Admin: 905.854.6099Mobile: 647-669-6727 (OSAS) Fax: 905.854.6100 Email:

The Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society (OSAS) is an approved charitable organization, founded in 1996 to assist in the adoption and relocation of retired and non-racing Standardbred horses within Ontario.

OSAS is operated by a Board of Directors, and is funded through fundraising, contributions from racetracks, horse industry organizations and private donations.

Our program helps to educate and assist in the retraining and management of the horses. We match the desires and the abilities of each adoptive family to the temperament and capabilities of the horse. Our follow-up on each horse after adoption adds to the strength of this worthwhile program. 

Volunteers and temporary foster homes are invaluable to the success of our program, and we are always looking for more help. Please reach out at or call 905-339-6748 if you would like to be involved or for more information.

DONATIONS: Ontario Standardbred Adoption Society’s charity number is 88834 5667 RR0001. To donate please use the Pay Pal feature on the home page or call the number above to make arrangements. Memorial donations are always greatly appreciated and tax receipts are issued promptly.

OSAS Board Of Directors

Jim EvansJim Evans (President)

Jim has been involved in harness racing for decades. First, as a child, visiting the Golden Horseshoe tracks with his race fan parents, then as a casual participant enjoying the sport while cheering for his parents’ stable interests. This hobby became a career for Jim in 1996 when he began training their stable of horses, and minding their 76 acre Standardbred farm near Campbellville.

After serving as a volunteer for OSAS from 1998-2000, Jim has been on the Board of Directors since 2000. He was appointed to the unpaid position of President in August of 2007 and remains as such, chairing meetings of the Board of Directors, and acting in an executive role when required.

A full time trainer until 2007, Jim is now a practicing lawyer in Burlington and lives in Milton with his wife Morag and son David. Although completely removed from the day-to-day grind of the harness industry, Jim views his involvement with OSAS as a way to stay connected to both the horses he loves and to his many friends in the business.



Jim EvansBill O'Donnell (Vice President)

One of the true superstars in harness racing over the past few decades, Bill O’Donnell was known as the Magic Man during his tenure as one of the sport’s all time best catch drivers. O’Donnell has well over 5,700 lifetime victories as a driver with just under $100 million earned by the horses he has guided. A native of Springhill, Nova Scotia, O’Donnell was the leading driver at the Mecca of harness racing, the Meadowlands in New Jersey, for many years and established a number of records with respect to wins and earnings.

O’Donnell’s accomplishments have been recognized by his inductions into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame, the Canadian Horse Racing Hall of Fame and the Harness Racing Hall of Fame.

In 2001 O’Donnell moved back to Canada where he quickly became involved in the politics of racing, giving much of his time and considerable expertise to several horsemen’s groups. He currently serves as President of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association, which has the racing contract with Woodbine Entertainment Group and the other provincial racetracks which make up the Standardbred Alliance. In addition he serves on the board of Standardbred Canada and Ontario Racing.

“I am well aware that some of these racehorses end up in not so nice places to spend the rest of their days after their career as a racehorse is over,” explains O’Donnell. “These horses give us great pleasure watching them race as well as earn a number of people a very good living and I believe in turn they deserve to have a good home to live out their retirement which the board and staff at OSAS strive to ensure.”

Heather MacKay RobertsHeather MacKay Roberts (Secretary/Treasurer)

With parents who raced Standardbreds and later operated a breeding farm for 30 years, Heather grew up around, working with and loving harness horses. A graduate of the inaugural Harness Horse Industry Operations program at Seneca College, she worked as a writer for The Standardbred Record for five years upon her graduation. She then spent 15 years as Managing Editor of Trot Magazine and Assistant Manager and then Manager of Marketing at the Canadian Trotting Association (now Standardbred Canada). During her tenure there she was instrumental in introducing the highly coveted O’Brien Awards and for 15 years co-ordinated the annual black tie awards ceremony. 

She was a member of the initial board of directors for OSAS when it was formed in 1995. She later served as a member and then Chair of the Ontario Sires Stakes Promotions Committee during which time the Super Finals and Grassroots Championships were introduced. 

For several years Heather served as Managing Editor and web content editor of The Harness Edge, a popular industry news website and online harness racing publication.  She also oversaw horse racing at her home track of Kawartha Downs for several years.

“One of my favourite places to be is in a field with horses that are loved. My involvement with OSAS is my small way of ensuring as many horses as possible are afforded the opportunity to find that field,” she said. 


Kelly SpencerKelly Spencer

One of the most successful marketing managers of harness racing of all time, joined the OSAS board in early 2019. 

For 22 years Kelly led the marketing team at Elmira and Grand River Raceways and was part of the team responsible for the introduction of simulcasting the track’s signal and the creation of the Battle of Waterloo as part of the track’s annual Industry Day event.

Both tracks have won numerous awards for innovation during her tenure, including the Lloyd Chisholm Award and an esteemed Business Excellence win in 2016 from the Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce, recognizing Grand River Raceway’s contribution to the local tourism and hospitality industry.

Spencer was also an individual recipient of the Lloyd Chisholm Award and of the Golden Pen Award. In 2018 Spencer established her own company, True Nature Communications which will continue to work with Grand River Raceway in addition to The Stable and several other entities.

Ian Fleming Ian Fleming (Director)

One of the most respected administrators in racing, Ian Fleming is currently Racing and Gaming Manager at Western Fair Raceway as well as General Manager for Clinton Raceway.

Over the years Ian has worked as race secretary at five of Ontario’s tracks, has been instrumental in several initiatives undertaken by the Ontario Sires Stakes program and served on the board of directors of Standardbred Canada.

In addition, Ian also was a trainer for a number of years with his most successful horse being Just Call Me Sam. His recent horses of note, trained by Gregg McNair, have included Claires Apache, Dougs Fame and Mr Battin.

“The racehorses are our industry’s hardest working employees and we need to look after them when their work is done,” noted Ian.

Ian’s experience, background and horse knowledge are a valuable asset to the board of OSAS.

Joanne ColvilleJoanne Colville (Events Coordinator)

Joanne Colville is widely acknowledged as one of the most hard working people in the Canadian Standardbred industry. She has served as Events Co-ordinator for OSAS for several years in addition to several other roles.

She has been the outrider at the Woodbine Entertainment racetracks for many years and also is a guest outrider at other Ontario tracks during their signature race days. Joanne’s High Stakes farm breeds, sells and races trotters and pacers in addition to boarding horses for many clients.

An accomplished equestrian, Joanne has ridden in every discipline and won numerous awards for speed events. 

Joanne served as Chair of Standardbred Canada for several years and is also on the board of the Central Ontario Standardbred Association.