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g>Toronto, ON – At its meeting on March 25, 2009, the Governing Board of the Ontario Racing Commission (ORC) approved the $26.2 million budget for the 2009 Standardbred Horse Improvement Program.

This approval provides for increased purses for the 2009 Ontario Sires Stakes Program (OSS), future enhancements to the rewards program for Ontario Bred racehorses, and the establishment of 2011 Ontario Sired awards payable to breeders of successful racehorses competing in the OSS.

In announcing the 2009 Program, ORC Chair Rod Seiling noted the importance of maintaining incentives for the purchase of quality Ontario racehorses.

"The Horse Improvement Program is designed to encourage increased production of quality Ontario Bred and Ontario Sired racehorses, and we are committed to maintaining Program incentives to encourage the purchase of our quality racing stock."