Friday, March 5, 2021

A broad set of rule changes to modernize, provide flexibility and reflect current practice while maintaining integrity and the welfare of all participants

Effective April 6, 2021, the AGCO will implement a number of rule changes to the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Rules of Racing following consultation with horseperson representatives and racetrack management staff from across Ontario.

The AGCO would like to thank all who participated for their commitment to this consultation at a time when the sector faced many challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How to Read This Announcement

The rule changes outlined in this announcement are to both the Standardbred and Thoroughbred Rules of Racing. All Thoroughbred Rule changes described in this announcement apply to Quarter Horse racing except where noted.

Broadly speaking, the changes are intended to:

  • Align the rules related to appeals with the Horse Racing Licence Act 2015 (HRLA)
  • Increase operational and economic flexibility for racing participants and racetracks while enhancing equine welfare
  • Respond to requests submitted by racing participants
  • Reflect current terminology and processes
  • Create consistency and streamline between breeds where appropriate

For a description of the changes to each breed’s set of Rules, please see the following Information Bulletins.

Please note that while the information in these bulletins provides a summary for your convenience, it remains the responsibility of all licensees to read and follow the up-to-date Rules as published online.

As part of its commitment to integrity, fairness and the welfare of racing participants, the AGCO continually monitors and evaluates the impact of all changes to the Rules.

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