Winnipeg Free Press - ONLINE EDITION

Jockey club asks court to force province to maintain funding

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The Manitoba Jockey Club is turning to the courts in its fight to stay alive.

The Jockey Club alleges that the Selinger government is working with the Red River Exhibition to bankrupt the club and turn over its assets, including the Assiniboia Downs and the surrounding 130 acres of land, to the Ex.

The Jockey Club has made an application to the court for an interim ruling that would maintain funding agreements the club has with the province and the Manitoba Lotteries Corporation that provides the club with $9.5 million annually.

The province announced at the end of January that it’s considering a proposal that would see the Red River Ex take over the horse racing track and surrounding land, in exchange for a major reduction in funds directed to the track operation.

An appearance this morning in the uncontested motions hearing court was adjourned to next week when a lawyer for the government appeared to challenge the jockey club application.

The court documents filed by the jockey club allege that the Selinger government will include in its April 16 budget announcement that $5 million will be cut from the jockey club’s estimated $9.5 million annual support, in a move to force the club to turn over the Assiniboia Downs property to the Red River Exhibition.

The jockey club wants the government and the Lotteries Corp. to maintain the current level of funding until new arrangements can be finalized.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

History

Updated on Thursday, March 28, 2013 at 1:22 PM CDT: Corrects number of acres.

4:10 PM: Adds more details.

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