The Jockey Club and Equibase Company LLC today announced that they are in the final stages of software development necessary to begin converting Canadian earnings to their equivalent amount in U.S. dollars for display in the United States beginning January 1, 2005.
Although conversion of Canadian earnings takes effect January 1, 2005, results won’t be evident until the first Thoroughbred meets in Canada commence in April with the opening of Woodbine Race Course near Toronto and Stampede Park in Calgary.
Only Canadian earnings from 2005 and forward are being converted; The Jockey Club is not converting Canadian earnings retroactively prior to 2005.
“Re-engineering more than 900 different computer programs for our family of companies in one year was certainly a challenging undertaking” said project coordinator Carl Hamilton, chairman of The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc. “But now that the necessary software development is near completion, the industry will be able to move forward, starting January 1, with a more accurate presentation of North American earnings.”
Officials at The Jockey Club estimated software development costs associated with the earnings conversion project to be approximately $500,000. Those costs are being absorbed entirely by The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc., Equibase Company LLC and InCompass Solutions, Inc.
When racing and pedigree data were first stored electronically in the mid-1960’s, the databases of both The Jockey Club and Daily Racing Form were designed to manage all U.S. and Canadian race results under the heading of “North America.” This design was consistent with the manner in which the entire industry viewed the Thoroughbred industries of the U.S. and Canada: as one entity.
Racing data obtained by The Jockey Club from all foreign countries – more than 40 in total – is stored as received in native currency and is also converted and stored in U.S. dollars, using the Wall Street Journal’s daily conversion rates, for dissemination and display as per product requirements.
Conversion of Canadian Earnings - Q & A
Q: What was the background and rationale behind the decision to convert Canadian
A: When racing and pedigree data were first stored electronically in the mid-1960s,
the discrepancy in value between the Canadian dollar and U.S. dollar was minimal.
Over the years, however, the value of the Canadian dollar dropped to as low
as $0.64 (in 1998) against the U.S. dollar. Such variance can greatly affect
lists of the leading sires, horses, owners, breeders, etc.
The topic of conversion -- and the responsibility of paying for the extensive
software development it would involve -- was debated among industry stakeholders
for many years. When it became clear that there would never be a consensus
opinion, The Jockey Club decided to fully underwrite the costs associated with
the project through its commercial subsidiaries and in December 2003 announced
that it would begin converting Canadian earnings to their equivalent amount
in U.S. funds on January 1, 2005.* Officials of The Jockey Club and most other
industry organizations and publications in the United States believe that converting
Canadian earnings to their U.S. equivalent ensures the most accurate presentation
of North American earnings.
Q. What are the Canadian racetracks from which earnings will be converted?
A. Earnings from all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse tracks in Canada will
be converted. That list includes: Assiniboia Downs (Manitoba), Fort Erie (Ontario),
Grand Prairie (Alberta), Hastings Park (British Columbia), Kamloops (British
Columbia), Kin Park (British Columbia), Lethbridge (Alberta), Marquis Downs
(Saskatchewan), Melville (Saskatchewan), Millarville (Alberta), Northlands
Park (Alberta), Rossburn Parkland Downs (Manitoba), Stampede Park (Alberta),
Woodbine (Ontario) and Yorkton (Saskatchewan),
Q: When will The Jockey Club begin converting Canadian earnings?
A: Although the official starting date is January 1, 2005, the change will
not really go into effect until Thoroughbred racing begins for the year at
Stampede Park in Calgary and Woodbine Race Course near Toronto in April.
Q: Will the conversion of Canadian earnings be retroactive?
A: No. Only earnings from Canadian races run on or after January 1, 2005 will
Q: Are race values and claiming prices in past performance lines also being
A: No. In order to minimize potential confusion among racing fans, the value
of a race and the claiming price that appears in a past performance line will
not be converted. The only data element of a horse’s past performances
affected by the conversion of Canadian earnings will be the earnings summary.
Q: What is the currency exchange rate source used by The Jockey Club?
A: The source of the currency exchange rate used to convert Canadian earnings
will be The Wall Street Journal and the most recently published rate will be
used to make the conversion. For example, for races conducted on Saturday,
July 2, 2005, the closing rate published in the July 1, 2005 edition of The
Wall Street Journal will be used. Earnings from races conducted on weekends
will be converted based on Friday’s closing rate; earnings from races
conducted on holidays will be converted based on the closing rate published
on the previous business day.
Q: How much difference has there been between the U.S. and Canadian dollar
thus far in 2004?
A: Between January 1, 2004 and November 19, 2004, the value of a Canadian
dollar has ranged from $0.7166 to $0.8384 in American currency.
Q: How will earnings be displayed in Canada?
A: Canadian publications, including track programs and Daily Racing Form,
will continue to display Canadian earnings on par with U.S. dollars.
Q: How will Canadian conversion affect sales catalogue pages?
A: In auction sales catalogues, Canadian earnings from races run on or after
January 1, 2005 will be denoted separately from U.S. earnings.
Q: How much software development did the project involve and who is absorbing
A: The software development effort, spearheaded by The Jockey Club Technology
Services, Inc., involved more than 900 computer programs and cost approximately
$500,000 dollars. All costs associated with Canadian conversion are being absorbed
entirely by The Jockey Club Information Systems, Inc., Equibase Company LLC
and InCompass Solutions, Inc.