Woodbine Entertainment has announced a trio of initiatives designed to support the 130 people living on the backstretch at Woodbine Racetrack during the winter months.
Woodbine has partnered with the Horses First Fund, which will sponsor a nutritious, hot meal each week. The program will start Wednesday, Dec. 23.
The Horses First Fund assists Thoroughbreds and their caretakers in need of emergency aid due to large scale neglect, natural disaster, or other catastrophes.
Horses First Fund founder Jaime Roth of LNJ Foxwoods said, “I was especially moved by the misfortune caused by the pandemic on the Woodbine backstretch workers. Throughout this challenging year, the Horses First Fund has provided emergency funding to seven aftercare organizations, four backstretch organizations, and contributed to two equine feed assistance programs.”
The Horses First Fund is administered by the Thoroughbred Charities of America.
Additionally, Woodbine has reduced the rent for those living on the backstretch by 50%.
In addition to its regular annual donation, Woodbine will make a $4,000 donation to the Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada to help ensure proper resources, programming and support for those remaining on the Woodbine Racetrack backstretch throughout the winter.
“This year has been tremendously difficult for so many people, including those that contribute to our world-class racing at Woodbine Racetrack,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “We know that due to circumstances beyond their control, many are unable to be with their friends and family this winter. I would like to thank our partners the Horses First Fund and the Race Track Chaplaincy of Canada, whom together with us will help ensure that everyone here at Woodbine has the support they need this holiday season and beyond.”