February 26, 2020

In preparation for the launch of iAGCO online services for horse racing licensees, the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has revised the Rules of Standardbred 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 are launched for horse racing licensees. Below is a summary of the revisions and impacted rules:

  • Role of Authorized Agents
    • Rules impacted: 6.30, 6.45, 6.50
    • 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 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: 15.08
    • 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: 3.03.01, 3.03.03
    • 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 issued 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.
  • Listing Employees / Employers on Licence Applications
    • Rules Impacted:  3.11.01 (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.
  • Parental Consent
    • Rules impacted: 26.09.02 (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.
  • Medical records requirements
    • Rules impacted: 22.35
    • The AGCO will no longer collect medical information and doctors’ letters/notes. However, the AGCO will continue to request, but not collect, Fit to Drive notes from Drivers.
  • Issuance of Temporary Licences
    • Rules impacted: 3.03.02
    • 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.
  • Administration of EIPH (Lasix) program
    • Rules impacted: Chapter 35
    • 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 automatically enrolled in the program in Ontario with an option to opt out. A participant must submit a regulatory submission through iAGCO to Opt Out of the EIPH program by time of entry.
  • Denerved horses
    • Rules impacted: 11.01.02
    • 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. 
  • Requiring Horses on the Long-Term Veterinarian’s List to Qualify
    • Rules impacted: 8.02(e)
    • Horses placed on the Long-Term Veterinarian’s List are deemed to be high risk and should require heightened oversight prior to returning to racing. As such, any horse that is placed on the Long-Term Veterinarian’s List must qualify in order to be eligible to be removed from the list.
  • Removal of “Clear” Days
  • Shock Wave Therapy – Qualifiers
    • Rules impacted: 6.52
    • In order to advance equine welfare, the AGCO is extending its shock wave therapy rule to include qualifiers.
  • Alignment with digital service delivery
    • Rules impacted: 3.03.01, 3.04, 3.07.02 (b), 3.09.01 (c), 5.10, 6.12, 6.50, 6.51, 7.16.08 (a), 8.10.01(ii) d), 8.10.03, 8.14, 10.01 (b), 14.12, 16.24, 22.35, 32.01 (d)
    • 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.
  • Standardbred Canada Agreement
    • Rules impacted: 1.10,1.11,, Chapter 31
    • The AGCO and Standardbred Canada have had a long and collaborative relationship with respect to the operation of Standardbred Racing in Ontario. The AGCO will use its new iAGCO solution to manage and track the licensing of all participants in the Standardbred industry . Standardbred Canada will still have an integral role in Standardbred racing and will still maintain the position of official record and statistics keeper of drivers’ statistics, race results, purse winnings for horses and participants, and past performance and other statistics for the industry. The AGCO and Standardbred Canada are motivated to work together to assist the industry in a new modern digital environment.

To view a copy of the updated rules, please see Standardbred iAGCO Rule Revisions.

As of March 2, 2020, the online version of the rule book will be updated to reflect 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 any associated rule changes. For more information on iAGCO services, please see iAGCO Information.

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