Manitoba Jockey Club

Manitoba Jockey Club Mandate:

Live Thoroughbred Horse Racing at Assiniboia Downs

Live Thoroughbred Horse Racing at Assiniboia Downs

To ensure the viability of live thoroughbred horse racing in Manitoba

After three years of careful research, viability studies, and hundreds of volunteer hours by original board members, the Manitoba Jockey Club (MJC) was formed as a non-profit corporation and officially took over the operation of Assiniboia Downs on September 15, 1993.

The initial events, which led to the formation of the MJC, took place in 1992. When it became apparent that Assiniboia Downs was having difficulty competing as a private entity, the Provincial government commissioned a study to determine if there were any potential new owners for the facility operating as a private business. It was determined that Assiniboia Downs was not viable as a private entity, and thus no potential new owners were found. Realizing the economic value of Assiniboia Downs, the government then agreed to fund a business evaluation study to determine whether Assiniboia Downs could be viable as a non-profit entity.

Three members of the local HBPA Board (Harvey Warner, Barry McQueen, and Fil Fileccia) and three members of the local CTHS Board (Barry Anderson, Dr. Norm Elder, and Dr. Ross McKague) were appointed to a task force in charge of finding the answer to the non-profit question. With the help of Price-Waterhouse accountants, it was determined that Assiniboia Downs could be viable as a non-profit entity if additional sources of revenue were found. Based on the results of the Price-Waterhouse Study, the government agreed to supply funding for the legal fees that would allow for the negotiation of purchase of Assiniboia Downs as a non-profit entity.

When Assiniboia Downs was placed in receivership on September 15, 1993, the track continued to operate under the combined management of receivers Ernst and Young, and an MJC Board formed from the original task force. Task force Chairman, Harvey Warner, assumed Presidency of the newly formed MJC, and the Vice-Chairman of the original task force, Dr. Norm Elder, became Vice-President. Barry Arnason, a horse owner with expertise in the construction field, and Ken Lee, a chartered accountant, were added to the MJC Board.

The current board of directors consists of: Harvey Warner, Dr. Norm Elders, Barry Arnason, Barry Anderson, Dr. Ross McKauge, Jeff Goy and Barry Tuckett.