Toronto, On – September 18, 2020 – Woodbine Entertainment announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed Christine Magee as Chair effective immediately.As Chair of the Board of Directors, Magee will provide leadership, guidance and governance as Woodbine Entertainment fulfills its mandate to sustain and grow horse racing in Ontario. This includes advancing its master plan to develop the surrounding lands at Woodbine Racetrack and Woodbine Mohawk Park to be world-class entertainment destinations while creating new revenue streams that will support the horse racing industry and the tens of thousands of jobs it, directly and indirectly, supports throughout the province.“We are thrilled to have someone with Christine’s business acumen, experience and leadership be the Chair of our Board of Directors while we continue to grow the sport of horse racing, support and sustain the entire industry in this province, and fulfill our vision of being the top horse racing destination in North America,” said Jim Lawson, CEO, Woodbine Entertainment. “As we continue to advance our plans to diversify our business model to sustain the horse racing industry for decades to come, Christine’s knowledge, experience and leadership will be invaluable to our efforts.”Magee, who has been on Woodbine Entertainment’s Board of Directors since 2015, is the Chair of Sleep Country, the company she co-founded in 1994 and served as its President until 2014. The resident of Oakville, Ontario, is also the Chair of the Talent Fund Advisory Council and serves on the Board of Directors of TELUS, Metro Inc., Trillium Health Partners and Plan International Canada, and is a Member of the Morrissette Entrepreneurship Advisory Board of University Western Ontario. On July 1, 2015, Magee was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in recognition of her significant contributions to the Canadian business community.“It’s an absolute honour and privilege to step into this role for an organization that has such a rich history and bright future,” said Magee. “It’s also humbling as I have come to appreciate how important Woodbine Entertainment is to an entire industry that is the way of life for so many Ontarians and a passion for horse racing fans throughout the world.”
Magee replaces Clay Horner, who is retiring from the organization following a successful tenure as Chair of Woodbine Entertainment since 2015 and a Director since 2002. As a member of the Board, Horner helped lead Woodbine Entertainment to become one of the top destinations in North America for both Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing.
“Over the years, Clay’s contributions to Woodbine Entertainment are significant and widely appreciated by the entire horse racing industry in Ontario,” commented Lawson. “His passion for the sport of horse racing and his experience in business and law has served the organization well. On behalf of our Board of Directors and our entire horse racing community, I would like to thank Clay for everything he did.”
“My service on the Board has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my life,” said Horner. “I have been fortunate to work with so many excellent board members and employees, and three terrific CEOs in David Willmot, Nick Eaves and Jim Lawson, who are also cherished friends. Woodbine is an industry leader in all aspects and is wonderfully positioned for further growth and success in horse racing and development initiatives. I am proud of the commitments and involvement of Woodbine and our employees to our broader communities. As I retire from the Board, I look forward to watching Woodbine deliver in spades on its mandate to further the best interests of racing in Ontario.”
Long-time board member John Fielding also announced he is retiring from the organization as Director and Chair of the Standardbred Racing Committee. Current Woodbine Entertainment Director and former President of Western Fair District Hugh Mitchell has been appointed to Chair of the Standardbred Racing Committee.