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 Guide for Horse Racing.
To obtain a licence from the AGCO, an individual needs to complete a licence application indicating the licence category(s) and breed 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. 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.
- Assistant trainer
New trainers must have received accreditation from the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), or hold a valid trainer licence with another racing jurisdiction, before applying for their Thoroughbred 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).
- Apprentice jockey
A jockey or apprentice 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.
- Jockey’s agent
- Jockey’s valet
An individual applying for a groom licence must be acting in a Groom capacity.
- Exercise person
- Hot walker
A Hot Walker licence 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 Association (i.e. security, parking, catering, maintenance, cleaners, admissions, program department, publicity and office staff).
Veterinarians applying for an AGCO licence must (1) hold a valid licence with the College of Veterinarians of Ontario and (2) 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 to claim a horse.
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 Association. An individual applying for a pari-mutuel licence must 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.
- Spouse of Licensee
A spouse of an owner may apply for a spouse of licensee licence; the owner must hold a valid AGCO licence.
- Association Official
Association official licences are issued to individuals employed by the Association, or who are working on behalf of the Association, and include: department heads of the Association, any employee needing access to the backstretch or paddock, Official Veterinarians, test inspectors, Lasix veterinarian technicians, OnTrack Media employees and ambulance attendants.
- Commission 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.
- Stable/Corporate Manager
A Stable or Corporate Manager licence is issued to an individual not otherwise licensed by the AGCO to act for a racing stable or multiple ownership entity as a Stable or Corporate Manager.
Any individual residing outside Ontario must apply for a licence in the same manner as a resident of Ontario. All 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
Applicants under 18 years of age will be required to submit a Parental Consent form. Applicants under 10 years of age may only be licensed as an Owner, unless otherwise approved by the AGCO.