Minor revisions streamline the rules and reflect existing practices

Thursday, June 10, 2021

The AGCO is implementing several housekeeping rule changes to the Thoroughbred and Standardbred Rules of Racing to streamline and reflect existing practices.

These changes relate to and are consistent with the rule changes that went into effect on April 6, 2021 following industry engagement.

The following rule revisions go into effect today:

Standardbred Rules 

8.02  The Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarian shall: 

… 

  1. Maintain a list called the Veterinarian’s List  (Long Term or Short Term - see Rules 20.01.01 and 20.02) on which the Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarians shall enter the name of any horse considered unfit, unsound, or not ready for racing. A horse on the Long Term List must qualify and shall be refused declaration until a Commission Veterinarian or Official Veterinarian removes its name from the list. Horses on the Short Term List are automatically removed after eight (8) days in accordance with Rule 20.04.01 - 20.04.04

12.07.01   Deleted. Any horse that is qualified to race with hopples shall not be permitted to be declared to a race without hopples unless first having qualified with this as an equipment change. In addition to the foregoing any horse that is qualified to race with hopples and which is not on a qualifying list or the Judges’ List, is allowed one start without hopples in a qualifying race and this single performance shall not affect its eligibility to race with hopples in its next start to which it is declared. 

12.09  Deleted. A horse making a break in or off a qualifying, matinee or schooling race must qualify again unless the break was an equipment break or caused by interference, or unless the horse is declaring into an Ontario Sires Stakes or other added money event. 

18.08.02 Racetracks with pylons shall meet the following criteria regarding pylon location, and design standards:

  1. sixty (60) feet apart on the straight away
  2. forty (40) feet apart on the turns
  3. pylons leading into the passing lanes to be fifteen (15) feet or less apart
  4. thirty (30) inches in length above ground
  5. Pylons shall have the top three (3) inches of the pylon painted or taped bright orange
  6. Pylons shall be at 35 degree angle.

A horse while on stride, or part of the horse’s race bike, that leaves the race course by going inside the pylons which constitutes the inside limits of the course, when not forced to do so as a result of the actions of another driver and/or horse, shall be in violation of this rule. In addition, when an act of interference causes a horse, or part of the horse’s race bike, to cross inside the pylons and the horse is placed by the Judges, the offending horse shall be placed behind the horse with which it interfered. For purposes of placing the following shall apply: 

  1. If a horse while on stride, or part of the horse’s race bike, goes inside two (2) consecutive pylons, the offending horse shall be placed behind all horses that are lapped on to the offending horse at the wire;
  2. If a horse while on stride, or any part of the horse’s race bike, goes inside three (3) or more consecutive pylons, the offending horse shall be placed last;
  3. If in the opinion of the Judges a horse while on stride, or part of the horse’s race bike, goes inside a pylon(s) and that action gave the horse an unfair advantage over other horses in the race or the action helped improve its position in the race, the horse may be placed at the discretion of the Judges.

Drivers who in the opinion of the Judges leave the racing course when not forced to do so as a result of another driver and/or horse may be subject to a monetary penalty or suspended. 

Penalties for drivers violating Rule 18.08.02 are as follows: 

  1. a. For the 1st violation, a monetary penalty of $100 shall be imposed; 
  2. b. For the 2nd violation within a year of the 1st violation and within 750 drives of the 1st violation, a monetary penalty of $300 shall be imposed
  3. c. For the 3rd violation within a year of the 1st violation and within 750 drives of the 1st violation, a minimum monetary penalty of $500 plus a suspension for 3 days shall be imposed; 
  4. d. For the 4th violation within a year of the 1st violation and within 750 drives of the 1st violation, a minimum monetary penalty of $1,000 and a suspension for 5 days shall be imposed. 

20.01.02  No horse that is on the Judges’ List either by virtue of the operation of this chapter, or any other rule, shall be eligible to compete in any added money or overnight event until it has been removed from the Judges’ List. Notwithstanding the provisions of this rule, any horse to which Rules 20.01.01(a), and (g) and (h), and/or 20.04.02 apply, shall be eligible to compete in added money events.

20.02  A horse that has been placed on the Judges’ List in accordance with the rules will be ineligible to race until removed therefrom, as follows:

  1. Only the Judges at an extended meeting shall have the authority to remove a horse that is on the Judges’ List in accordance with Rules 5.17, 20.01.01 (b), (e), (f) or (i);
  2. Horses on the List in accordance with Rule 20.01.01 (a), and (g) shall come off the List after eight (8) days. Horses on the List in accordance with Rule 20.01.01 (g) may also be removed when documentation has been presented to the satisfaction of the Judges;
  3. Horses on the Judges’ List for 20.01.01 (c) and (d) shall be removed from the List when the documentation has been presented to the Standardbred Canada field representative;
  4. Deleted.
  5. In all other cases, at the discretion of the Judges or Administration.

Thoroughbred Rules

6.13 A trainer or owner may not enter and start more than two horses of the same or separate ownership in a purse race or overnight event race as separate betting interests, except under the following conditions:

  1. Stake races;
  2. Races in which there are fees required to nominate or enter; or
  3. All overnight races. In these races a trainer may not enter more than two horses. The second entry may not exclude a single entry, or be allowed if there are less than five entries received prior to the entry of the trainer’s second horse. The Association reserves the right to require six or more betting interests in any overnight race from a minimum of five trainers and owners.

Please note that while the information in this bulletin 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.

Line of Business: 
Number: 
93
Document number: 
93

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