February 26, 2020

In preparation for the launch of iAGCO online services for horse racing licensees in March, the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has revised the Rules of Thoroughbred Racing to reduce regulatory burden and harmonize processes between breeds where possible.

The rule revisions take effect on March 2, 2020 and reflect a number of process changes that will be implemented once iAGCO online services launch for horse racing licensees. Below is a summary of the revisions along with the impacted rules:

  • Role of Authorized Agents
    • Rules impacted: 6.10.01, 7.01, 8.02, 9.21, 12.03, 12.06, 33.01, 33.02, 33.04
    • The AGCO will now require individuals claiming horses on behalf of an Owner to obtain an Authorized Agent licence. Trainers will be also required to have an Authorized Agent licence if they wish to claim a horse, and the authorization must be for the specific owner. All other contractual arrangements such as buying and selling a horse, and collection of purse funds, will be left to individuals to privately decide.
  • Claiming changes
    • Rules impacted: 12.03, 12.29, 12.29 (a) (d)
    • Unless they already hold an Owners licence, participants in all breeds will apply for a Claiming Certificate to claim a horse. Prior to the issuance of a Claiming Certificate, standard background checks will be conducted. Once a claim is successful, the claimant must apply for an Owner’s licence. A Claiming Certificate will be valid for 1 year.
  • Participant Photo ID issuance
    • Rules Impacted: 4.01.02, 4.08.02
    • AGCO Licensing Agents will no longer take photos of licensees at racetracks and print photo identification cards. Instead, a wallet-sized paper certificate will be produced upon application approval and can be printed by the licensee or shown in digital format on their smartphones. Licensees will be required to carry their own government-issued identification. For more information on acceptable photo identification types, visit the Photo Identification page on the AGCO website.
  • Parental Consent
    • Rules impacted: 4.04.03, 4.04.04 (New Rule)
    • Applicants under 18 years of age will be required to submit a Parental Consent form. Applicants under 10 years of age may only be licensed as an Owner, unless otherwise approved by the AGCO.
  • Listing Employees / Employers on Licence Applications
    • Rules Impacted:  4.04.03 (New Rule)
    • Any licensee who is required to be employed by another licensee, or who employs other licensees, must provide the names of those individuals on their application, or make a regulatory submission, and update the information if it changes.
  • Medical records requirements
    • Rules impacted: 4.06.02, 4.06.03 (New Rule), 9.12, 30.18
    • The AGCO will no longer collect medical information and doctors’ letters/notes. However, the AGCO will continue to request, but not collect, Fit to Ride notes from Jockeys and Apprentice Jockeys.
  • Issuance of Temporary Licences
    • Rules impacted: 4.08.03 (New Rule)
    • Temporary licensing may be available for participants who apply for a licence on the same day they are racing, under extenuating circumstances only (i.e. participants arriving from another jurisdiction). Temporary licenses will expire in 30 days, unless otherwise advised by the Commission.
  • Workplace Safety Insurance Board (WSIB) Requirements
    • Rules impacted: 29.09.01
    • Licensees such as Trainers, who employ staff, must be registered with the Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). A Clearance Certificate will still be required, but the licensee will not be required to carry it with them at all times. Furthermore, an applicant does not need to submit proof of insurance certificate as part of the application process.
  • Digital Tattoos
    • Rules impacted: 6.44.01, 6.44.02, 6.45 (New Rule)
    • The Thoroughbred industry will be phasing out ink lip tattoos in favour of digital tattoos beginning, January 1, 2020. Rule changes highlight that racetracks must have capability to accurately identify racehorses regardless of tattoo style.
  • Administration of EIPH (Lasix) program
    • Rules impacted: Chapter 36
    • The status of all horses entered in the EIPH program must be declared on the entry form at time of entry.
    • The AGCO will now accept the adding, removing and opting out of the EIPH Program via an iAGCO Regulatory Submission for all breeds. A participant must submit a regulatory submission through iAGCO to get an Ontario-based horse ON or OFF the EIPH Program by the time of entry to race.
    • Out-of-province horses, which have a history of being on the EIPH Program will be enrolled in the program in Ontario with an option to opt out. A participant must submit through iAGCO to Opt Out of the EIPH program by time of entry.
  • Denerved horses
    • Rules impacted: 15.02.04, 15.02.06, 15.02.07
    • The AGCO is committed to ensuring the highest standards of equine and human health and safety, and accountability across the industry. Hence, it will no longer allow horses that are denerved to be raced.
    • A submission must be received through iAGCO, by time of entry for all denerved horses. Horses that have been denerved prior to March 2, 2020 will be eligible to race provided the horse was previously on the Commission’s list of denerved horses. 
  • Removal of “Clear” Days
    • Rules impacted: 27.09.01
    • The AGCO has revised “clear” days to “days” when addressing the Veterinarian’s Lists. This change is to provide consistency when calculating suspension/eligibility days. 
  • Shock Wave Therapy – Official Workouts
    • Rules impacted: 15.37   
    • In order to advance equine welfare, the AGCO is extending its shock wave therapy rule to include official workouts.
  • Alignment with digital service delivery
    • Rules impacted: 3.16.08, 4.14,15.02.01 (b),15.09.01 (c), 15.09.03, 15.09.04, 15.23, 27.16.01 (ii) (d) (e), 27.16.03, 27.20, 31.05
    • Rules were also amended to align with AGCO’s digital service delivery. iAGCO requires all documents to be submitted electronically, hence references to physical written documents, applications, or notes were revised to align with new system requirements.

These revisions will apply to Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing, effective March 2, 2020. To view a copy of the updated rules, please see Thoroughbred iAGCO Rule Revisions.

As of March 2, 2020 the online version of the rule book will be updated to reflect these rule changes. Regulatory submissions will be available when logged into your iAGCO account.

Taking effect on March 2, 2020, the AGCO will also make a number of changes, as a result of iAGCO implementation, that are process related and do not have associated rule changes. For more information on iAGCO services, please see iAGCO Information


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