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Officials with Nova Scotia Harness Racing Industry Association are pleased to announce that harness racing will commence at the Nova Scotia tracks in June. Safety and the well being of our patrons is top priority. The announcement May 20 , 2020 by Premier McNeil for all "business that was not directly closed under the health protection order and is able to start operating as long as they meet the general requirement" was welcoming news for the three tracks. Truro Raceway, Inverness Raceway and Northside Downs will be enforcing Covid-19 restrictions for all workers and race participants. Public Health measures that will be enforced include social distancing and the use of personal protective equipment. No spectators will be allowed on the properties during live racing events until further notice. Fans will be able to wager from the safety of their homes through the online betting platform Nova Scotia Premier McNeil along with Dr. Strang has done a tremendous job in keeping COVID-19 under control in our Province. We would like to thank the Honorable Keith Colwell, Department of Agriculture for supporting our proposal to open the tracks. Like all jurisdictions, there are several changes to how live racing will be conducted. No fans will be permitted at the racetracks until further notice and all trainers will have to submit groom rosters ahead of race dates. Social distancing and use of personal protective equipment will be enforced along with guidelines set forth by public health, racing forensics, CPMA and Standardbred Canada. The guidelines for Back to Racing, including protocols for the tracks to follow while training and conducting live racing will be made available on each tracks website. Qualifying dates for Truro Raceway, Northside Downs, and Inverness Raceway will be announced in the coming days.  

As the countdown to racing continues, there are many questions that still exist for horsepeople in Ontario as the harness racing community will have to adjust to a new normal. On tonight's (May 24) episode of COSA TV host Greg Blanchard interviewed horseman and COSA Director Mark Horner, General Manager and Race Secretary Ian Fleming and Jamie Martin, Grand River Raceway’s Director of Operations. Together the trio discussed new racetrack protocols, the importance of increasing racetrack handle and how the industry will have to adapt to a new normal of racing. Questions from viewers were also answered as well as trivia questions for fans and viewers to win a prize courtesy of COSA. First to take the stand was Jamie Martin, who discussed recent expansions at the Elora oval. “Last fall we started a $6 million expansion project of our backstretch, it was supposed to be finished on the 1st of June but construction has been halted due to the shutdowns. Normally we have our facility ready and open for training a month out to our opening race night. We added a 7,000 sq. ft. building in between the paddock and the grandstand, this will hold our offices and our simulcast. We also added a 5,000 sq. ft. addition to the back of the paddock that will include a maintenance shop and an open space for additional ship-in stalls. Because of all this construction is why we are not open and ready for training yet. Our track is in good shape and ready for opening.” Horseman Mark Horner discussed how he has managed his stable throughout the pandemic -- a similar approach that most horsemen have taken. “We did back them off a bit, but schedules remained pretty on track. I didn’t train my three-year-olds as much, I backed them up to about one trip a week and when things looked like we were going to get back up and going around the first of May then we started to up the training. We trained a few in the race bike yesterday and everyone is going good -- next week when we are ready to qualify, we will be ready to go.” A representative for horsemen, Horner also discussed the atmosphere throughout the industry during this unprecedented time and how participants are preparing to handle the new protocols put in place. “I’ve talked to a variety of horsemen that race either on the WEG Circuit or the ‘B’ tracks, for the most part the horsemen understand what COSA has gone through and are appreciative of what Ontario Racing has been able to do to provide relief for the horsemen. It’s very important that horsemen follow social distancing, racing is now going to be an in and out process, there will be no hanging around the paddock area, there will be no Lasix except for at Woodbine Mohawk Park. This will be a work in progress but a major part of getting through this pandemic successfully lies in a collaborative effort of racetracks and horsepeople. We need to show that we can wear masks, those who refuse too, will be removed from the paddock.” Following the same suit of adjusting to a new normal, Ian Fleming touched base on adjusting to a new normal of racing without spectators -- an adjustment that Clinton Raceway, a track with a strong community connection, is prepared to face. “It’s not ideal, we have people here from the community every day watching horses jog and train and to tell them in two weeks that they cannot come here and watch these horses race is very hard. I’ve talked to all of them and they understand why they are not able to come and watch the races but it’s going to be very strange. It’s also tough for the local groups that come to the track to fundraise. No matter where you go, it’s going to be strange. For now, we will just have to see how things play out.” Fleming also discussed that although the race office will be taking entries, trainers are still advised to make use of Standardbred Canada’s self-serve online entries. Fleming also credited the system and noted he believes it will be quite helpful in the future. Jamie Martin informed viewers that Grand River Raceway fans will have access to HD streaming since fans will not be able to watch racing live. High-definition video will be available through Grand River Raceway’s website and HPI TV. Martin also noted that in-house handicapping contests will be moved online and that the racetrack still plans to engage fans with their product as much as possible. Switching roles from a director to an owner/trainer/breeder, Horner provided an update on a few sensational mares that have called his stable home. “Pinky Tuscadero is in foal to All Bets Off, she had a big heart and was a very nice mare to race around the small tracks.” From a similar perspective, Horner also touched on how yearling sales will be impacted by COVID-19 -- more specifically the London Selected Yearling Sale. “We have been working very hard exploring different options as to how to conduct the sale, we have put every possible option on the table from a virtual sale and how it would look and have also looked at what other sales are going to do. Ann Straatman is working very hard on how we can successfully have our sale, but no decisions have been made yet. “I don’t think that after spending $1 million on turning the [Western Fair] Agriplex where the sale is conducted into a hospital, that they will be wanting to take it down anytime soon so I think we will have to take a serious look at taking care of the breeders and consignors and consider a virtual sale.” The very informative episode was produced by CUJO Entertainment and featured a mass amount of valuable information for owners, trainers, drivers and all those involved in the industry. The episode is available for viewing below.  Central Ontario Standardbred Association

Toronto, ON — Ontario Racing has released the revised schedules for the upcoming harness racing stakes season. The Ontario Sires Stakes will kick off on June 26 with the first leg of the Grassroots Series for 3-year-old pacing fillies at Woodbine Mohawk Park while the Prospect Series will commence with the 3-year-old pacing fillies on June 20 at Hanover Raceway. by Allison Glynn, OSS Program Coordinator

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) received new test results that suggest the containment and mitigation measures continue to contain the neuropathogeniclogical form of EHV-1 to a single barn at Woodbine Racetrack. As a result, the AGCO has lifted all the restrictions on training for Barns 33 and 35, as well as the non-isolated horses in Barn 11. Two horses in Barn 11 remain in isolation. Restrictions on training of horses residing in other barns remain in place (please refer to May 21 Notice). All horses in Barn 10 were re-tested and results all came back negative. In addition, all horses in Barn 12 were re-tested and two additional horses tested positive, bringing the total to 27. All the remaining horses in Barn 12 tested negative. As per the containment protocol, the horses that tested positive have been removed to isolation and Barn 12 remains in lock down. Assuming no other horses display clinical signs, the plan at this time is to re-test all horses in Barn 12 on Monday, May 25. Horses from Barn 10 will be re-tested on Friday May 29. The AGCO is continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922

When the three-year-old filly Blockjorg divebombed her rivals in the Group 2 harness racing $50,000 Diamond Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night (May 22) she credited her sire He’s Watching with his first Group winner from his first crop, now just three-year-olds, in Australia.  Blockjorg, who finished an unlucky second in the Diamond Classic as a two-year-old, has shown up as a very smart filly winning the fastest heat 10 days earlier, and it was a strong field she beat at Gloucester Park. She has now won five races with eight placings from 24 starts for $78,621 in stakes. To watch the video replay click on this link Blockjorg, who was bred and is raced by the Clarina Racing Syndicate, is the third foal of Toobee Three, a lightly raced daughter of the No Nukes sire Legacy Of Power. He’s Watching 1:46.8 ($1.1 million), a world champion two-year-old and Meadowlands Pace winner, has left 13 individual three-year-old winners from his first crop this season. Besides Blockjorg, he is also the sire of the George Croxford Tribute winner Private Eye (1:54.6), the Melton winner Born To Be Watched (1:54.6), Raksjameson NZ, who is unbeaten in WA, and the Menangle winner Experia (1:54.4). From his second Australian crop He’s Watching is the sire of the brilliant youngster Watchmedazzle, who has won twice at Shepparton, as well as several metropolitan placegetters. In North America, He’s Watching was one of the leading two-year-old sires in last year’s rich Ontario Sires Stake program, siring the quinella pair Tattoo Artist and Examiner Hanover in the $225,000 OSS Super Final at Woodbine Mohawk Park. This was also the first and oldest crop by He's Watching in Canada. He’s Watching is now standing at the Tipperary Equine stud, Young, of one of NSW’s leading studmasters Luke Primmer. Now is your chance to buy a He's Watching weanling at the NZB Standardbred All Age Sale currently running and ending in three days at the  Auction. There are eight weanlings for sale and here they are; Lot 15 - He's Watching / Millview Sarah Lot 41 - He's Watching / Samantha Chloe Lot 55 - He's Watching / Tempest Bromac Lot 76 - He's Watching / Alta Michaela Lot 92 - He's Watching / Chevelle Star Lot 100 - He's Watching / Darkofthemoon Lot 116 - He's Watching / Georgia's Belle Lot 120 - He's Watching / Hip Pocket Peter Wharton  

MILTON, ON - May 23, 2020 - Woodbine Mohawk Park would like to notify all harness racing drivers and trainers that when Qualifiers resume on Thursday, May 28, the driver/trainer changes rooms, showers and lounge will be closed until further notice as an important COVID-19 safety precaution and physical distancing protocol. Drivers and trainers are asked to contact Megan Walker at or (416)-709-6793 to schedule a time to pick up their suits and other items on Monday, May 25, Tuesday, May 26 or Wednesday, May 27 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Only drivers and trainers who have scheduled a time will be permitted to pick up their suits and other items. Woodbine Mohawk Park will be releasing its qualifying and race night paddock protocols next week in advance of the resumption of Qualifiers on Thursday. Training to commence at Woodbine Mohawk Park with strict physical distancing protocols Training at Woodbine Mohawk Park with strict physical distancing protocols in place will be available from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday (May 27), and Saturday (May 30). Training hours will be allotted by signing up on a first come first serve basis.  Sign-ups will start at 3 p.m. on Monday (May 25).  Trainers are limited to no more than 10 horses per day. A limit of 50 horses are permitted in the paddock during a training time slot. Training time slots will be in 2.5 hour increments (6:30 a.m. to 9 a.m., 9:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., 12 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.).   All paddock COVID-19 safety protocols will be in place for training hours, including the requirement to have all personnel wearing a face mask. Only trainers and essential licensed personnel over the age of 16 will be permitted through the security checkpoint. To sign-up for training which opens at 3 p.m. on Monday, click here. Jamie Dykstra Woodbine Entertainment

May 23, 2020 -- The return of live harness racing in Ontario will be the topic of discussion during this Sunday night's Facebook Live edition of COSA TV. Grand River Raceway's Director of Operations Jamie Martin will be part of the lineup as well as Clinton Raceway's GM Ian Fleming who also serves as race secretary for several provincial racetracks from Clinton's centralized race office. Rounding out the guests will be Mark Horner who operates one of the largest stables in Southwestern Ontario and is a past chair of Standardbred Canada. The trio will join host Greg Blanchard beginning at 7:30 p.m. As always, questions can be submitted ahead of time or during the show by visiting the COSA TV Facebook Page. The show will also be aired on the Standardbred Canada website. Greg Blanchard Central Ontario Standardbred Association

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that the results of two days of additional testing indicate that containment and mitigation measures are working to contain the neuropathogeniclogical form of EHV-1 to a single barn at Woodbine Racetrack. On May 19, testing conducted on horses stabled a new round of testing on May 20 in all Woodbine barns revealed no positive cases. Testing conducted on May 19 in Barn 12 returned 5 new positive cases, bringing the total to 25 of the 59 horses residing there. The affected horses are in isolation or have been sent to the Ontario Veterinary College for treatment. On May 20, testing was conducted on horses residing in adjacent barns and a small number of horses from other barns showing potential symptoms of EHV-1, such as fever. This additional round of testing revealed no positives of the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. In order to minimize the spread of this outbreak, the AGCO has reached out to all trainers at Woodbine and provided advice on the importance of quick reporting of horses with any fever, respiratory and neurological disease. Recognizing the importance of maintaining a balance between containing the disease and keeping horses in training for their wellbeing, non-isolated horses will be permitted to train. They must be segregated from other horses. Testing and Mitigation The testing of other horses on May 20 in Barns 9, 10, 11, 33 and 35 has identified the following results, and led to the introduction of mitigation strategies for these Barns, in addition to those already in place for Barn 12: Barn 9 - Four horses tested due to symptoms. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 9 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barn 10 - All horses tested due to proximity to Barn 12. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 10 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barns 11 - All horses tested due to proximity to Barn 12. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 11 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barn 12 - Each horse that tested positive has been removed. The remaining horses are isolated in the barn and are not permitted to train at this time. Barn 33 - Two horses tested due to symptoms. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 33 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barn 35 - One horse tested due to symptoms. The horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 35 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses.   All other infectious disease protocols ordered by the AGCO on May 17 remain in place. The AGCO has also been in touch with Fort Erie Race Track. They are putting precautionary measures in place to ensure horses already on the ground, those coming in and those leaving are checked for any symptoms of fever, nasal discharge, etc. The track already has a barn ready for isolation should it be needed. The AGCO shares the collective concern for the well-being of all equine athletes and would like to recognize the continued efforts of staff at Woodbine, the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs for their collaboration and diligence in addressing this situation. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information Horse People: Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES HBPA Memo to Members: Practices to limit the spread of EHV-1    

Just over two weeks after trans-Tasman equine flights resumed following a COVID-19-enforced shutdown, exports from New Zealand to Australia have been suspended indefinitely yet again, this time due to a possible case of equine piroplasmosis. On May 20, New Zealand's Ministry of Primary Industries informed exporters that shipments to Australia had been suspended with immediate effect. A flight Tuesday night was prevented from leaving the country, and another shipment, scheduled for Friday night, is also expected to be held over as the department negotiates alternative arrangements with their Australian counterparts, the Department of Agriculture. Friday's flight, though, was still scheduled to depart as of Wednesday night; a number of owners with horses set for that shipment had not been informed about any potential delay. Equine piroplasmosis has never been identified in New Zealand before, but MPI director for animal health and welfare Chris Rodwell confirmed that a mare tested positive to equine piroplasmosis in a pre-export blood test. The mare had arrived in New Zealand last year from a European Union country that is known to harbor the tick-borne disease. Further testing is expected to confirm that the horse is infected with Theileria equi, one of two known parasites to transmit equine piroplasmosis. Rodwell told ANZ Bloodstock News: "Further blood tests have been taken from the mare, and we expect confirmation of whether the horse is negative or positive for the disease by the end of this week. "Theileria equi is a blood disease that causes anemia and is spread from animal to animal by ticks. The horse in question was imported to New Zealand from the EU early last year for breeding. No signs of disease in the animal have been reported in its time here." While the disease cannot be passed from horse to horse without the ticks known to transmit the parasite—with those tick species not found in New Zealand—most veterinary agreements with other countries require that equine piroplasmosis has not been present in the exporting country for a certain period of time. For Australia, the requirement is three years—meaning that, under the current certification process, trans-Tasman exports would be banned until 2023. While other arrangements are likely to be determined as a matter of urgency, it is a blow to the beleaguered New Zealand industry at a time when it is already under tremendous pressure. Even a temporary ban has the potential to upset spring preparations and breeding plans for New Zealand-based mares in Australia. On Wednesday night, MPI was moving to reassure horse owners that they were working as fast as possible with an aim to find a quick solution. "MPI is aware this situation may cause some concern to those in the equine sector, and work is underway to resolve things as quickly as possible to ensure ongoing horse exports are not interrupted," Rodwell said. "Some countries, including Australia, that import horses from New Zealand require certification that New Zealand is free of Theileria equi. This current suspect test result has meant that MPI cannot currently provide that assurance of country-freedom status. The ministry's market access specialists are working with Australian authorities to explore alternative assurance options to allow exports to continue." Biosecurity New Zealand has already started an investigation to confirm that it is an isolated case of equine piroplasmosis, but questions remain as to how a case could not only have occurred in New Zealand but how it could have gone undetected for so long. "The horse met MPI's importing requirements in that it had received a negative test for Theileria equi within 30 days of shipment," Rodwell said. "Before shipment, horses are quarantined and treated to remove any ticks that may be present. They are also further inspected and quarantined on arrival." According to the World Organisation for Animal Health, either of the two parasites that carry equine piroplasmosis—Babesia caballi and Theileria equi—can be found on most continents, including much of Europe. The Theileria equi parasite has also been reported in Australia in the past; the most recent case was an outbreak in the Southern Highlands region of New South Wales in 1976, but it did not take hold, and Australia is now considered to be free of equine piroplasmosis. The official zoosanitary certificate, which must be certified prior to export to Australia, states that New Zealand must have been free of 16 diseases for a three-year period prior to export; equine piroplasmosis is on that list, along with the likes of African horse sickness, equine influenza, and glanders. MPI's Dr. Emma Passmore stated in an email to exporters: "The export certificate for horses traveling to Australia, either for transit or permanent import, requires MPI to certify that no clinical, epidemiological, or other evidence of equine piroplasmosis has occurred in New Zealand within the three-year period immediately prior to export. This can no longer be certified, and exports to or via Australia are suspended with immediate effect." While Australia is the biggest market to be affected and also has notoriously strict quarantine laws, exports to other countries will also be potentially compromised. Macau requires the exporting country to have been free of equine piroplasmosis for two years, and Singapore asks for extra tests and treatments to be completed if the country has not been free from equine piroplasmosis for 12 months. The United States also requires that the country has been free of equine piroplasmosis for 12 months. Japan has no time frame but also requires a piroplasmosis-free environment. However, Hong Kong's requirements are less stringent, simply requiring a horse not to have completed its pre-export quarantine on premises where equine piroplasmosis has occurred in the 60 days prior to export. Exporters on Wednesday night were digesting the ban and the potential implications that may follow if it is prolonged beyond the next couple of weeks. Most suggested that the immediate suspension of exports to Australia was an unfortunate but required step. "This is very disappointing news, but the suspension is totally necessary at this time," Equine International Airfreight managing director Cameron Croucher said. "Just as flights were starting to operate across the Tasman after the COVID-19 shutdowns, outcomes of this nature will be very disappointing to owners and trainers who now face a further delay in relocating their bloodstock. "I'm sure that both government departments in New Zealand and Australia will work very hard to find a quick solution to resume services once confirmatory testing is completed. Also, a proper investigation is needed into how this has been allowed to occur, which could have a massive impact on the New Zealand Thoroughbred industry if the suspension is prolonged, especially leading into the Southern Hemisphere breeding season." In the past week, a number of New Zealand horses have been confirmed as relocating to Australia, and Cambridge Stud last week announced that a number of its fillies would join the Te Akau assault on the Melbourne spring. In addition, almost 200 mares crossed the Tasman from New Zealand for breeding purposes in 2019, with a similar number expected this year. By Andrew Hawkins/ANZ Bloodstock News Reprinted with permission of Bloodhorse

All harness racing horses wishing to qualify at Mohawk Thursday May 28 & 29 and June 1 & 2 must enter with the race office before noon Friday, May 22.   Preference for qualifying shall be given to Ontario Sired three-year-olds.   The Race office will produce qualifying entry sheets for those four dates on Monday, May 25.   Horses who currently meet the amended qualifying standards set by the AGCO will not be permitted to qualify during those four dates.   The Race Office recommends all trainers use Standardbred Canada's new and improved online entering system for making their entries going forward.       Jamie Dykstra Director, Communications & Content Woodbine Entertainment 647-400-6235

“There’s a chance the time off may not be as kind to the horses that were sharp before this break,” says Lou Sorella aka #LouKnows - a harness racing owner and guest handicapper at The Raceway. “The horses that were in need of some time off certainly got a well-deserved rest, but I think when we come back - it’ll be a pretty level playing field for everyone… Here’s hoping everyone follows the guidelines that will keep us safe and racing for the remainder of this 2020 season and beyond.” Sorella teamed up with Chatham’s Don MacLellan and Rockwood’s Katie Miller to claim Casimir Rumrunner for a $15,000 tag back on March 7 at Flambro. “Don actually scouted him out,” says Sorella. “He liked the horse and wanted to partner with Katie and I so we said sure. We’ve got a great partnership and we’re happy to have our trainer, Kyle Fellows, looking after things. He lists the driver and finds the races… We tried him on the big track at Mohawk and he just missed in his first start for us - finishing second. Then we bumped him up to the $20,000 claimer and he held his own against that group - finishing third… And then racing shut down. Now we wait to see where he fits as racing returns.” Co-owner Miller is fairly high on Casimir Rumrunner as well. “He’s an angel and does nothing wrong,” says the Cape Breton native. “He’s got a very nice way of going and literally only wears tendon boots. We love him!” Casimir Rumrunner Casimir Rumrunner had been with us at The Raceway, during the latter portion of 2019, for trainer/driver Paul MacKenzie. He’s always been a very slick-gaited free-legged pacer and now it appears he’s taken a liking to the big track surface at Woodbine Mohawk Park. We’ll look forward to seeing him back in action soon! Shadow Place Back On Canadian Soil A former top class pacer in Ontario - Shadow Place - has returned from south of the border… After seeing limited action, over the last two racing seasons, the nine-year-old son of Shadow Play is now back on Canadian soil and is with Katie Miller. “He’s been my boy since day one,” says Miller, “He’s the typical horse a girl falls in love with… A big, shiny black, beautiful animal!” Shadow Place “My cousin, Carl Stafford - whom I’m very close with, owned him with Kyle (Fellows) when he first came in the barn four years ago. He was Kyle’s first sub-1:50 win (1:49.1 at Mohawk - June 25, 2016)… I still remember that night and I still remember how nervous I got every time he raced… And obviously growing up on the east coast the Gold Cup and Saucer is the holy grail - so to take him there and let alone win it - was beyond anything I can ever describe… I actually thought I was going to pass out walking back to the winners circle that night. He stood there for 20 minutes, like an angel, while people took very muddy photos with him… And he hardly does anything like an angel. He is actually a major pain,” she laughed. “ And then Kyle got the call from someone interested in buying Shadow. He was racing in the WEG Preferred at the time and they were interested in him for Yonkers. My heart was broken and I couldn’t even go to the barn once I knew he was sold. I truly didn’t go, back to the barn, until he left. I watched every race… My family - my partner Lou - we all followed him… And Kyle always promised me we could keep him, as a pet, when he was done racing. So now - he’s found his way back to me… I own him.” So what’s next for Shadow Place? “He’s in training at the moment,” mentions Miller. “If he makes it back as a race horse, an amateur horse, or any sort of race horse - at all - that would be great. If not - he’s going to get fatter - than he already is and maybe get broke to saddle. Shadow is my pride and joy… His best interest is my only concern… I look forward to getting to the barn and jogging him and I love how much he loves his job - even though he may be reaching ‘Grandpa’ territory.” Shadow Place winning the 2017 Gold Cup and Saucer Shannon ‘Sugar’ Doyle The Raceway at Western Fair District  

Guelph, ON May 21, 2020 - Lameness is a huge focus for Dr. Judith Koenig as a clinician, researcher and instructor at the Ontario Veterinary College (OVC). Koenig is also a rider with a keen interest in helping grass roots riders and upcoming high-performance athletes. In the accompanying video Dr. Koenig explains her current research endeavoring to heal tendon injuries faster and also takes some time to talk about prevention. Stimulating stem cells to heal faster through the use of shock wave therapy is part of the exciting new research being conducted at the OVC by Dr. Koenig.  They were investigating whether shock wave therapy performed after injecting stem cells into a tendon will result in better quality healing.  Then they came up with the idea of pre-treating stem cells with shock wave prior to injection!    Dr. Koenig is also leading a clinical trial, currently enrolling thoroughbred racehorses.  The trial performs repeated injection of stem cells that have been harvested from umbilical cord blood, frozen and stored in Dr. Thomas Koch’s lab.  These stem cells are from unrelated horses.  Funding from the Ontario Equestrian federation has enabled OVC researchers to also follow a control group treated with platelet rich plasma as a comparison for this study. Reduced healing time is an obvious benefit to the welfare of the horse and of course the horse owner will be pleased about a quicker return to their training régime.     Realizing many will soon be in the position of starting horses back into training after a significant amount of time off, Koenig offers some important advice.  “You need to allow at least a six-week training period for the athletes to be slowly brought back and build up muscle mass and cardiovascular fitness,” says Koenig.  “Both stamina and muscle mass need to be retrained.”  She stressed the importance in checking the horse’s legs for heat and swelling before and after every ride and picking out the feet.  A good period of walking is required in the warm-up and cool down and riders need to pay attention to soundness in the walk before commencing their work out.     Want to learn more about lameness?     Equine Guelph has free healthcare tools:   Lameness Lab and Journey through the Joints    Test your knowledge and savvy for spotting lameness!   Learn more about Dr. Koenig and her research.   Biography: Judith Koenig, Mag vet med, Dr med vet, DVSc   Dr. Koenig is originally from Austria and came to Canada 1996 after graduating from vet school to gain some research experience and complete the research for her MSc. Following a large animal internship at the Ontario Veterinary College she went to Oregon State University where she did a one-year large animal fellowship. The year in Oregon gave her good exposure to Western Pleasure horses as well as Walking horses, which complemented her previous experience with Sports and Racehorse practice.   Judith came back to the Ontario Veterinary College where she did a 3-year large animal surgery residence with a concurrent graduate degree (DVSc). Judith became board certified with both the American and European College of Veterinary Surgeons and started to work as faculty in Large Animal Surgery in 2003. Since then she has been working half of the time as a surgeon with a strong interest in Equine Sports Medicine and the other half as researcher and teacher. In 2016 Judith became a board-certified diplomate for equine sports medicine and rehabilitation.   Judith’s main area of interest in research is tissue healing, particularly wound and tendon healing. She has investigated the use of different modalities (for example shockwave or stem cells) to see if they accelerate tissue healing and which cellular pathways are affected. This will help to direct treatment of tendon injuries and wounds in horses.   by: Jackie Bellamy-Zions

KITCHENER, ON - This Friday (May 22) marks the third of four Barncat Trivia events where players compete against fellow horse racing enthusiasts in a live virtual contest. Sixty fun, all-original multiple-choice questions are presented over three games (rounds) starting at 7:00 p.m. EST. The contest is free to play. An online show corresponds with each trivia event featuring a game host and special guests. Trainer Francis Dumouchel joins this week's Half-Time show after trivia game one (approx. 7:20 p.m. EST). Dumouchel is an assistant trainer for the Blake MacIntosh Stable and also conditions four of his own horses at Meadowbranch Training Centre, near Flamboro Downs. A month ago, Dumouchel thought he was just posting a cute video to Facebook of his 2-year-old pacing filly and her barncat buddy Bruno. Much to Dumouchel's surprise, Bruno and Twin B Sunkissed have become an internet sensation and Dumouchel has been fielding requests and licensing offers from online media outlets from around the world. With nearly 2 million views, and more than 86,000 shares, Francis was stunned to see his phone blowing up hour after hour as his cute duo rose to social media stardom. But with 15,000 comments and reach far beyond his own online network of harness racing friends, Dumouchel soon saw how a seemingly delightful video was inciting less than delightful comments. During the five-minute Half-Time Show, Barncat Trivia will chat with Dumouchel about his post's popularity and how the Sunkissed & Bruno viral video has changed his understanding of how people outside of the horse industry sometimes perceive Standardbreds and harness racing. Friday's game and live show can be accessed at The website also provides an email notification service to remind players of game times. Last week's top scorer of the 140 players was returning champ, driver/trainer Anthony Haughan with 4336 points. Jim Gillespie was second with 4272 points and Ben Holliday rounded out the top three with 4023 points. Heading into week three, the tournament leaders are: 1st place - Anthony Haughan (8505 points) 2nd place - Justin Fisher (7990 points) 3rd place - Nick Salvi (7670 points) Barncat Trivia wraps up May 29, but players can join in for the first time at any point in the tournament. The top overall scorer of the tournament wins a $100 gift card for the vendor of their choice. Prizes of $25.99 in game play will be awarded for the mobile apps Catch Driver and Off And Pacing. These prizes will be awarded on social media and during game nights. The tournament is made possible with the generous support of sponsors, including: • Catch Driver • Clinton Raceway • Central Ontario Standardbred Association • Grand River Raceway • Hambletonian Society • Hanover Raceway • MadBarn • Meadowlands Racing & Entertainment • Off And Pacing • Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association • Tara Hills Stud • • TROT Magazine • Woodbine Mohawk Park Website: Explainer Video: Tournament Hashtags: #barncattrivia #playbarncat Facebook: @barncattrivia Twitter: @barncattrivia Contact:   Kelly Spencer / Scott McNair  

To prepare for the return to harness racing, the AGCO is actively reviewing Ontario's horse racing rules and regulations to ensure responsible measures are taken to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Our Racing Officials have also worked with a number of industry stakeholders including racetrack management, horsepersons' associations, veterinarians, and wagering bodies to seek input and address concerns related to the start of racing. As a result of these discussions, and pursuant to s. 2 of the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015 and the Rules of Racing, the Registrar will temporarily amend a number of rules in order to accommodate the return to racing and ease industry burden, while also ensuring welfare for equine and human athletes and other racing participants. The AGCO will closely monitor the impacts of these temporary changes to determine how long these measures will be in effect and to ensure they are meeting their desired outcomes. The AGCO will be flexible in the event that any of the measures identified requires further amendment in order to uphold the health and safety of horse racing participants and racehorses. In addition, the AGCO will continue to work to release additional changes that pertain to racing activities in the coming weeks.  

May 19, 2020 - A double Hall of Fame driver, a trainer of multiple world class pacers and one of the top female drivers in harness racing will be the special guests of COSA TV’s Facebook Live show this Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. Prince Edward Island native Wally Hennessey is one of the latest additions to harness racing’s 10,000-win club and has a spot in both the U.S. and Canadian Horse Racing Halls Of Fame. Wally Hennessey – courtesy Dave Landry Native Islander, Dr. Ian Moore, has conditioned some of the best pacers in the sport in recent years including Little Brown Jug champion Shadow Play and multiple stakes winners State Treasurer and Percy Blue Chip, just to name a few. Ian Moore – courtesy Mario Glynn Natasha Day is a native of Australia who now calls Ontario home. She has worked for Canada’s perennial leading trainer Richard Moreau for several seasons and has become a driving regular at many of Ontario’s Signature race tracks. The trio will join host Greg Blanchard on the broadcast. Viewers can submit questions ahead of time or during the show on the COSA Facebook Page and can also tune in via Standardbred Canada’s website. Greg Blanchard

MILTON, ON - May 19, 2020 - Woodbine Entertainment is excited to announce that the $1 million Pepsi North America Cup for harness racing three-year-old pacers is scheduled for Saturday, August 29 at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Milton, Ontario. The eliminations will be held the week prior on Saturday, August 22. Originally scheduled for June 20, the 37th Pepsi North America Cup was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 Woodbine Mohawk Park season was suspended on March 19 and is now set to resume without spectators on Friday, June 5. "Mohawk Park in the fall is always packed full of action and now we are adding our signature event, the Pepsi North America Cup, to the end of the summer schedule which will only add even more excitement heading into the fall stakes season," said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. Woodbine Entertainment will continue to follow the most updated direction from Government and public health officials as it relates to spectators attending events. For the latest regarding fan participation with the 37th Pepsi North America Cup, stay tuned to for updates. Jamie Dykstra Woodbine Entertainment

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