Building Strong Relationships to Support Horse Racing Integration
OLG and the horse racing industry continue to work together to integrate horse racing into the provincial gaming strategy. For many months, work has been underway to build strong relationships with the industry and lay the foundation for success. Building on the momentum developed so far, Cal Bricker, OLG’s new Senior Vice President of Horse Racing met with Sue Leslie, President of the Ontario Horse Racing Industry Association (OHRIA) on Monday, August 31. The two executives spent an hour sharing information and discussing the importance of moving integration forward. “The perspective, insight and knowledge of the industry that Sue has will be invaluable to me in this role," Bricker said. "I'm looking forward to learning about the strengths and unique characteristics of the Ontario horse racing industry by visiting communities across the province and meeting as many industry members as possible." While the meeting served as an introduction for the two executives, focus quickly shifted to the need for ongoing progress on integration and communications to the industry. “Cal has sharp intuition and significant leadership experience working in industries that are supported by membership-based organizations like OHRIA,” Leslie said. “I am confident that OLG’s President and CEO, Stephen Rigby, has hired an executive who is open to collaborating with the industry to help set us on a path for long-term success. I look forward to working closely with him.” Bricker and Leslie are both members of the Industry Executive Committee, a group of OLG and industry executives who meet bi-weekly to provide decisive leadership and guidance to the many areas involved in integration. The committee is chaired by Stephen Rigby and includes Sue Leslie, Cal Bricker, Michael Keegan (OLG), Jean Major (AGCO), John Snobelen (Ontario Horse Racing), Jim Lawson (Woodbine Entertainment Group) and Hugh Mitchell (Western Fair District – a member of the Ontario Standardbred Alliance). The Industry Executive Committee supports the work of the Government of Ontario and its Crown agencies to help develop the industry and grow the horse racing customer base. Bricker, who began his new role at OLG on September 1, will spend his first weeks with the organization learning about OLG’s involvement with the horse racing industry and the progress that is being made on integration. Bricker is making it a priority to visit racetracks. He attended the OLG-sponsored Canadian Millions Sales Stakes Day at Woodbine Racetrack on September 2, along with Stephen Rigby and Philip Olsson, Chair of OLG’s Board of Directors. OLG’s sponsorship and attendance at industry events is a tangible demonstration of our commitment to sustainable horse racing in the province. In the coming weeks, Bricker will begin visiting tracks across the province to see firsthand the critical role they play in support of thriving communities across Ontario.