Chapter 6: Violations, Penalties and Expulsions

Last Updated: 
2021-04-06

6.01  The Judges may impose any or all of the following penalties for conduct prejudicial to the best interests of racing, or for violation of the Rules:

  1. Refuse a person admission to the grounds of an Association;
  2. Expel a person from the grounds of an Association;
  3. Impose a monetary penalty, suspension or both; or
  4. Impose conditions on a licence.

6.02  Violation of the following shall make a licensee subject to a monetary penalty or suspension:

  1. Failure to drive when programmed without having been excused by the Judges;
  2. Use of offensive or profane language;
  3. Delete (SB Directive 2-2010);
  4. Failure to wear silks when warming up a horse prior to racing;
  5. Disturbing the peace;
  6. Failure to have a proper saddle cloth on a horse when warming up for a race;
  7. Failure to participate in, or being late for a post parade without permission of the Judges; or
  8. Failure to have proper head number and saddle cloth on a horse when racing;
  9. Smoking is prohibited within 10 feet of any designated signed areas, stall, tack room, shedrow or any portion of a barn including the paddock. For the purpose of this rule, the paddock will include the cafeteria, drivers’ change room, washrooms and offices within the paddock area. Smoking is also prohibited anywhere on the racetrack surface from two hours prior to the post time for the first race to the completion of the race card. Penalty for an infraction of Rule 6.02(i)
    1. First violation will result in a $50 monetary penalty,
    2. Second violation within a year of the first violation will result in a $300 monetary penalty or a 5 day suspension or both,
    3. Third violation within a year of the first violation will result in a minimum monetary penalty of $500 and a 7 day suspension,
    4. Fourth violation within a year of the first violation will result in a suspension and referral to the Registrar.

6.03  Any participant alleged to have violated the Rules shall be notified by the official of the rules allegedly violated, prior to the Judge making a decision. In the event the violation occurs during the course of a race meeting, no decision shall be rendered without the consent of the participant until at least 24 hours have elapsed to enable the participant time to provide a response.

6.04  The Registrar may determine that a person has violated the Rules and impose a monetary penalty, conditions and/or suspensions for any violation of the Rules on any matter deemed not to be in the best interest of the sport, subject to appeal to the HRAP in accordance with the Rules.

6.05  Any attempt to violate any of the Rules of the Commission falling short of actual accomplishment shall constitute a violation of the Rules.

6.06  Any person alleged to have violated any of the Rules may admit the violation in writing but this shall not be considered a waiver of their ability to appeal the penalty imposed.

6.07  In the event that the Judges require a participant to appear before them and they are unable to notify the participant, they may suspend such participant if it is deemed in the best interest of the sport or having notified a participant and he/she fails to appear, the Judges may suspend or impose a monetary penalty on such participant.

6.08  Before the Judges impose a penalty on any driver in a race, they shall view the video tape, when available, of the race and shall interview such drivers they deem necessary and shall consider any information concerning the race that can be ascertained.

6.09  Once the Judges have viewed the video tape, when available, interviewed such drivers as they deem necessary, and considered any information as per Rule 6.08, a driver alleged to have violated the Rules shall be given an opportunity of appearing before the Judges and hearing all witnesses against him, and of seeing the video tape, when available, of the race before any penalty is imposed by the Judges.

6.10.01  Whenever a suspension is prescribed it shall be construed to mean an unconditional exclusion from the grounds of all Associations where a licence is required and disqualification from any participation, either directly or indirectly, in racing unless otherwise specifically limited when such suspension is imposed, such as a suspension from driving.

6.10.02  Notwithstanding the provisions of Rule 6.10.01, whenever a suspension is imposed by the Judges for a violation of Rule 10.01 (a) and/or (b), such suspension shall at all times be a full suspension which may be modified only by the Registrar. Reference must also be made to Rule 10.04.

6.11  Where the penalty is for a driving violation and does not exceed in time a period of five days, the driver shall complete the engagement of all horses declared in before the penalty becomes effective. Such driver may only drive in stake, futurity, early closing or late closing races during a suspension of five days or less, but the suspension will be extended one day for each date on which he/she drives in such a race.

6.12  Any participant who has been assessed a monetary penalty, suspended or expelled, may be advised verbally by an official, which shall constitute proper notice. In any event, notice shall be delivered to the person penalized.

6.13.01  A horse shall not be eligible to be entered to, or start in any race, if owned or controlled in whole or in part, by a suspended, disqualified, unlicensed or ineligible person.

6.13.02  If a suspended, disqualified, unlicensed or ineligible person purports to transfer his or her interest in a horse during such period of ineligibility, the Judges may enquire into any transfer in order to ensure that the racing of a horse is not under the control or influence of the transferor.

6.13.03  During such an enquiry the Judges may require the submission of documentary evidence to establish that the transfer is a bona fide transaction. Such documentary evidence may consist of, but may not necessarily be limited to, a statutory declaration relating the following facts:

  1. That the transferee maintains separate books and records relating to the racing of his or her horses and all money earned from racing or used for the payment of debts relating to racing is neither deposited to a joint account nor paid from a joint account of the transferor;
  2. That the transferee is responsible for his or her own obligations and liabilities incurred in the course of his or her racing business and such obligations are paid from the transferee’s separate and independent account;
  3. That the transferee contracts independently of the transferor with any tradespeople, with any other entity and with the Association at which he/she is racing;
  4. That the transferee maintains a wholly and independent financial interest from the transferor;
  5. That the transferee conducts his or her business relating to the racing of Standardbred horses in a manner wholly independent of the transferor and neither the transferee nor the transferor influences the other in any matter whatsoever with respect to the racing of Standardbred horses.

6.13.04    In the event a nomination or entry is made by or for a suspended person or horse, the owner of the horse shall be held liable for any nomination, sustaining or starting fees thus contracted and the horse shall not be eligible to compete.

6.14  Where a trainer is suspended by reason of a positive drug test or violation of Rule 22.38 relating to a horse trained by him or her, all horses trained by the suspended trainer may be permitted to compete provided during the suspension the horses are transferred to another trainer approved by the Judges. Upon a second or subsequent violation(s) by the trainer, the horse or horses to which the violation applies shall be suspended and ineligible to start in any race for such period of time as the Judges or Registrar may order.

6.15  Monetary penalties imposed in accordance with the rules are payable forthwith upon their imposition and before the participant races again, unless there has been an appeal filed. A licensee who fails to pay such monetary penalty may be suspended until the monetary penalty is paid.

6.16  Any call, decision or penalty imposed by the Judges can be removed or modified by the Registrar and is subject to appeal in accordance with the Rules.

6.17  A person, at any time or place, shall not against any official or participant:

  1. Commit assault or battery;
  2. Threaten to do bodily injury;
  3. Use insulting, offensive or improper language; or
  4. Engage in any improper conduct.

6.18  If any person is approached with any offer or promise of a bribe fraudulent in its nature, or for any improper, corrupt or fraudulent act in relation to racing, it shall be the duty of such person to report the details thereof immediately to the Judges.

6.19  A participant shall be considered to have violated the Rules for wrongfully attempting to or succeeding to affect the outcome of any race, either individually or in concert with another.

6.20  A participant shall be considered to have violated the Rules:

  1. For any misconduct which is injurious to racing although not specified in these rules;
  2. For any misconduct prejudicial to the best interests of racing; or
  3. For committing or attempting to commit any other act injurious to racing.

6.21  Providing inaccurate information about a horse, or attempting to have misleading information given in a program is prohibited and violators may be subject to a monetary penalty, suspended or expelled.

6.22  Any participant committing an act of cruelty or neglect to a horse, whether on or off the grounds of an Association, shall be liable to a monetary penalty or suspension or both.

6.23  It is the duty of all Racing Officials and employees of the Commission, or Association, to promptly report to the Judges all observed violations of the rules.

6.24  When an alleged violation by or against a participant is being reviewed by the Judges, such participant may be represented by any person of his or her choice.

6.25  Any person who pays any amount or charge due the Commission which upon presentation is protested, payment refused, or otherwise dishonoured, shall by order of the Registrar, be subject to a monetary penalty not exceeding the amount in default and shall be suspended until the amount and monetary penalty are paid to the Commission.

6.26  A participant obtaining purse money through fraud or error shall surrender or pay same to the Commission upon demand, or he/she shall be suspended until such demand is complied with. Such purse money shall be awarded to the party justly entitled to the same.

6.27  In any inspection or case, whether or not an oath is administered, if the participant knowingly withholds information or misleads the Inspectors or the Judges, it shall constitute a violation.

6.28  Deleted.

6.29  Subject to the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015, whenever reasonable grounds exist for a belief that any participant can give material evidence that would aid in the detection or exposure of any fraud or wrongdoing concerning racing, such participant shall, on the order of the Judges or other authorized official, be required to provide information. Failure of any participant to comply may result in a suspension.

6.29.01    A safety vest, meeting the standards for protective safety vest, must be worn at all times on the premises of an Association when:

  1. Racing; or
  2. Parading or warming up a horse prior to racing; or
  3. Jogging, training or exercising a horse at any time. A violation of this rule will result in a suspension and/ or monetary penalty.

6.30  No licensee who has declared a horse to a race shall demand of the Association bonus of money, special award, or consideration, as a condition for starting the horse.

6.31  Deleted.

6.32  Deleted.

6.33  Deleted.

6.34  Deleted.

6.35  Deleted.

6.36  Deleted.

6.37  Deleted.

6.38.01  Deleted.

6.38.02  Deleted.

6.38.03  Deleted.

6.38.04  Deleted.

6.38.05  Deleted.

6.38.06  Deleted.

6.39 A protective helmet, meeting the Snell Foundation standards for protective harness racing headwear, securely fastened under the chin, must be worn at all times on the premises of an Association when:

  1. Racing, parading or warming up a horse prior to racing; or
  2. Jogging, training or exercising a horse at any time. A violation of this rule will result in a suspension or monetary penalty and the participant may be referred to the Registrar.

6.40  Deleted.

6.41  In the event any participant is involved in an accident on the track, the Judges may order such participant to submit to a physical examination.

6.42  If any owner, trainer or driver threatens to join with others in threatening not to race, or not to declare in because of the declaration of a certain horse or of a particular stable, thereby compelling or trying to compel the race secretary to reject certain eligible declarations, it shall be immediately reported to the Judges and, if found to be in violation, the parties may be suspended.

6.43  Racing Officials are prohibited from racing horses they own wholly or in part or wagering on any horses at tracks where they are employed or officiating. Judges or their spouses are prohibited from racing horses they own wholly or in part or wagering on any horses at any tracks in Ontario at any time.

6.44  A person having an interest in the result of a race by reason of ownership in a participating horse shall not act as a Racing Official during that entire program of racing.

6.45  An owner, trainer, driver, agent, employee or groom shall not have pari-mutuel tickets in his or her possession, or bet or cause any other person to bet on his or her behalf, on any other horse in any race in which a horse owned, trained, or driven, or in which he/she in any way represents or handles as a starter; except in the case of feature wagering events where an owner, trainer, driver, agent, employee, groom may bet, or cause any other person to bet on his or her behalf, only on combinations in which his or her horse is selected in the Win position.

6.46.01  No person shall possess, administer, traffic, or attempt to possess, administer, or traffic, in a drug, substance or medication, or anything held out to be a drug, substance or medication, for a horse:

  1. For which an official chemist shall classify an official sample as positive and issue a certificate of positive analysis in accordance with section 165 of the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations under the Criminal Code (Canada);
  2. Which has not been labeled for veterinary use under the Food and Drugs Regulations under The Food and Drugs Act (Canada) or, if labeled for human use under the Food and Drugs Regulations, has not been prescribed by a veterinarian after conducting an examination of the horse and determining that the drug, substance or medication is medically required by the horse and the drug, substance or medication is used only for that horse in accordance with the prescription issued by the veterinarian; and/or
  3. Which may endanger the health and welfare of the horse or endanger the safety of a driver; and/or
  4. Which is not labeled, or accurately labeled, with the contained drug, substance, medication, or active ingredient; and/or
  5. Which may adversely affect the integrity of racing; and/or
  6. Which is listed here after:
    1. Erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives, or
    2. Any synthetic hemoglobin like substances.

For the purposes of this section, trafficking includes, but is not limited to, keep for sale, deliver, manufacture, sell, transport, distribute, give, import, and/or export. Notwithstanding (a) and (b), a veterinarian may possess the drug, substance or medication other than erythropoietin, or any of its synthetic derivatives or any synthetic hemoglobin like substances if the possession is in the ordinary course of the practice of veterinary medicine for purposes of prescribing or administering the drug, substance or medication for the treatment of a horse.
Notwithstanding (a) and (b), a person licensed as a trainer, owner, or groom may possess or use a drug, substance or medication for a horse that is on a list established by the Registrar provided that such possession or use is not otherwise contrary to the Rules, the Food and Drugs Act and its regulations, the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations under the Criminal Code (Canada), the Livestock Medicines Act, Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (Canada) and its regulations, the Health Disciplines Act and its regulations, the Veterinarians Act and its regulations, or any conditions to the possession and use imposed by the Registrar.

6.46.02  The Registrar may establish a list of drugs, substances or medications for purposes of Rule 6.46.01 and may impose conditions to the possession or use of the drug, substance or medication.  The Registrar’s established list and imposed conditions are not subject to appeal.

6.47.01  If a horse dies within 14 days of it being entered or qualified to race, the trainer of record at the time of the death of the horse shall:

  1. Inform the Registrar in writing within 2 days of the death of the horse that the horse has died, and the location and premises where the horse died;
  2. Provide copies of any reports prepared by the veterinarian(s) who treated the horse prior to its death;
  3. When directed to do so by the Registrar, transport the horse at the trainer’s or owner’s expense immediately, or as soon as transportation can be arranged but in any event no later than 2 days of the death of the horse, to a facility approved by the Registrar for a post-mortem and such testing as the Registrar may determine is appropriate; and
  4. Instruct the person conducting the post-mortem and the testing to provide the results of the post-mortem and testing and any reports prepared with respect to the post-mortem and testing to the Registrar within 5 days of their completion.

6.47.02  Where there is no trainer of record at the time of the death of the horse, the owner of the horse shall:

  1. Inform the Registrar in writing within 2 days of the death of the horse that the horse has died, and the location and premises where the horse died;
  2. Provide copies of any reports prepared by the veterinarian(s) who treated the horse prior to its death;
  3. When directed to do so by the Registrar, transport the horse at the owner’s expense immediately, or as soon as transportation can be arranged but in any event no later than 2 days of the death of the horse, to a facility approved by the Registrar for a post-mortem and such testing as the Registrar may determine is appropriate; and
  4. Instruct the person conducting the post-mortem and the testing to provide the results of the post-mortem and testing and any reports prepared with respect to the post-mortem and testing to the Registrar within 5 days of their completion.

6.47.03    If a horse dies after 14 days but within 60 days of it being entered or qualified to race, the trainer of record at the time of the death of the horse shall:

  1. Inform the Registrar in writing within 2 days of the death of the horse that the horse has died, the location and premises where the horse died and the cause or apparent cause of death; and
  2. Provide copies of any reports prepared by the veterinarian(s) who treated the horse prior to its death or who determined the cause or apparent cause of death and of any post-mortem or other tests conducted on the horse to determine the cause of death.

6.47.04  If a horse dies after 14 days but within 60 days of it being entered or qualified to race, and there is no trainer of record at the time of the death of the horse, the owner of the horse shall:

  1. Inform the Registrar in writing within 2 days of the death of the horse that the horse has died, the location and premises where the horse died and the cause or apparent cause of death; and
  2. Provide copies of any reports prepared by the veterinarian(s) who treated the horse prior to its death or who determined the cause or apparent cause of death and of any post-mortem or other tests conducted on the horse to determine the cause of death.

6.47.05  If a horse dies after 14 days but within 60 days of it being entered or qualified to race, the Registrar may order the trainer of record at the time of the death of the horse or the owner of the horse if there was no trainer of record at the time of the death of the horse to transport the horse to a facility approved by the Registrar for a post-mortem and such testing as the Registrar may require to be conducted on the horse at the expense of the trainer or owner, as the case may be. The trainer or owner, as the case may be, shall instruct the person conducting the post-mortem or testing to provide the results of the post-mortem and testing and any reports prepared with respect to the post-mortem and testing to the Registrar within 5 days of their completion.

6.47.06  If a horse being treated by a veterinarian dies within 60 days of being entered or qualified to race, the veterinarian shall inform the Registrar in writing within 2 days of the death of the horse that the horse has died, the location and premises where the horse died and the cause or apparent cause of death.

6.47.07  The Registrar may:

  1. Find that a trainer, owner or veterinarian failed to report a horse death pursuant to the Rules; and
  2. Upon notice, impose a monetary penalty, period of suspension of a licence or such other penalty as is appropriate in the circumstances on that trainer, owner or veterinarian or impose conditions on the licence of that trainer, owner or veterinarian.

6.47.08  The Registrar may approve a facility to conduct a post-mortem and testing if:

  1. The Registrar is satisfied that the facility is adequately equipped and secure to carry out the post-mortem and testing;
  2. The Registrar is satisfied that the facility operator is competent and that the individuals who will carry out the post-mortem and testing have the requisite training and professional designations or requirements to do so, including a veterinary pathologist; and
  3. The facility operator and the Registrar have entered into an arrangement, memorandum of understanding or agreement with respect to, among other things, the standards for the carrying out of and reporting on the post-mortem and testing, the confidentiality and use of the results of the post-mortem and testing and any reports prepared therefrom, including use for research purposes for the betterment of racing, protection of horses and their health, and enforcement purposes.

The Registrar’s approval or refusal of a facility is not subject to appeal.

6.47.09  Deleted.

6.48.01  Horses may be tested for the indication of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives as follows:

  1. Once entered to race;
  2. When claimed;
  3. When a horse has died and the trainer or owner is required to report the death of the horse;
  4. Any horse that was entered or raced within the previous 60 days.

6.48.02  The holder of a licence as an owner and/ or trainer issued by the Commission shall constitute permission to allow a person designated by the Registrar to collect or otherwise obtain biological samples from any horse owned and/or trained by a licensee, for purposes of testing. Samples may be collected and tested at any time, whether stabled on or off the grounds of the racing association. Where a blood sample has been collected for purposes of TC02 testing, that sample may be used for testing for the indication of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives, and/or any other substance as designated by the Registrar.

6.48.03  The Registrar shall establish a protocol for the collection of or to obtain biological samples from horses and for the testing for the indication of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives. Licensees shall comply with the protocol. The Registrar’s establishment of the protocol and the content of the protocol are not subject to appeal.

6.48.04  The Registrar may approve one or more tests where he or she is satisfied that the testing methodology used is appropriate to determine whether or not the sample will result in the indication of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives. The Registrar’s approval or refusal to approve tests is not subject to appeal.

6.48.05  The Registrar may approve a laboratory operator to conduct the testing:

  1. If he or she is satisfied that the laboratory is adequately equipped and secure to carry out the testing;
  2. If he or she is satisfied that the laboratory operator is competent and that the individuals who will carry out the testing have the requisite training to do so; and
  3. The laboratory operator and the Registrar have entered into an arrangement, memorandum of understanding or agreement with respect to, among other things, the standards for the carrying out of the testing, the reporting of the results of the testing, the confidentiality and use of the results of the testing and any reports prepared therefrom, including use for research purposes for the betterment of racing, protection of the horse and the health of the horse, and enforcement purposes.

The Registrar’s approval or refusal of a laboratory is not subject to appeal.

6.48.06  If there is confirmation of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives in the biological sample obtained, the horse from which the sample was collected or obtained shall be placed on the Veterinarians’ List (long term) and shall not be removed from the Veterinarians’ List until the Registrar is satisfied that there is no indication of the administration of EPO or any of its synthetic derivatives in the biological sample from the horse.

6.48.07  The Judges shall declare a claim invalid if there is indication of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives in the biological sample of a horse that was claimed in a race and the Judges are so notified in writing by the Registrar and the claimant of the horse requests that the claim be declared invalid. A request must be made within 48 hours of the claimant, the claimant’s trainer or the claimant’s authorized agent being advised that the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives were detected. Once the claim is declared invalid, the horse shall be returned to the previous owner, that owner’s trainer or that owner’s authorized agent, and the amount of the claiming price shall be repaid to the claimant. The claimant shall be responsible for any reasonable costs incurred for care or training of the horse while it was in the possession of the claimant or his trainer.

6.48.08  For purposes of testing for the indication of the administration of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives in the biological sample, the Registrar shall establish by Directive the detectable limit for each test that has been approved. The establishment of the detectable limits and provisions are not subject to appeal.

6.49  An owner or trainer may be held wholly or partially responsible if any drug substance or medication administered or prescribed by him results in:

  1. The indication of the use of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives for purposes of the Rules and, if held wholly or partially responsible, may be subject to a monetary penalty and/or suspended by the Judges;
  2. The confirmation of the use of erythropoietin or any of its synthetic derivatives for purposes of the Rules and, if held wholly or partially responsible, may be subject to a monetary penalty and/or suspended by the Judges.

6.50  When a change of ownership of a horse racing in Ontario has occurred, the former owner must make the medical history of that horse available upon request to the new owner within 72 hours of the request. The request for medical records must be made within 30 days of any transfer.

6.51  For the purposes of Rule 6.50, the medical history of the horse shall include the records of administration, including brand and date for:

  1. Vaccinations,
  2. Dewormings.

6.52  No person, other than a veterinarian licensed by the Commission, shall have or use Extracorporeal Shock Wave Therapy or Radial Pulse Wave Therapy on any race horse and the following conditions of use must be met:

  1. Be used only for a valid diagnostic or therapeutic treatment or procedure;
  2. No treatment or procedure is allowed within 4 days (96 hours) prior to competing in a race, which includes a qualifying race; and
  3. Any treatment or procedure must be recorded, including the date and time, and maintained as part of the record of the horse.

6.53 

  1. Trainers and veterinarians shall ensure that a horse entered to race is not administered any medications, drugs or substances 24 hours prior to post time of the first race on the day of racing. Furosemide properly administered in accordance with the Ontario Standardbred Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage (EIPH) Program shall not be considered a violation of Rule 6.53.
  2. Trainers shall ensure that there is no unauthorized contact between horses and veterinarians 24 hours prior to post time of the first race on the day of racing, with the exception of Official and Commission Veterinarians.
  3. Veterinarians shall not have unauthorized contact with horses 24 hours prior to post-time of the first race on the day of racing. Veterinarians licensed in multiple categories shall be prohibited from acting in the capacity as a veterinarian for a horse entered to race during the 24 hour period.
  4. Should a veterinarian be required to treat a horse entered to race within 24 hours prior to post time of the first race on the day of racing on an emergency basis, the veterinarian and the trainer shall notify a Judge as soon as reasonable in the circumstances and the horse shall be scratched.
  5. If a horse has raced after unauthorized contact with a veterinarian, the horse shall be disqualified for the race in question and if any purse money was earned it shall be redistributed.
  6. A Judge may order the withdrawal or disqualification of any horse that has been administered any medication contrary to Rule 6.53.

6.54    No person, other than a veterinarian licensed by the Commission, shall have or use a Blood Gas Machine on any race horse and the following conditions of use must be met:

  1. Be used only for a valid diagnostic procedure;
  2. Any treatment or procedure must be recorded, including the date and time, and maintained as part of the record of the horse.