Information Bulletin No. 71 – Amendment to Standardbred Urging Rules

Information Bulletin
Horse Racing

May 31, 2019

In response to a request from the industry to consider revising the current rules and Directives with respect to urging, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is making an amendment to the Standardbred Rules of Racing and to Policy Directive No. 5-2009: Penalty Guidelines for Inappropriate Urging of a Horse in Standardbred Racing.  Amended wording will limit urging in Standardbred racing to acceptable "wrist action" only and there will be recommended minimum penalties for races with a purse of $100K or more.

The rule change will become effective at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 3, 2019 and will be gradually phased in across all Standardbred racetracks in Ontario on dates to be determined.

The AGCO is committed to identifying and moving forward on common-sense reforms to the regulatory rules that govern horse racing. These reforms are designed to preserve and enhance the integrity of the sport, the welfare of the horse, the safety of its participants and, to safeguard and protect the interests of the betting public and the public at large. This change is the next step in enhancing and providing a regulatory framework appropriate for today’s racing industry.

In order to facilitate an orderly and workable transition to the new rules, training and education materials are being developed for participants and Race Officials.  Additionally, special paddock meetings and orientation sessions will be held for participants as they adjust their driving style to accommodate this change.

The AGCO remains committed to continued dialogue with the racing community and will closely monitor the effects of this rule change as it is phased in.

Standardbred Directive No. 3-2019 - Revision to Urging Rules


Raymond Kahnert
Senior Advisor, Communications