Last Updated: 

Act means the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015.

Added Money Event means stakes, futurities, early closing events and late closing events.

Age of a horse shall be reckoned from the first day of January of the year of foaling.

Alcohol means the intoxicating agent in Beverage Alcohol, ethyl alcohol, or other low molecular weight alcohols including methyl and isopropyl.

Association means a person, partnership, association or corporate body licensed by the Commission to conduct a race meeting.

Authorized Agent is a person licensed by the Commission and authorized by a licensed owner to claim horses on the owner’s behalf.

BAC means Blood Alcohol Concentration. It is the grams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood when referenced as .02 to .039 BAC and the equivalent of 20 to 39 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.

Beverage Alcohol means beer, wine and distilled spirits.

Board means the board of the Commission established under the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996.

Breeder means the registered owner or lessee, subject to the terms of a lease agreement, of the dam at the time she conceived.

Chief Test Inspector means the official approved pursuant to the Pari-Mutuel Betting Regulations under the Criminal Code (Canada) and who is directly responsible to Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency and to the Judges for the taking of official samples from the horses and for the handling and shipping of such samples.

Claiming race means a race in which any horse drawn therein maybe claimed for a designated amount in conformance with the Rules.

Classified race means a race to which declarations are selected on the basis of ability or performance, regardless of the eligibility of such horses.

Conditioned race means an overnight event to which eligibility is determined according to specified qualifications.

Clear Days means where a number of days are expressed to be clear days, they shall be reckoned exclusively of the first day and exclusively of the last day. (See also “Days”).

Commission means the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).

Commission Representative means an employee(s) or agent of the Commission.

Commission Veterinarian means a person employed by the Commission and licensed in good standing with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.
Dash means a race decided in a single trial.

Days means where a number of days not expressed to be clear days is prescribed, they shall be reckoned exclusively of the first day and inclusively of the last day. (See also “Clear Days”).

Declaration/ Entry means the naming of a particular horse to a particular race as a starter.

Designated Licensee means all Designated Racing Officials and individuals who hold a safety-sensitive position.

Designated Racing Officials means all employees and other individuals who have responsibility for decision making and the safe operations of all events at Commission licensed facilities. The following positions are included: Judges, Paddock Judge.

Early Closing Event means a race to which nominations close at least six weeks preceding the date of the race. All monies offered for the race by a track or sponsor shall be in addition to all nomination, sustaining and starting payments to determine the purse. All payments are forfeits.

Elimination Heats means heats of a race split according to the Rules to qualify the horses for a final heat.

EIPH Program - The Ontario Standardbred Exercise Induced Pulmonary Haemorrhage Program, (hereinafter referred to as the “EIPH Program” in these Rules) consists of a controlled medication program whereby furosemide shall be administered to horses certified to receive same while in competition in pari-mutuel races with the Rules established by the Commission and in accordance with the provisions of the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations under the Criminal Code (Canada).

Extended Meeting means any Association in the Province of Ontario which conducts a race meeting in excess of 6 days in any consecutive 12 month period with pari-mutuel wagering.

Feature Wagering means wagering as approved in Ontario by the Commission and as deemed pursuant to the Pari-Mutuel Betting Regulations under the Criminal Code (Canada).

Futurity means a stake event in which the competing horse was nominated when its dam was in foal or during its year of foaling.

Handicap means a race in which performance, claiming price, sex or distance allowance is made. Post positions for a handicap may be assigned by the race secretary. Post positions in handicap claiming races shall be determined by claiming price prior to application of allowances.

Heat means a single trial of a race to be decided by a series of heats.

Horse means a horse, mare, colt, filly, gelding or ridgeling.

Horse Improvement Program means a suite of multi-breed Ontario racing and breeding incentive programs (including the Ontario Sires Stakes and the Mare Residency Program).

Horse Racing Appeal Panel (the HRAP) means the Panel established under the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015.

Illegal Drug means any drug or substance which is not legally obtainable and whose use, sale, possession, purchase or transfer is restricted or prohibited by law.

Impairing Prescription Medication means a substance, other than Marihuana, that may be legally prescribed by a health care professional in Canada and that has the potential to impair the physical or cognitive abilities of the person using the substance, regardless of whether the substance is or is not used as prescribed.

In Harness means when a race is made to go “in harness”, it shall be construed to mean that the performance shall be a sulky. Only dual-shaft sulkies shall be permitted to be used in any race. All sulkies must have a safety hookup. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or trainer to provide every sulky used in a race with uniform coloured or colourless wheel discs on the inside and the outside of each wheel.

Judge means a person delegated by the Registrar to carry out all of the duties and responsibilities specified by the Rules.

Judges’ List means a list of horses that are refused declaration, until removed there from.

Late Closing Event means a race to which nominations close less than six weeks and more than five days before the date on which the race is to be contested. All monies offered for the race by a track or sponsor shall be in addition to all nomination, sustaining and starting payments to determine the purse. All payments are forfeits. Time bars or track qualifying standards shall not be used as conditions for late closing races.

Length of Race and Number of Heats means races or dashes shall be given at a stated distance in units not shorter than a sixteenth of a mile. The length of a race and the number of heats shall be stated in the conditions.

Maiden means a horse that has never won a heat or race at the gait at which it is entered to start, and for which a purse is offered. Races or purse money awarded to a horse after the official sign has been posted shall not be considered winning performance or affect the status of a maiden unless the horse is placed first as the result of a positive test or disqualification of the winner of the race. Should a Maiden finish first in a race for which a purse is offered and is subsequently disqualified it shall not lose its maiden classification.

Marihuana means all parts of the Cannabis plant, its derivatives and compounds that contain the psychoactive cannabinoid chemical “delta-9-tetrahydro-cannabinol” (THC).

Match Race means a race which has been arranged and the conditions thereof agreed upon between contestants.

Matinee Race means a race where an entrance fee may be charged and where the premiums, if any, are other than money.

Medical Review Officer means a licensed physician responsible for receiving laboratory results generated by an agency’s drug testing program, who has knowledge of substance abuse disorders and has appropriate medical training to interpret and evaluate an individual’s positive test result together with his medical history and any other relevant biomedical information.

Minister means the Minister responsible for the administration of Part 1 of the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996.

Nomination means the naming of a horse or in the event of a futurity the naming of a foal in utero, to a certain race or series of races, for a fee.

Non Extended Meeting means any Association in the Province of Ontario which conducts a race meeting of less than 7 days in any consecutive 12 month period with or without pari-mutuel wagering.

Official Chemist means a graduate in chemistry from a university of recognized standing approved pursuant to the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations under the Criminal Code (Canada).

Official Sample means a sample of blood, saliva, urine or other bodily substance that has, in accordance with the Pari-Mutuel Betting Supervision Regulations of the Criminal Code (Canada), been obtained from a horse.

Official Veterinarian means a person employed by the Association and licensed in good standing with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario.

Officials, Racing Officials The following categories shall be considered Officials, or Racing Officials:

  1. Judges
  2. Race Secretary and/or Assistant Race Secretary
  3. Timers
  4. Charter
  5. Starter
  6. A Patrol Judge or Patrol Judges in accordance with Rule 33.01
  7. Paddock Judge
  8. Equipment Inspector/Horse Identifier
  9. Assistant Paddock Judge
  10. Paddock Security Custodian
  11. Paddock Security Guard
  12. Chief Test Inspector and Test Inspectors

Ontario Sire means a stallion registered with the Horse Improvement Program Registry for the Northern Hemisphere breeding season.

Ontario Sired means a horse whose sire was an Ontario Sire registered with the applicable breed registry in the horse’s conception year. 

Ontario Bred means a horse foaled in the Province of Ontario out of an Ontario Resident Mare.

Ontario Resident Mare means a mare, registered with the Horse Improvement Program Registry, foaling out in Ontario that has met all residency eligibility requirements for the birth year.

Ontario Sires Stakes Eligible means a horse whose sire was an Ontario Sire in the horse’s conception year and meets all other Ontario Sires Stakes Program eligibility requirements for the current year.

Overnight Event means a race for which declarations close not more than three clear days, omitting Sundays, Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day, before the date on which it will be contested. In the absence of conditions or notice to the contrary, declarations must close not later than 12 noon of the day preceding the race.

Owner is the full owner, part owner, lessor or lessee of a registered Standardbred horse that has qualified or has been programmed to race at an Ontario raceway within the preceding six months.

Participant means any person, partnership, limited partnership, estate, corporation or other legal entity participating directly in Standardbred horse racing and who, under the Rules, is required to be licensed by the Commission.

Post Position means the position assigned or drawn for a horse for the start of a race.

Post Time means the time set for the arrival at the starting point of the horses in a race.

Preference Date means a date in which a horse has been drawn in to start.

Prohibited Substance means any substance which the Registrar has declared prohibited and includes Marihuana.

Qualifying List is a list of horses that are required to perform in a qualifying race or races.

Qualifying Race means a race in which a horse must establish its ability to participate at a race meeting consistent with the qualifying standards established for that class of horse.

Race means a contest of speed among registered Standardbred horses racing at a trotting or pacing gait and conducted in accordance with these rules.

Raceway means a racetrack located in the Province of Ontario conducting Standardbred racing and classified and licensed annually by the Commission.
Registrar has the same meaning as under the Alcohol and Gaming Regulation and Public Protection Act, 1996.

Registration means that all matters relating to the registration of Standardbred horses, unless otherwise provided for herein, shall be governed by the constitution and by-laws and regulations of Standardbred Canada.

Restricted Area are those areas of the racetrack property used for the purposes of conducting racing to which access is controlled, and includes, but is not limited to the paddock, stabling areas, and the racetrack.

Retention Area means that area within the grounds of a raceway designated for the purpose of obtaining and securing official samples.

Rules means the Commission Rules of Standardbred Racing and any track rules adopted by the Commission.

Safety line means a line that is constructed to prevent failure due to breakage of the line, or breakage or inadvertent loss of the primary connection to the bit.

Safety Sensitive Position means a position, as determined by the Registrar, in which a licensee has a direct role in racing such that Alcohol, Illegal Drug, Impairing Prescription Medication or Prohibited Substance use could result in:

  1. An incident affecting the health or safety of employees, licensees, patrons, horses, or the public; or
  2. An inadequate response or failure to respond to an emergency or operational situation.

When determining if a position is a Safety Sensitive Position, the factors which the Registrar will consider include, but are not limited, to the following:

  1. The type and amount of contact the position has with horses;
  2. The extent to which the position requires the individual to be on the racetrack at the same time as horses and the circumstances of that presence on the racetrack.

This category includes any and all licensees required to temporarily act in a Safety Sensitive Position.

The following positions are Safety Sensitive Positions: driver, trainer, groom, starting gate personnel, horse identifier, Commission and Official veterinarian, outrider and blacksmith, test inspector, TCO2 technician and track maintenance personnel.

Sex means gender which includes mare, filly, spayed mare or filly, colt, stallion, ridgeling or gelding.

Singular, Plural means words in the singular number include the plural, and the plural number include the singular.

Spouse means either of two persons who:

  1. Are married to each other; or
  2. Not being married to each other, are cohabiting in a relationship of some permanence but does not include persons who are living separate and apart from each other pursuant to a written agreement.

Stable Area includes, but is not limited to, those places within the property of an Association wherein the stables, track kitchen, racing offices, training areas, paddock and winner’s enclosure are located.

Stable or Multiple Ownership Manager means the operating executive of a racing stable or multiple ownership who is not otherwise licensed by the Commission as an owner, trainer or driver.

Stake means a race which will be contested in a year subsequent to the closing of nominations.

Substance Abuse Professional (SAP) means an individual with knowledge of and clinical experience in the diagnosis and treatment of alcohol and drug related disorders; the SAP will assess if the individual has a problem, make recommendations regarding education and treatment, and recommend a return-to-duty monitoring program including unannounced testing.

Sustaining Fees means fees or payments made subsequent to the acceptance of nomination for an added money event.

Track Rules means rules posted by Associations to govern conduct of racing and participants at that Association’s raceway. Track rules may be adopted in whole or in part by the Commission.

Walk Over means a race when only a horse or horses in the same interest start. In a stake or futurity, a walk over is entitled to the purse. To claim the purse, the horse or horses must start and go the distance of the race.

Help us improve the AGCO website

Complete a short survey