunds. If the New Meadowlands Racetrack and/or Hambletonian Society becomes aware that a horse suffers a career-ending injury or becomes deceased after the numbers (1) through fourteen (14) are printed, but before Future Book Wagering has begun, the number shall be scratched and no wagers shall be accepted on that horse. That scratched horse will become part of the field number fifteen (15). If the New Meadowlands Racetrack and/or Hambletonian Society becomes aware that a horse suffers a career-ending injury or becomes deceased after the numbers one (1) through fourteen (14) are printed, and after Future Book Wagering has begun, wagering on that number shall be suspended. No refunds will be issued on the suspended number. Notwithstanding the above, in the event the 2019 Hambletonian is not run or does not produce an official winner, all wagers shall result in a refund. Also, in the event that there is a coupled entry or mutual field in the 2019 Hambletonian, for the purpose of the Hambletonian Future wager, each entry or mutuel field shall be considered a single betting interest. All calculations and payoffs for the Hambletonian Future wagers shall be governed by the New Jersey Racing Laws and Rules. Each pool shall be separately and independently calculated and distributed. Takeout shall be deducted from each gross pool as stipulated by law. The remainder of the monies in the pool shall constitute the net pool distribution as payoff on winning wagers. The amount wagered on the betting interest which finishes first is deducted from the net pool, the balance remaining being the profit; the profit is divided by the amount wagered on the betting finishing first, such quotient being the profit per dollar wagered to win on that betting interest. The net pool shall be distributed as a single price pool to winning wagers in the following precedence, based upon the official order of finish: (a) To those whose selection finished first; but if there are no wagers, then To those whose selection finished second; but if there are no wagers, then (b) To those whose selection finished third; but if there are no wagers, then (c) The entire pool shall be refunded on win wagers for that contest. If there is a dead heat for first involving: Contestants representing the same betting interest, the pool shall be distributed as if no dead heat occurred or Contestants representing two or more betting interests, the pool shall be distributed as a profit split. The Hambletonian Future Wager will be set-up in the tote system as one separate event. The event code is MZX and the future wager pools will be placed as follows: * Race 1: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 1 March 15 - March 17 * Race 2: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 2 May 31 - June 2 *Race 3: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 3 July 5 - July 7 * Race 4: Hambletonian Future Wager Pool 4 August 1 - August 3 Real time odds, pool data and updates on field participants for the 2019 Hambletonian Wagers and current odds will be shown on various simulcast shows including New Meadowlands Racetrack. For the Hambletonian Society & Meadowlands Racetrack    

Guelph, ON - March 14, 2019 - “You never think it would happen to you, and one of your horses, until one day you wake up to a phone call in the middle of the night,” recounts Sarah Scott, member of the horse racing community for over 20 years, and owner of Fork.    Since the first line fire in December, Sarah has not only been busy with her horse’s recovery but also spreading awareness of fire prevention programs.   Sarah works as an account manager specializing in equine rehabilitation, at System Equine in Rockwood and they will be hosting a Barn Fire Prevention and action plan evening on March 19 at 6 pm. Special guest speakers will include: TJ Snow of Milton Fire Department, Riley McGilloway of Halton Hills Fire Department, and Dr. Liz Shiland DVM (one of several vets who assisted at the First Line fire). Sarah will also be sharing her experience as a horse owner.    They will discuss: barn fire prevention, what to do in case of fire with horses and/or animals, fire safety and caring for horses after they have been exposed to smoke inhalation and fire trauma.  Barn owners need to be ever vigilant with barn fire prevention, never get complacent and always prepare themselves for emergencies.    Equine Guelph will be offering a new Fire & Emergency Preparedness online short course on TheHorsePortal.ca– Apr 8 – Apr 15   Sarah’s Story:   We celebrated our staff Christmas party at Mohawk raceway December 20th, having a great time filling the night with Christmas cheer. I arrived home, around 12:30 am and settled into bed shortly after 1 am. I was awoken by my husband to the words “the barn is on fire and there is nothing we can do.” I was instantly numb. I felt almost robotic as I grabbed some clothes, and drove to what was our horses’ home, now land marked by police cars directing fire trucks. The car did not even come to a complete stop before I jumped out.    When I arrived no one knew where my own horse was, but we knew he was out. It was dark, raining and the most unsettling of sights, with red and blue flashing lights intermingling with the mist. I was told it took two firefighters and one of the second trainers to move my horse Fork from his stall, with singed facial and mane hair from the inferno he escaped and was taken to another barn on the property and placed in an empty stall.   Emergency response:   Sarah quickly joined the growing team of fire fighters, owners and veterinarians triaging the scene. They were fortunate to have a number of containment areas with other barns close by, a pool area that held three horses, and paddocks to hold the horses after they were removed from barn seven. Other factors that aided the rescue were: rain, wind blowing away from the barn and educated/experienced horse people, on scene that did not pull open the doors until fire and rescue arrived.   Each horse was evaluated and treated by the attending veterinarians before they were given the “ok” to go to Mohawk.  When the horses arrived at Mohawk (for temporary stabling) they were all bathed and once again looked over for burns or distress. Black soot was embedded in the horses’ hair, leading to the conclusion the lungs must also be compromised. Fears of smoke inhalation damage were confirmed with the first scope.  The owners were worried if their horses would be ok, racked with questions if they were suffering and if they would ever race again. It was a quick paced day with lots of decisions.   Sarah’s expertise served her well, having worked with clients, vets and owners whose horses were affected by the encroaching wild fires in BC and Alberta, supplying them with nebulizers from System Equine that were donated by Nortev Flexineb and assisting the equine practitioners in developing treatment cycles. Never had she imagined she would be implementing a similar treatment plan for her own horse who had won his race just a few short weeks before.   The team worked diligently with the vets following up on the temperatures, discharge, vitals and overall observation. Sarah is very grateful to everyone involved with the rescue and rehabilitation, including her employers at System Equine and Nortev for supplying the nebulizers aiding in the recovery of many of the horses.   Sarah’s prayers have been answered as subsequent testing and scoping showed no signs of soot and no residual inflammation in the lungs. Sarah is also very grateful to her husband Mark who was so supportive, working tirelessly caring for both of them.  “He truly is the reason Fork has returned to the racetrack,” says Sarah. Fork is in the clear and qualified to race at Mohawk on January 24 2019.   Final thoughts:   Sarah will forever be a fire prevention crusader and advocate of having a plan. No matter how busy life gets, she will never turn her phone off at night. Much reflection takes place after an incident, from the simple things like having emergency numbers in your phone to having the fire department out to do a pre-plan. Having halters, leads, pens and paper quickly accessible, clear barn aisles, feed tubs positioned so they are not in the way of exiting a stall are some of the little details that can make a big difference in an emergency.   And of course, looking back on the chaos, there is much gratitude for the community who rallied together. Thanks, and huge acknowledgements must be given to the first responders, the community who all sprung from their beds in the dead of the night and for everyone who came together to support the rescue.   Sarah hopes sharing her story will move people to take preventative measures and looks forward to seeing large attendance both at the Fire & Emergency Preparedness online short course on TheHorsePortal.ca– Apr 8 – Apr 15 and at System Equine’s Barn Fire Prevention and action plan evening on March 19 at 6pm, also available by live feed at: https://imp.easywebinar.live/registration-2    

MILTON, March 13, 2019 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to notify all horsepeople of a change to this week's harness racing training and schooling schedule. This week's qualifying session will take place Thursday morning at 10 a.m. Training and schoolers have been cancelled for Thursday morning, as the track will only be used for the qualifying session. Training has also been cancelled for Friday morning. Mild temperatures and rain are the cause for the cancellations, as the track crew will be working to protect the racing surface for live racing on Thursday and Friday evening. Mark McKelvie Woodbine Entertainment            

This Saturday, March 16th the Meadowlands hosts its Last Chance harness racing WHHC Qualifier. Two spots are up for grabs in the $200 Qualifier ($100 entry plus a $100 real-money bankroll). The format requires players to make $10 Win, Place, Show or any combination WPS bets on ten Meadowlands races of their choice. Players can wager more than $10 a race if they desire. Players can register on-site until 7:15 pm on the 16th. DerbyWars will host regular online Qualifiers for the WHHC every Saturday through the end of March. Players can qualify for as little as $33. Complete DerbyWars Qualifier information can be found at DerbyWars.com. The remaining upcoming partner track WHHC qualifiers include: ·         TVG/4NJBets ·         Vernon Downs: March 16th ·         Tioga Downs: March 23rd ·         Buffalo Raceway: March 16th ·         Rosecroft Raceway: March 31st The World Harness Handicapping Championship presented by DerbyWars.com is Saturday, April 13th,  with a welcome reception the evening prior.  Players that did not earn a seat through a qualifying event can directly buy-in for $1,300.  The $1,300 entry fee includes a $300 bankroll, with the remaining $1,000 going to the prize pool.  The $150,000 prize pool is based on an estimated 150 entries and the $40,000 first place prize is guaranteed.  The WHHC contest format requires players to bet 10 races: their choice of seven Meadowlands races, two designated mandatory races.  Players keep all pari-mutuel winnings.  Prize payouts are to the Top 10.  The WHHC Final brochure is available at here            

March 11, 2019 (Guelph, ON): Planning is well underway for the 15th Annual International Society for Equitation Science (ISES) Conference, being held at the University of Guelph, Canada’s largest agricultural university, on August 19-21, 2019.   The theme for this year’s conference is “Bringing Science to the Stable”, highlighting our past relationship with horses and examining where we are headed.   Abstract submissions opened on January 18, 2019 and are due by April 1, 2019.   Researchers in the field of equitation science are invited to submit an abstract of their research findings for consideration to present during the conference.   A direct link to the abstract submission form can be found here.   Join our line-up of thought-provoking speakers as we journey through history and into the present, supporting and challenging the way we interact with horses through scientific research.   Early bird conference registration pricing available until June 1.   After that date regular conference fees apply.   Check the ISES website  or the Horse Portal to learn more.   Check our blog regularly for updates, sneak peaks, and local information.   15th Annual International Society for Equitation Science Conference   Equine Guelph | University of Guelph | 

London, March 13 -- The Raceway at Western Fair District has cancelled harness racing qualifiers for this Friday, March 15 due to warm temperatures and heavy rains which are forecasted for London Thursday and into Friday morning. The track will also be closed that morning for training. The next qualifying session will take place on Friday, March 22 and horse people are reminded that the start time for qualifying races has been changed to 10:00 a.m. The Raceway at Western Fair District  

TORONTO, March 12, 2019 - Woodbine Entertainment, operators of the world-class Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto, home to the iconic Queen's Plate racing festival, announced today a partnership with internationally-renowned construction experts, EllisDon for the development of the recently announced GO train station that will be built on Woodbine property. EllisDon will lead the design and construction of the new modern integrated transit hub and will assist in securing the financing required for this project as well as the opportunity to participate in future development components of Woodbine Entertainment's larger vision for the property known as Woodbine Districts. Woodbine Districts, the most exciting development project in Canada, will be a major commercial and employment hub that will include mixed-use residential, commercial space, sports and recreations facilities, parks and public space, a new casino, hotel, restaurants and live entertainment venue. "Woodbine is thrilled to have EllisDon as the development partner for the new GO Station and transit hub at Woodbine Racetrack," said Jim Lawson, CEO of Woodbine Entertainment. "Partnering with a global leader like EllisDon is integral in bringing the Woodbine Districts vision to life which will help grow our revenues and sustain the horse racing industry for decades." The approval of the new train station on Woodbine property was announced last week by the Ministry of Transportation and in partnership with Metrolinx and Woodbine Entertainment. The new transit hub will be located on the southeast corner of Woodbine's property and will operate on the GO Kitchener line. "EllisDon is proud to have been selected to build and develop the new Woodbine GO Station transit hub," said Joey Comeau, Senior Vice-President, EllisDon. "The new station will add yet another important link for GO and its commuters." EllisDon is a world-leading construction and building company that has delivered solutions for complex construction developments for more than 65 years. Examples of leading EllisDon projects include the Frank Gehry designed Art Gallery of Ontario, Eglinton Crosstown LRT, RER - Rutherford Station, and the Rogers Centre, among others. Brittney Mayotte

More than 100 racing yards were on lockdown this past Thursday Feb 7 as horse races were called off due to a flu outbreak in Britain. All horse owners need to guard against the very real and present threat of equine influenza. According to a recent FEI health update in response to equine flu outbreaks, the virus can be easily transmitted between horses that are in close contact, such as attending events, group training and hunting, or between vaccinated and unvaccinated horses in the home yard. “Vaccinating horses against equine influenza is key to combating the spread of equine influenza,” FEI Veterinary Director Göran Åkerström said. “It is important that all horses are vaccinated, regardless of whether or not they compete or come into contact with other horses, but there are also biosecurity measures that should be put in place, including best hygiene practices.” Plan Ahead The approach of spring and the anticipation of outings and increased exposure to pathogens means it is time to book the vet for shots. How well do you understand the vaccines currently available and the discussions you should have with your vet? Six questions are asked in Equine Guelph’s healthcare tool – the Vaccination Equi-Planner, kindly sponsored by Merck Animal Health, to help horse owners start those conversations. Every farm has different risk factors including: age, use, sex, exposure to outside horses and geography. Whether you are the proud owner of a young foal, competition horse, hobbyhorse or broodmare, the Vaccination Equi-Planner (EquineGuelph.ca/vaccinationtool) points out considerations for each and discusses different core and optional vaccines your vet may recommend. Your veterinarian will be up to date on what diseases are endemic in your location. Did you know horses aged 1 - 5 tend to be more susceptible to influenza? Horses that travel or are exposed to travelling horses or new arrivals are also at increased risk. "Equine influenza is one of the most frequent respiratory tract disease in horses. As such, it has a significant impact on equine populations worldwide. Vaccination along with appropriate biosecurity measures remains one of the most effective ways to prevent this highly contagious disease. However, immunity against influenza is rather short-lived, so horses that are at higher risk of getting infected can benefit from a semi-annual booster. Horse owners should discuss with their veterinarian the most appropriate vaccination schedule based on their horses’ specific circumstances. Also, as the influenza virus constantly changes through antigenic drift, best practice calls for using a vaccine that includes recent strains of influenza as recommended by the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE). An influenza modified live virus vaccine can also provide coverage against current strains through broad cross-protection," says Dr. Serge Denis, Equine Consultant with Merck Animal Health. What is a Modified Live Vaccine? A modified live equine A/Equine 2 influenza vaccine for intranasal administration is commercially available in Canada. “I have had some interesting conversations with horse owners regarding vaccinations,” says Veterinarian and Ontario Association of Equine Practitioner President Amy Bennet. “There does seem to be some misconceptions regarding specific vaccines, especially the modified live vaccines. By far, the biggest concern I hear from horse owners is that their horse could potentially become sick from the modified live vaccine and they are concerned that their horse could then pass this disease onto other horses. I also hear concerns of unvaccinated horses becoming inadvertently vaccinated from a recently vaccinated horse within the herd.” Bennet explains, a modified live vaccine is derived from the naturally occurring pathogen but is modified in a way that it doesn’t produce clinical disease, while still mounting a strong immune response. Modified live vaccines for influenza are given intra-nasally. When the vaccine replicates in the horse’s nasal mucosa, a rapid local immune response occurs. The horse develops an immune response that combats disease similar to when the horse is exposed to the wild strain equine influenza virus, making sure that the tissues that would be first exposed to the disease have the strongest immunity to it.   By giving a modified live vaccine, your veterinarian is administering a live pathogen, that has been modified so it will not cause the clinical disease but will mount an immune response to help provide protection against the disease, should the animal ever be exposed. More about the science behind modified live and inactivated vaccines can be found at EquineGuelph.ca/vaccinationtool under resources. Know the Rules Given the highly contagious nature of the disease and the impact on horse health and industry economics, some racing regulators, like British Horse Racing Authority, and racetracks, such as Woodbine, as well as organizations including the United States Equestrian Federation, Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI) and Equestrian Canada have rules requiring vaccination against equine influenza. Check on the records required. For example, Equine Canada passports must be signed and stamped by your certified veterinarian and filled in with the date of administration, name and batch number of vaccine, method of administration (Intra-muscular or Intra-nasal) among other specified details. There are also windows of time before competitions for the administrations of vaccines to be aware of.   Equine Guelph and Merck Animal Health are pleased to provide a comprehensive starting point for horse owners to begin drafting their annual personalized immunization plan with the Vaccination Equi-Planner. This information will help when discussing vaccinations with your vet. Image Caption: The personalized questions in EquineGuelph.ca/vaccinationtoolhelps horse owners start conversations with their vet for an annual plan.   By: Jackie Bellamy Zions

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