Categories of Licensing
In order to obtain a licence from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), an individual needs to complete a licence application form 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:
Any person owning all or part of a horse that is racing in Ontario must hold a valid AGCO licence. Owners must have their name on the horse’s papers and these papers must be registered with Standardbred Canada, or in the United States with the United States Trotting Association (USTA), before an AGCO licence will be issued.
The corresponding officer of record, lessee and/or syndicate manager of all stallions registered in the Ontario Sires Stakes program in Ontario must obtain an AGCO licence, if they do not currently hold a valid AGCO licence in any other category.
Trainers and drivers must have passed Standardbred Canada, or in the United States the USTA, accreditation before applying for an AGCO licence in any of these categories. Potential drivers must contact the Judges to arrange for assessment and should refer to Chapter 25 of the Rules of Standardbred Racing for further information.
An individual applying for a groom licence must have their application form signed by their employer, who must hold a valid AGCO licence in an appropriate category.
Occupational personnel are persons employed by the racetrack association, i.e. security, parking, catering, maintenance, cleaners, admissions, program department, publicity and office staff. An individual applying for an occupational licence must have their application form signed by their employer.
Veterinarians applying for an AGCO licence must hold a valid licence with the College of Vererinarians of Ontario and be affiliated with a practice that is accredited to practice on horses.
- Authorized Agent
An authorized agent is a person who has been authorized to act on behalf of another individual in a variety of capacities. When acting in this capacity an individual needs to obtain a licence in this category. Authorizations must be registered with Standardbred Canada before applying for an AGCO licence.
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 have their application form signed by their employer and be over the age of 18.
A tradesperson is a person not employed by the racetrack association, either directly or indirectly, and could include blacksmiths, feed supply persons, etc. All applicants for a tradesperson licence, both new and renewal, must obtain a signature from the racetrack association management to establish that their presence on the grounds is acceptable to the racetrack association.
- 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.
Horse improvement (breeding) programs in Ontario require participants to hold a valid AGCO licence. Individuals who own breeding horses that are not currently racing and wish to participate in horse improvement programs can apply for a program licence.
- 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 Judges/Stewards.
Any individual residing outside Ontario must apply for a licence in the same manner as a resident of Ontario. All forms and fees apply.
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 Judges and upon written consent of the parent or guardian.