OE Announces Distribution of $250,000 in Government Funding

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April 12, 2022, Ontario Equestrian (OE) released a statement announcing the distribution of $250,000 to public riding schools across Ontario by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, in an effort to stabilize sport and recreation due to the negative impact left by COVID-19.

Funding criteria have been communicated to members, requiring applicants to have the following to be eligible:

  • Be an active member stable of Ontario Equestrian, with at least three active school horses/ponies
  • Have at least one EC NCCP certified coach; and
  • Currently presenting horse riding programs

Applications for funding were accepted until Monday, May 2, 2022 at 4:00 p.m., when 101 stable applications were received, representing 1,414 school horses and ponies. Of these applications, 87 were complete with either an EC NCCP certified coach or an EC coach license holder with a certification exemption.

Each application was reviewed and the distribution of funds was unanimously approved by a committee of trustees of OE’s Board of Directors. The $250,000 was split equally among all horses from the 87 eligible stables that applied. This means that each of the 1,199 horses in the school will receive $208.50!

Of the school’s 1,199 horses receiving funding, the most popular name was ‘Penny’, proving that every penny counts!

Lindsey Partridge of Partridge Horse Hill said “100% of the check will be used to buy hay. Each horse eats about 1.5 round bales of hay per month, or about $150. We expect this price to increase due to rising gas and fertilizer costs. This could put our hay over $19,000 for the year. We are very grateful for any help during this unprecedented period of record inflation after restricted services that have prevented us from reaching our full earning potential.

Carol Bisaillon of DreamCatcher Farm will use the funding “to support our grassroots management program as well as expand our school’s horse grazing areas, add additional shelter, have a saddle fitter check our saddles suitable for each horse and improve bowel movements as needed.

Fun App Facts:

  • Of the 87 complete applications, 80% of riding schools in Ontario have been in operation for more than 10 years
  • The main reason for requiring funding from riding schools was the reduction in the number of participants and income due to the pandemic
  • Each equestrian center has an average of 14 course horses per establishment (1,199 school horses/ponies)
  • The average age of a course horse in Ontario is 15 years old
  • The most common name for a course horse/pony is Penny
  • The next common names were Bella, Charlie, Jack and Teddy

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Ontario Equestrian has worked diligently and tirelessly to provide funding opportunities to our equestrian partners.

$3.47 million was obtained for our members:

  • $220,000 – For the herd campaign
  • $3 million – Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) Equine Relief Fund; and
  • $250,000 – Provincial Sport Funding

This funding has enabled stables and riding schools across Ontario to continue to provide the quality care and services that our equine friends and riders deserve.

As we identified during our recent strategic planning process, OE is making a substantial investment to work with and support Ontario’s riding stables. Helen Richardson was hired to lead this initiative.

Over the next year, Helen will focus her efforts on creating a world-class Stable program that will help provide more opportunities for stables across Ontario to access resources and collaborate to continue to grow our sport. Helen will contact many of you for your ideas and comments. Please watch for updates on this exciting initiative.

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