Chapter 26: Trainers and Grooms

Last Updated: 
2020-03-02

26.01    A person shall not train horses, or be programmed as trainer of record at extended meetings, without first having obtained a trainer licence valid for the current year by meeting the standards for trainers, as established by Standardbred Canada or the United States Trotting Association and being licensed by the Commission. The holder of a driver’s licence issued by Standardbred Canada or the United States Trotting Association is entitled to all privileges of a trainer and is subject to all rules respecting trainers. Valid categories of licences are:

  1. A, a full licence valid for all meetings and permitting operation of a public stable;
  2. C, an apprentice licence valid for all meetings and permitting operation of a public stable, subject to satisfactory performance and ongoing approval of the Judges. The Judges may impose any conditions as deemed appropriate. This licence must be held for a minimum period of six months before applying to the Judges for an upgrade to an “A” licence;
  3. F, a licence restricted to the training of horses while owned by the holder and/or his or her immediate family at all race meetings. Any “F” trainer who wishes to upgrade his/her licence must first upgrade to “C”. If the trainer has satisfied the requirements of the “C” licence in the past, at the discretion of the Judges that trainer may be upgraded to “A”.

26.01.01  The Judges may review the performance of a trainer at any time and may take the following actions:

  1. Amend the licence category,
  2. Recommend that the Registrar revoke the licence,
  3. Apply conditions to the licence, or
  4. Require the trainer to re-qualify for his or her licence in accordance with Standardbred Canada regulations.

26.02.01  A trainer shall be responsible at all times for the condition of all horses trained by him/her. The trainer must safeguard from tampering each horse trained by him/her and must exercise all reasonable precautions in guarding, or causing any horse trained by him/her to be guarded, from the time of entry to race until the conclusion of the race. No trainer shall start a horse or permit a horse in his/her custody to be started if he/she knows, or, if by the exercise of a reasonable degree of care having regard to his/her duty to safeguard their horse from tampering, he/ she might know or have cause to believe, the horse is not in a fit condition to race or has received any drug that could result in a positive drug test. Without restricting the generality of the foregoing, every trainer must guard, or cause to be guarded by the exercise of all reasonable standards of care and protection, each horse trained by him/her so as to prevent any person from obtaining access to the horse in such a manner as would permit any person not employed by or not connected with the owner or trainer from administering any drug or other substance resulting in a pre-race or post race positive test. Every trainer must also take all reasonable precautions to protect the horse and guard it against wrongful interference or substitution by anyone in connection with the taking of an official sample.

26.02.02  Any trainer who fails to protect or cause any horse trained by him to be protected and a positive test thereby results or who otherwise violates this rule, violates the rules.

26.02.03  Notwithstanding 26.02.01, the Commission and all delegated officials shall consider the following to be absolute liability violations:

  1. Any trainer whose horse(s) tests positive for any substances determined to be non-therapeutic;
  2. Any trainer whose horse(s) tests positive resulting from the out-of-competition program;
  3. Any trainer whose horse(s) tests positive resulting from testing in accordance with or under the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations;
  4. Any trainer whose horse(s) level of TC02 equals or exceeds the levels set out in Rule 22.38;
  5. Any trainer whose horse(s) is administered a medication, drug or substance contrary to Rule 6.53.

26.03  Failure by a trainer to protect a horse and guard it against wrongful interference or substitution in connection with the taking of a urine sample will result in the trainer being held responsible for the wrongful interference or substitution.

26.04  If a trainer is to be absent from the track where his or her horses are participating in races, he/she must ensure that a competent and reliable licensed participant is substituting during his or her absence. The original trainer is responsible for the horses he/she has declared in to start and the substitute trainer will then become responsible for any additional horses the licensed substitute may declare to start.

26.05  When the Judges decide that someone other than the officially named trainer of record is actually in charge, custody of, or in care of a horse, the Judges shall have the right to hold such person responsible instead of, or in addition to, the person named as trainer of record.

26.06.01  A person shall not represent himself or herself to be the trainer of a horse unless he/she is actually training that horse.

26.06.02   If an owner changes his/her trainer, the new trainer shall immediately notify the Race Secretary and cause a notation in the race program of a trainer change.

26.07  The trainer of record of a horse shall be responsible to ensure that any person he/she delegates or permits to take the horse on the track for a warm-up before a race is capable and competent to perform these duties.

26.08  Whenever a trainer is suspended under any provisions of the Rules, any horse trained by him/her or under his or her care, but not owned wholly or in part by him/her, may, with the consent of the Judges at that meeting, be released to the care of another licensed trainer and may race.

26.08.01  Deleted.

26.09  Applicants for groom’s licences must be bona fide grooms and must have their status confirmed by the trainer actively utilizing their services.

26.10  It shall be the responsibility of a trainer to determine that every assistant trainer or groom employed by him/her during a meeting is licensed for the current year by the Commission and, if applicable, licensed by Standardbred Canada for insurance purposes.

26.11  It shall be the responsibility of a trainer to refuse employment to any person required to be licensed when he/she has reason to believe that the person has not been licensed by the Commission, where applicable. He/she is required to report the circumstances to the Judges.

26.12  It shall be the responsibility of a trainer to have the horses under his or her care, and which are programmed to race, properly equipped and in the paddock at least one hour before the scheduled post time or by the time prescribed by the track.

26.12.01  A trainer shall be responsible to ensure that all horses under his/her care and control, while training or racing on Association grounds are properly equipped with safety reins/lines.

26.13  A trainer shall not start a horse or permit a horse in his or her custody to be raced if he/she knows or if by the exercise of reasonable care he/she might have known or have cause to believe that the horse is not physically fit to race. When a trainer believes that a horse is not physically fit to race, it is his or her responsibility to have the horse checked by a veterinarian and have that veterinarian certify that the horse is unfit to race and present such certification to the Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarian.

26.14  The trainer of record of a horse declared to race is responsible for the eligibility of the horse.

26.15  The trainer of record of a horse shall be a licensed trainer who has the day-to-day care and or custody and or control of the horse and is responsible for the training, allocation or direction of training duties at the stable.

26.16  In determining the identity of the actual trainer of a horse the Judges shall consider the following:

  1. The identity of the person who is responsible for the business decisions of the training or racing stable including, but not limited to, business arrangements with and any payments to or from owners or other trainers, licensed or otherwise, veterinarians, feed companies, hiring and firing of employees, obtaining workers’ compensation or proof of adequate insurance coverage, payroll and horsemen’s bookkeeper;
  2. The identity of the person responsible for communicating with the racing secretary’s office, the stall manager, the Racing Association and the owners regarding racing schedules;
  3. The identity of the person responsible for the conditioning of a horse or horses;
  4. The identity of the person responsible for race day preparation including but not limited to accompanying the horses to the paddock, selection of equipment, authority to warm up horses before the public, and discussion of driving strategy;
  5. The total number of horses in the control of the training or racing stable;
  6. The number of active licensed trainers on the payroll of the training stable;
  7. The number of different stabling locations; and
  8. Any other relevant matters.

26.17  For any medication or drug requiring a prescription and any treatment ordinarily requiring the services of a veterinarian for any horse under his/her care and control, a trainer is required to use a veterinarian licensed by the Commission. A trainer of a horse may apply to the Registrar for an exemption from this rule, where the trainer trains a horse in an area under-serviced by equine veterinarians licensed by the Commission. Further a trainer may use a veterinarian not licensed by the Commission for the purposes of emergency treatment of a horse, provided the trainer advises the Registrar of the circumstance in writing as soon as practical.

26.18  Deleted.