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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is revising Standardbred Rule 22.01 to enhance the consistency of harness racing, so that participants and the betting public know where a horse will start from. Effective immediately, in races with two or more trailers, the driver of each horse in the second tier must follow in designated trailing positions; specifically, the driver of each horse in the second tier must follow the two horses in front of it as detailed in the rule below. This amendment is consistent with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) model rules and the Standardbred Canada Rule Harmonization project. The AGCO is committed to providing consistency for trailing horse positions and, as such, has made this change in response to requests from industry representatives. New Rule: 22.01 (h) In the event there are two tiers of horses, the scratching of a horse that has drawn or earned a position in the front tier shall not affect the position of the horses that have drawn or earned positions in the second tier, except as provided for in handicap claiming races. Whenever a horse is scratched from any tier, horses on the outside move in to fill up the vacancy. When there is only one trailer, it may start from any position in the second tier. When there is more than one trailer, the inside trailer shall follow either the horse in the #1 or #2 position, the next trailer shall follow either the horse in the #3 or #4 position, the next trailer shall follow either the horse in the #5 or #6 position, the next trailer shall follow either the horse in the #7 or #8 position, the next trailer shall follow either the horse in the #9 or #10 position. In the event that there are more trailers than designated positions on the second tier, the Judges will determine where horses will line up. See also: Information Bulletin - Revision to the Standardbred Rules of Racing to Provide Consistency for Trailing Horse Positions, Rule 22.01 Rules of Standardbred Racing Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario  

On August 7, 2020, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) was informed of a confirmed case of strangles in a 5-year-old harness racing Standardbred gelding in the Greater Hamilton area at the Emerald Isle Training Centre. There have been four positives to date at the facility, including one Friday August 14, 2020. The AGCO visited Leamington Raceway on August 14 for continued discussions and assessment. An isolation area for sick or suspected cases was identified. The AGCO has actively worked with Leamington Raceway officials to control the outbreak. Testing of horses in close contact with the index case at Leamington have all been negative. There have been no reports of sick horses from Leamington. It has been 13 days since the horse that tested positive left the grounds. As a result, in consultation with infectious disease expert Dr. Scott Weese of the University of Guelph, a decision has been made that horses on the grounds will be allowed to race and qualify on Friday August 21, 2020 unless any sick horses are reported. Trainers shall continue to monitor and record temperatures twice daily. Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi. On August 12, 2020, the AGCO was informed of a sick 3-year-old Standardbred filly that was on the same trailer as the index case. This horse was stabled at Leamington Raceway between August 1 and August 6, 2020, before being moved to the owner's farm where the horse subsequently was confirmed as having strangles. The AGCO Informed Leamington Raceway, trainers of horses stabled at Leamington and trainers that purchased or claimed horses stabled at Leamington since August 1, 2020 about possible exposure. Recommended that their horses be monitored closely for signs of the disease such as fever, and nasal discharge. The AGCO also recommended that increased biosecurity measures be taken by the industry, particularly those with horses that may have been exposed. Temperatures should be taken at least twice daily and recorded. Testing of exposed or sick horses for Strangles may be warranted. Trainers have been advised to take temperatures prior to shipping to any racetrack paddock. The AGCO has provided the industry with additional resources on the disease. The AGCO is continuing to work with Dr. Weese. It is important that horse people report contagious diseases and take appropriate measures to protect their horses and those of others. Horse people are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice. The AGCO will continue to monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported. From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario  

On August 7, 2020, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) was informed of a confirmed case of strangles in a 5-year-old Standardbred gelding in the Greater Hamilton area at the Emerald Isle Training Centre. On August 12, 2020, the AGCO was informed of a sick 3-year-old Standardbred filly that was on the same trailer as the index case. This horse was stabled at Leamington Raceway between August 1 and August 6, 2020, before being moved to the owner's farm where the horse subsequently was confirmed as having strangles. Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi. As a result, the AGCO: Has informed Leamington Raceway, trainers of horses stabled at Leamington and trainers that purchased or claimed horses stabled at Leamington since August 1, 2020 about possible exposure. Recommended that their horses be monitored closely for signs of the disease such as fever, and nasal discharge. Has recommended increased biosecurity measures be taken by the industry, particularly those with horses that may have been exposed. Temperatures should be taken at least twice daily and recorded. Testing of exposed or sick horses for Strangles may be warranted. AGCO will be visiting Leamington for continued discussions and assessment on August 14, 2020. AGCO is actively working with Leamington Raceway officials to determine appropriate next steps. Is working with infectious disease expert Dr. Scott Weese at the University of Guelph. AGCO advises trainers to take temperatures prior to shipping to any racetrack paddock. Associations shall check temperatures prior to any horse entering a paddock until further notice. Horses with fevers of 102.5F/39.1C or more will be scratched. Has provided the industry with additional resources on the disease. Horse people are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice. The AGCO will continue to monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported. From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

On August 7, 2020, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) was informed of a confirmed case of strangles in a 5-year-old Standardbred gelding in the Greater Hamilton area at the Emerald Isle Training Centre. Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi. The trainer of the affected horse scratched his horse that was in to go at Woodbine Mohawk Park. All trainers with horses stabled at the centre were contacted, and testing of other horses at the center was conducted, the results of which were received on Monday, August 10, 2020. Two more positive cases were identified. As a result, the AGCO has announced the following measures: After discussions at the training centre, an agreement was made to quarantine the horses. Contact tracing of horses that were at the centre has been implemented and the AGCO has informed trainers of horses claimed since July 31 about possible exposure. Prior to shipping to any racetrack paddock, trainers are advised to take temperatures. Associations shall check temperatures prior to any horse entering a paddock until further notice. Horses with fevers of 102.5F/39.1C or more will be scratched. Horse people are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice. The AGCO will monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported. The AGCO's Race Line newsletter is online www.agco.ca/horse-racing/race-line-newsletter. Printed copies will be available shortly at racetracks and industry association offices. Please note, the AGCO will soon be moving Race Line to a digital format. You will still receive all the important information, updates and reminders that you're used to getting, only now they will be sent electronically. The new "e-newsletter" will be delivered straight to your email inbox. If you have created your iAGCO account, you will automatically receive the new Race Line e-newsletter at the email address you used to create your account. If you do not have an account, you can subscribe to receive the e-newsletter. To subscribe, go to www.agco.ca/subscribe. You may unsubscribe at any time. From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario 

On August 7, 2020, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) was informed of a confirmed case of strangles in a 5-year-old Standardbred gelding in the Greater Hamilton area. Strangles is a highly contagious and serious infection of horses and other equines caused by the bacterium, Streptococcus equi. Testing of other horses in the barn is planned for Monday, and the trainer of the affected horse has scratched his horse that is in to go. Horse people are reminded to remain vigilant and institute appropriate biosecurity measures and should consult their veterinarians for advice. The AGCO will monitor the situation and any further developments will be reported. From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

Potential source of positive tests for capsaicin. On July 20, 2020, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) issued a Notice to Industry concerning a number of horses in Ontario who have received a positive test for capsaicin over the past several weeks. As noted, the AGCO's priority is to conduct a fair and independent investigation to ensure the ongoing safety and integrity of horse racing in Ontario, as well as the health and welfare of equine athletes. The AGCO Equine Drug Unit's preliminary investigation has revealed a potential source: a product known as ZEV (Lot#190104 Exp:01-2022), an oral product used for the treatment of respiratory conditions - has tested positive for capsaicin and related compounds. It should be noted that capsaicin is not included in the list of active ingredients for ZEV. Trainers and owners are advised to always use caution with all products administered to a horse. Not all ingredients which could result in positive tests may be listed on a product, and ZEV may not be the only source of a positive test. For more information: Equine Drug Unit Chris Bennett, Detective Sergeant Investigation Enforcement Bureau Ontario Provincial Police Christopher.Bennett@opp.ca 705-715-3220  

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is aware that a number of horses in Ontario, and other jurisdictions in Canada, have received a positive test for capsaicin over the past several weeks. The AGCO's Equine Drug Unit is actively investigating these positive tests. As always, our priority is to conduct a fair and independent investigation to ensure the ongoing safety and integrity of horse racing in Ontario, as well as the health and welfare of equine athletes. Capsaicin is classified as a Class II drug, as per the Racing Commissioners International (RCI) Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances 2020. The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) issued a notice to the racing industry in September 2019 on the subject of capsaicin, and reminded veterinarians, racehorse trainers and owners that capsaicin is a prohibited substance in Canada due to its painkilling properties. The CPMA issued an update on June 23, 2020, and additional information on July 16, 2020. The first positive notification for capsaicin was called on June 25, 2020. Currently, there have been 11 capsaicin positive tests in Ontario. 9 Thoroughbreds (6 at Woodbine, 3 at Fort Erie) 2 Standardbreds (1 Hiawatha, 1 at Clinton) Upon notification of the CPMA Certificate of Positive Analysis, all 11 horses were made ineligible for 15 days by AGCO Race Officials. No Trainers - or other licensees - have been suspended or otherwise penalized at this time. At this time no individual licensee has received multiple positive tests for capsaicin. Multiple capsaicin positives will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis and all relevant circumstances, including prior positive tests, will be taken into consideration to determine if a penalty is appropriate. The positive tests are being actively investigated in accordance with the AGCO's Equine Drug Program Process. Each case is being reviewed under the Stream 1 Process and is currently at the information gathering stage (Stage 5). The AGCO is extending the 15-day turnaround time at Stage 5 to ensure a thorough investigation that, among other matters, attempts to identify the source of the multiple positive tests. The safety and integrity of the sport, and the health and welfare of the horse, are paramount to the AGCO. We are committed to completing an investigation that is both fair and independent to all involved. In this regard, the AGCO will continue working closely with the CPMA and other provincial regulators across Canada who are reviewing similar matters given the presence of capsaicin positives in other provinces. From the AGCO Equine Drug Unit  

Effective today, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that horses not currently in isolation can now exit Woodbine Racetrack. There have been no EHV-1 transmissions outside of Barn 12 in the past 14 days. One horse in Barn 10 had tested positive and was isolated. All of the remaining horses in Barn 10 tested negative multiple times over the past 14 days. The restrictions on these horses have been lifted. Yesterday all horses in Barn 12 tested negative for the first time. The negative results in Barn 12 are an encouraging sign that mitigation strategies appear to have been effective in isolating this neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Testing of Barn 12 horses will continue. These horses and others in isolation still have movement restrictions in place, which the AGCO will review on an ongoing basis. New significant developments will be reported in future Notices, as needed. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic.   For more information Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922

Industry Notice - Return to Racing: Additional Temporary Amendments to the Rules of Racing On May 20, 2020, the Registrar announced a number of Temporary Rule Amendments to address pre-racing activities associated with the return to racing. These amendments were based on the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario's (AGCO) active review of Ontario's horse racing rules and regulations, and industry input, to ensure responsible measures are taken to help contain the spread of COVID-19. As a result of these efforts, and pursuant to the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015 and the Rules of Racing, the Registrar will temporarily amend a number of additional rules to accommodate the return to racing and ease industry burden, while also ensuring welfare for equine and human athletes and other racing participants. The AGCO will closely monitor the impacts of these temporary changes to determine how long they should remain in effect and to ensure they are meeting their desired outcomes. The AGCO will be flexible if any of the measures identified require further amendment, in order to uphold the health and safety of horse racing participants and racehorses. Standard for All Associations Regarding their Plans to Re-Open Administration Directive No. 1 - 2020 Association Re-Opening Plan requires that each Association establish, implement, and maintain a COVID-19 pandemic re-opening plan, and that it be made available to the public. As part of this standard, Associations are required to submit their plans to the Registrar at least 2 business days prior to the anticipated site opening for live racing. It also indicates that an Association may not open a site for live racing until the Registrar has provided the Association with approval to do so. The COVID-19 pandemic re-opening plans should be sent to the AGCO by email to Tyler Durand at Tyler.Durand@agco.ca Standardbred Rule Amendments: See Understanding the AGCO's Temporary Amendments to the Qualifying Rules for Standardbred Horses for more on information on the qualifying amendments announced on May 20.  

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) received new test results that suggest the containment and mitigation measures continue to contain the neuropathogeniclogical form of EHV-1 to a single barn at Woodbine Racetrack. As a result, the AGCO has lifted all the restrictions on training for Barns 33 and 35, as well as the non-isolated horses in Barn 11. Two horses in Barn 11 remain in isolation. Restrictions on training of horses residing in other barns remain in place (please refer to May 21 Notice). All horses in Barn 10 were re-tested and results all came back negative. In addition, all horses in Barn 12 were re-tested and two additional horses tested positive, bringing the total to 27. All the remaining horses in Barn 12 tested negative. As per the containment protocol, the horses that tested positive have been removed to isolation and Barn 12 remains in lock down. Assuming no other horses display clinical signs, the plan at this time is to re-test all horses in Barn 12 on Monday, May 25. Horses from Barn 10 will be re-tested on Friday May 29. The AGCO is continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) announced that the results of two days of additional testing indicate that containment and mitigation measures are working to contain the neuropathogeniclogical form of EHV-1 to a single barn at Woodbine Racetrack. On May 19, testing conducted on horses stabled a new round of testing on May 20 in all Woodbine barns revealed no positive cases. Testing conducted on May 19 in Barn 12 returned 5 new positive cases, bringing the total to 25 of the 59 horses residing there. The affected horses are in isolation or have been sent to the Ontario Veterinary College for treatment. On May 20, testing was conducted on horses residing in adjacent barns and a small number of horses from other barns showing potential symptoms of EHV-1, such as fever. This additional round of testing revealed no positives of the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. In order to minimize the spread of this outbreak, the AGCO has reached out to all trainers at Woodbine and provided advice on the importance of quick reporting of horses with any fever, respiratory and neurological disease. Recognizing the importance of maintaining a balance between containing the disease and keeping horses in training for their wellbeing, non-isolated horses will be permitted to train. They must be segregated from other horses. Testing and Mitigation The testing of other horses on May 20 in Barns 9, 10, 11, 33 and 35 has identified the following results, and led to the introduction of mitigation strategies for these Barns, in addition to those already in place for Barn 12: Barn 9 - Four horses tested due to symptoms. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 9 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barn 10 - All horses tested due to proximity to Barn 12. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 10 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barns 11 - All horses tested due to proximity to Barn 12. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 11 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barn 12 - Each horse that tested positive has been removed. The remaining horses are isolated in the barn and are not permitted to train at this time. Barn 33 - Two horses tested due to symptoms. Each horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 33 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses. Barn 35 - One horse tested due to symptoms. The horse tested negative for the neuropathogenic form of EHV-1. Barn 35 horses will be permitted to train, segregated from other horses.   All other infectious disease protocols ordered by the AGCO on May 17 remain in place. The AGCO has also been in touch with Fort Erie Race Track. They are putting precautionary measures in place to ensure horses already on the ground, those coming in and those leaving are checked for any symptoms of fever, nasal discharge, etc. The track already has a barn ready for isolation should it be needed. The AGCO shares the collective concern for the well-being of all equine athletes and would like to recognize the continued efforts of staff at Woodbine, the Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of Ontario, the University of Guelph and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs for their collaboration and diligence in addressing this situation. We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and further developments will be reported. EHV-1 cannot be spread to humans and is unrelated to the current COVID-19 pandemic. For more information Horse People: Dr. Adam Chambers Senior Manager of Veterinary Services (289) 237-3922 ADDITIONAL RESOURCES HBPA Memo to Members: Practices to limit the spread of EHV-1    

To prepare for the return to harness racing, the AGCO is actively reviewing Ontario's horse racing rules and regulations to ensure responsible measures are taken to help contain the spread of COVID-19. Our Racing Officials have also worked with a number of industry stakeholders including racetrack management, horsepersons' associations, veterinarians, and wagering bodies to seek input and address concerns related to the start of racing. As a result of these discussions, and pursuant to s. 2 of the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015 and the Rules of Racing, the Registrar will temporarily amend a number of rules in order to accommodate the return to racing and ease industry burden, while also ensuring welfare for equine and human athletes and other racing participants. The AGCO will closely monitor the impacts of these temporary changes to determine how long these measures will be in effect and to ensure they are meeting their desired outcomes. The AGCO will be flexible in the event that any of the measures identified requires further amendment in order to uphold the health and safety of horse racing participants and racehorses. In addition, the AGCO will continue to work to release additional changes that pertain to racing activities in the coming weeks. https://www.agco.ca/blog/horse-racing/may-2020/industry-notice-return-racing-temporary-rule-amendments  

During this extraordinary time, the AGCO is continuing its activities and services for the sectors we regulate. We wish to offer as much guidance and support as we can to all those who rely on the AGCO's services and continue to work closely with and support the provincial government with its greater public health objectives. Our Racing Officials are working with a number of industry stakeholders including racetrack management, horsepersons' associations, veterinarians, and wagering bodies to seek input and address concerns related to the start of racing, while keeping in mind the welfare and safety of equine and human athletes. We are exploring topics like eligibility rules, inspections of racetrack surfaces, the use of technology in racing, and social distancing practices, to help alleviate burden on the industry and support the start of racing. Once horse racing in Ontario resumes operation, the AGCO will continue to conduct its horse racing related activities to maintain the safety of participants and the integrity of the sport. To that end, the AGCO is announcing four initiatives to advance the health and safety of equine and human athletes, that will go into effect once horse racing in Ontario resumes: 1. Information Bulletin No. 80 - Concussion Protocol to be Implemented at Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse Racetracks The AGCO is implementing a Concussion Protocol across all Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks, at the start of their respective racing seasons for all jockeys and exercise riders exercising for racing at Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racetracks (Woodbine, Fort Erie and Ajax Downs). 2. Information Bulletin No. 81 - AGCO Launches Equine Medication Use and Awareness E-Learning Course The AGCO has developed an Equine Medication Use and Awareness Program to raise awareness of horse racing licensee obligations related to the use of equine medication and help prevent equine medication misuse by horse racing participants, which will be launched when racing resumes. 3. Information Bulletin No. 82 - Revision to Racing Under Saddle (RUS) Rules within the Rules of Standardbred Racing The AGCO is revising the existing licence renewal process for Racing Under Saddle (RUS) races outlined in 25.01.01 of the Rules of Standardbred Racing, which will be launched when racing resumes. 4. Information Bulletin No. 83 - Revision to Urging Provisions for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred Racing The AGCO is expanding the 2019 revised urging provisions for Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing and is reiterating the penalty guidelines for all racetracks in Ontario, which will be launched when racing resumes. The AGCO is working with the industry to identify potential temporary revisions to the Rules of Racing. These revisions would accommodate the resumption of racing by reducing the burden on participants while also balancing the need to uphold the health and safety of licensees and racehorses. Once any revisions have been finalized, a subsequent announcement will be released with details, including an effective date for these welfare announcement initiatives. These AGCO horse racing welfare initiatives are part of our ongoing commitment to protecting Ontario's racehorses, enhancing the integrity of racing and providing a regulatory framework appropriate for today's racing industry. For more information on the AGCO's reforms to the regulatory rules that govern horse racing, please see Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulatory Reform and Engagement.  

Please note that as announced in Industry Notice: AGCO is temporarily halting breathalyzer testing due to COVID-19, the AGCO is temporarily suspending the rules requiring that a breathalyzer test be administered because the collection of a breath sample creates a potential risk for COVID-19 transmission. Racetrack and AGCO officials will instead rely on a fit-for-duty assessment that does not require the collection of a biological sample. Required horseracing participants must still report to the Paddock Judges or Clerk of the Scales. The AGCO will continue to monitor the situation to determine how long this measure will be in effect. The regulator is also consulting with public health officials as well as other racing jurisdictions to inform any additional actions. From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is pleased to announce the launch of the fourth phase of iAGCO online service delivery. As of March 2, 2020 horse racing licensees will conduct all of their AGCO transactions online through the iAGCO portal. Paper-based applications will no longer be accepted. https://www.agco.ca/bulletin/2020/info-bulletin-no-79-agco-launches-online-services-horse-racing-licensees Industry Notice: Clarification to Day Calculations  As announced on February 26, 2020 in AGCO Information Bulletin No 77 - Standardbred iAGCO Rule Revisions, the AGCO has revised the Rules of Standardbred Racing to reduce regulatory burden and harmonize processes between breeds where possible. Please be advised that the following rules have been revised to clarify that the calculation of days of ineligibility for a horse placed on the short-term Veterinarian's List is eight (8) days: 8.02 (e), 20.02, 20.04.02, 20.04.03, 20.04.04. https://www.agco.ca/horse-racing/industry-notice-horse-racing-clarification-day-calculations-standardbred-rules From AGCO

In preparation for the launch of iAGCO online services for horse racing licensees in March, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has: Revised the Rules of Thoroughbred Racing and the Rules of Standardbred Racing to reduce regulatory burden and harmonize processes between breeds where possible. The rule revisions take effect on March 2, 2020 and reflect a number of process changes that will be implemented once iAGCO online services launch for horse racing licensees. https://www.agco.ca/bulletin/2020/information-bulletin-no-76-thoroughbred-iagco-rule-revisions https://www.agco.ca/bulletin/2020/information-bulletin-no-77-standardbred-iagco-rule-revisions Revised the fee schedule for all breeds. While the majority of fees will stay the same, a select few will be amended to reflect a number of process changes that will be implemented once the AGCO launches iAGCO online services for horse racing licensees. Fee changes will take effect on March 2, 2020. In alignment with fee schedule revisions, the AGCO is also introducing multi-breed licensing in select licence categories, which will allow applicants to apply for one licence valid across multiple breeds. https://www.agco.ca/bulletin/2020/information-bulletin-no-78-revised-licensing-and-administration-fee-schedule From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario

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