Categories of Licensing

Effective March 2, 2020 all transactions with the AGCO must be completed online through iAGCO. Paper applications are no longer accepted for horse racing-related licenses and registrations. For more information, visit the iAGCO Information page.   

To obtain a licence from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), an individual needs to complete a licence application indicating the licence category(s) required.  A licensee who has not renewed their licence for five (5) years or more will be treated as a new licence applicant.

The following are the applicable licensing categories and their associated requirements:

  • Owner

Any person owning all or part of a horse that is racing in Ontario must hold a valid AGCO licence. To apply for an owner licence, an applicant must (1) have a horse of racing age in Ontario, (2) declare their trainer on their application, (3) continue to register colours (TB/QH Owners only) and (4) include the name(s) of horses they own.

  • Trainer
  • Assistant trainer

New trainers must have received accreditation from the Quarter Racing Owners of Ontario Inc. (QROOI), or hold a valid trainer licence with another racing jurisdiction, before applying for their Quarter Horse trainer licence with the AGCO.

The laws in Ontario require that any person who employs staff must be registered with the Workers Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) (or its equivalent). Each year trainers must provide proof in the form of a Clearance Certificate that they are registered and in good standing. A Clearance Certificate can be obtained by contacting a WSIB office (or equivalent).

  • Jockey

A jockey licence applicant must (1) abide by weight guidelines at the time of racing and (2) present to the AGCO Stewards a physician’s report of a complete physical examination, acceptable to the AGCO, and once every two years, an eye examination by an ophthalmologist or an acceptable optometrist.

  • Groom

An individual applying for a groom licence must be acting in a groom capacity.

  • Exercise person
  • Hot walker
  • Occupational

An exercise person is not permitted to ride a horse during a race.

A hot walker applicant must be (1) acting in a Hot Walker capacity and (2) employed by a licensed AGCO Trainer.

Occupational personnel are persons employed by the racetrack association (i.e. security, parking, catering, maintenance, cleaners, admissions, program department, publicity and office staff).

  • Veterinarian

Veterinarians applying for an AGCO licence must hold a valid licence with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and be affiliated with a practice that is accredited to practice on horses.

Licensed veterinarians must be familiar with all applicable provincial and federal rules and legislation concerning horse racing, including the AGCO’s Rules of Racing and the Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency’s elimination schedule for therapeutic medications.

  • Authorized Agent

An authorized agent is a person who has been authorized to act on behalf of another individual in a variety of capacities.

  • Pari-Mutuel

All pari-mutuel staff must hold a valid AGCO licence prior to working in the capacity. Failure to be licensed may result in fines for the racetrack association. An individual applying for a pari-mutuel licence must be over the age of 18.

  • Tradesperson

A tradesperson is a person not employed by the racetrack association, either directly or indirectly, and could include blacksmiths, feed supply persons, etc.

  • Stable Guest

A spouse, child or regular guest of an owner may apply for a stable guest pass; said owner must hold a valid AGCO licence and be present when the stable guest is in secure areas of the racetrack.

  • Association Official

Association official licences are issued to individuals employed by the racetrack association, or who are working on behalf of the racetrack association, and include: department heads of the racetrack association, any employee needing access to the backstretch or paddock, Official Veterinarians, test inspectors, Lasix veterinarian technicians, OnTrack Media employees and ambulance attendants.

  • AGCO Official

A Commission official licence is issued to employees of the AGCO and would include AGCO veterinarians, investigators, horse racing licensing agents, head office staff and race officials.

Non-residents

Any individual residing outside Ontario must apply for a licence in the same manner as a resident of Ontario. All fees apply.

Multi-Jurisdictional Licence

The National Compact and Racing Commissioners International (RCI or ARCI) both offer a form of multi-jurisdictional licensing. These memberships are intended to ease the application paperwork for owners who intend to be racing in many jurisdictions. Multi-jurisdictional licensing is not considered reciprocal licensing.

For further information on these memberships:

Under Age Licensing

Persons under 16 years of age may be licensed with the approval of the Stewards and upon written consent of the parent or guardian.  No person under 18 years of age will be licensed by the AGCO as a jockey, except those who have previously been licensed by another racing regulator.

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