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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

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is looking for part-time Licensing Agents to provide support for horse racing licensing functions at various racetrack locations in Ontario. The position reports to the Manager of Horse Racing Eligibility, the successful candidate will be responsible for the following: Reviewing new and renewal online licensing applications in the AGCO's new online service portal (iAGCO) Communicating with applicants and licensees by telephone and in writing Providing in-person support to horsepersons by assisting them with using iAGCO Providing assistance to Racing Officials, Commission Veterinarians and/or other on-site AGCO personnel as required. For more information and to apply: https://www.agco.ca/careers From AGCO

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) frequently reviews its horse racing policies and processes as part of its ongoing industry modernization efforts with a goal of supporting the sector in leading the development of its own processes, where appropriate.   Through this process, it has been determined that while the AGCO will maintain its regulatory oversight over the appropriate use of racing colours, the horse racing industry itself is best positioned to determine the correct approach to the registration of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing colours in the future.   As a result, beginning January 1, 2021, the AGCO will no longer administer the registration of racing colours.   In the interim, the AGCO will continue to register racing colours from January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 but will waive the annual registration fee during this period. Lifetime racing colours may be registered with the AGCO until March 1, 2020, after which time the AGCO will no longer accept applications for lifetime racing colours.   During the interim period, the AGCO will work with industry leaders on a long-term solution for racing colours, and will keep the industry informed of changes when they come into effect.   Questions about this change may be directed to AGCO Customer Service at 416-326-8700 or 1-800-522-2876 (toll free in Ontario).   From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario   

On Thursday (Dec. 19) the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) released the 2020 Race Date Schedule for Ontario's harness racing tracks. In accordance with the recommendations of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) and Ontario Racing, the Registrar issues the 2020 Race Date Schedule as follows: Standardbred Clinton Raceway - 15 days Dresden Raceway - 11 days Flamboro Downs - 134 days Georgian Downs - 39 days Grand River Raceway - 48 days Hanover Raceway - 16 days Hiawatha Horse Park & Entertainment Centre - 21 days Kawartha Downs - 21 days Leamington Raceway - 13 days Rideau Carleton Raceway - 72 days The Raceway at Western Fair District - 125 days Woodbine Mohawk Park - 222 days The approved calendars are attached to this notice. Open in new window From the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario   

The Fall 2019 issue of the AGCO's Race Line newsletter is now available online at https://www.agco.ca/horse-racing/race-line-newsletter. Printed copies will be available shortly at racetracks and industry association offices. From the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario  

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has launched a consultation on horse racing interference adjudication and is seeking your input. The AGCO is assessing the two existing in-race interference adjudication approaches that are currently used in racing jurisdictions around the world. This assessment includes a consultation process to seek input from Ontario's horse racing industry and related stakeholders in all three breeds (Standardbred, Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse), as well from the public. Take part in our Horse Racing Consultation: Interference Rules Adjudication. Deadline to respond is January 20, 2020. The input provided to the AGCO on the different interference classification systems used globally, and any implications if Ontario were to change its regulatory approach to interference, will help to inform future changes to interference adjudication in Ontario. (Thanks to those who have already responded.) From AGCO

In response to questions received from the industry, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) wishes to clarify that routine diagnostic veterinary examinations of race horses are allowed within the 24-hour period prior to racing provided no medications, drugs or substances are administered. Info Bulletin No. 70 – Ban on Race Day Medication: Introduction of a Standards-Based Rule March 29, 2019 The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is implementing a ban on race day medications as of April 19, 2019 that will prohibit the administration of medications, drugs and substances to any horse entered to race starting 24 hours prior to the post time of the first race of the day they are scheduled to race.  For Standardbred horses, this includes Qualifying Races. This standards-based rule is critical to protecting horses, participants, the betting public and the integrity of racing as a whole. The rule changes, which include prohibiting contact between horses entered to race and veterinarians in the 24 hours prior to racing, except in cases of emergency, can be found in the Directives: Standardbred | Thoroughbred POLICY STATEMENT It is in the best interest of the horse, the human participants, the betting public and the public at large that horses race free of medications (other than Furosemide when properly enrolled in the Ontario Exercise Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (E.I.P.H.) Program). THE ISSUE Medications administered within 24 hours of a race have resulted in adverse health outcomes of race horses.  Medications administered on race day have the potential to mask physical or behavioural problems in a horse and/or to alter the performance of a horse. These administrations can pose a risk to the health of the horse and participants while warming up or racing. The betting public and the public at large are unaware of the specifics of these administrations.  This standards-based rule aligns Ontario more closely with other major racing jurisdictions in the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.  For example, in the United States, 28 out of the 33 states with pari-mutuel betting have implemented a ban on race day medications.   IMPLICATIONS The new standards-based rule will enhance the health and safety of the horse, the safety of the participants during the warming up of the horse and in the actual running of the race. The standards-based rule defines the timeframe of the ban as being 24 hours prior to the post time of the first race of the day they are scheduled to race.  This rule is not intended to prohibit normal non-medicated feedstuffs, water and non-medicated shampoos and non-medicated topical applications.  IMPLEMENTATION The AGCO will implement the standards-based rule through the following communications with the horse racing industry:    An educational component, consisting of Industry Notice Reminders and Information Bulletins; Paddock meetings; and/or Training sessions for trainers and grooms at each track, led by AGCO Race Officials and Commission Veterinarians. Race Line newsletter articles Twitter posts Website updates For more information, on-duty Race Officials may be contacted at: https://www.agco.ca/race-day-contact-list Questions about this process may be directed to AGCO Race Officials. CONTACT US Online: Anytime via the iAGCO online portal By mail and in person: Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario 90 Sheppard Avenue East Suite 200-300 Toronto, Ontario M2N 0A4 By telephone: Monday to Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (EST) General telephone: 416-326-8700 Toll free in Ontario: 1-800-522-2876  

In response to a request from the industry to consider revising the current rules and Directives with respect to urging, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is making an amendment to the Standardbred Rules of Racing and to Policy Directive No. 5-2009: Penalty Guidelines for Inappropriate Urging of a Horse in Standardbred Racing. Amended wording will limit urging in Standardbred racing to acceptable "wrist action" only and there will be recommended minimum penalties for races with a purse of $100K or more. The rule change will become effective at Woodbine Mohawk Park on June 3, 2019 and will be gradually phased in across all Standardbred racetracks in Ontario on dates to be determined. https://www.agco.ca/bulletin/2019/information-bulletin-no-71-amendment-standardbred-urging-rules    

The Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) is pleased to advise the Canadian horseracing industry that a new edition of the CPMA Elimination Guidelines will be published in March 2019. The new elimination guidelines will come into force on April 1, 2019. To order booklet copies of the Elimination Guidelines 2019 or should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the CPMA by telephone at 1-800-268-8835, or by email at aafc.cpmawebacpm.aac@canada.ca. From the Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario  

An unusually low exactor payout in Wednesday's (January 16) 7th race at The Raceway at Western Fair District prompted us to contact Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) officials along with our Canadian Pari-Mutuel Agency (CPMA) rep in order to investigate the wagering patterns for that race and the origin of the winning tickets. Our tote provider provided us the pertinent wagering information which showed that the bulk of the winning tickets were sold at a tote hub in Kentucky. This type of wagering anomaly has occurred before during the past couple of seasons and in each of those instances the bulk of the winning tickets have been traced back to the same Kentucky Hub. A prior investigation included officials from that location and found no evidence of collusion or anyone driving in a questionable manner in that race. We are continuing to look into this instance and we support the regulators in investigating this situation to the fullest extent required. Greg Blanchard The Raceway at Western Fair District    

Mississauga, ON — On Jan. 9, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued harness racing trainer-driver Rick Zeron a fine of C$10,000 and suspension of 180 days. As a result, Standardbred Canada has disqualified Mr. Zeron as a finalist for the O’Brien Award of Horsemanship, as well as 3-year-old trotting filly Atlanta, trained and co-owned by Mr. Zeron. Standardbred Canada’s O’Brien Award eligibility policy states: “An O’Brien Award will not be presented to any individual or entity who has served, or is currently serving a penalty for a continued period of 180 days or more during a calendar year. If the penalty continues through any part of the following calendar year, said individual is also ineligible for an O’Brien Award in the second year of the penalty. Outstanding appeals and/or stays do not alter the conditions of eligibility for O’Brien Award consideration.” “This is a very unfortunate situation for all those involved, that clearly no one is happy about,” said Dan Gall, President and CEO of Standardbred Canada. Guy Gagnon, the other finalist in the Horsemanship category, has been acclaimed as the winner, and Illusioneesta, the other finalist in the 3-year-old trotting filly category will be honored as the O’Brien winner on Saturday (Feb. 2) at the O’Brien Awards Gala. Standardbred Canada

The Spring 2018 issue of the AGCO's Race Line newsletter is now available online here. Printed copies will be available shortly at racetracks and industry association offices. Race Line is published by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario to provide licensees and interested parties with information regarding horse racing legislation and related issues. Reader comments and content suggestions are welcome. For more information, please contact connect@agco.ca. Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario  

This is a reminder that those changes as outlined in Information Bulletin 63 (April 4, 2018) will become effective April 21, 2018 as mandated by the following Directives:  Standardbred Directive No. 1 – 2018 – Outcome of Working Group Consultations  Thoroughbred Directive No. 1 – 2018 – Outcome of Working Group Consultations  Policy Directive No. 1 – 2018 – Guidelines – Penalties for Equine Drug, TCO2 and Non-Therapeutic Drug Violations Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is pleased to release a suite of reforms as part of the "Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulation in Ontario" project. These rule and process changes reflect the AGCO's commitment to promoting integrity and safety, protecting the public interest, helping to reduce the administrative burden for participants, and contributing to the government's ongoing efforts to support the sustainability of Ontario horse racing. This package of reforms reflects the work of: ·         The Equine Drug Program Working Group; ·         The Health and Safety Working Group; and, ·         An AGCO internal review of the Rules of Racing, with the objective of updating the rules to reflect the current state of industry practices and reducing the administrative burden on licensees. ........................................................ Any Rules of Racing and process changes outlined in this information bulletin will be effective April 21, 2018, unless otherwise indicated. The Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) will release amended 2018 Rule books this summer. April 4, 2018 - The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is pleased to release a suite of reforms as part of the “Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulation in Ontario” project. These rule and process changes reflect the AGCO’s commitment to promoting integrity and safety, protecting the public interest, helping to reduce the administrative burden for participants, and contributing to the government’s ongoing efforts to support the sustainability of Ontario horse racing. This package of reforms reflects the work of: The Equine Drug Program Working Group; The Health and Safety Working Group; and, An AGCO internal review of the Rules of Racing, with the objective of updating the rules to reflect the current state of industry practices and reducing the administrative burden on licensees. Equine Drug Program Reforms The Equine Drug Program Working Group was announced in May 2017, in collaboration with the Canadian Pari-Mutual Agency (CPMA), and met five times over a period of seven months. As announced on February 8, 2018 in the Equine Drug Program Working Group’s Summary Report, the AGCO is introducing a number of measures which will streamline the AGCO Equine Drug Program processes. These changes include the following: The Penalty Guidelines are being updated, to better reflect the severity of equine drug violations and better protect equine athletes; The Race Official’s review of a positive test will be a more efficient process; Standardization of the process for offering settlements for most drug violations with early admission; and, Horses will no longer be automatically suspended for 90 days following a positive test. Additional details on all process changes can be found in the Working Group’s Summary Report, and in other materials found on a new AGCO webpage dedicated to the AGCO Equine Drug Program. Included on the webpage participants can find: A process map of the revised AGCO Equine Drug Program, which provides a visual description of the new positive test process; The updated Penalty Guidelines; and,   Information on positive test violations and rulings (to be implemented in late spring of 2018). The AGCO Equine Drug Program Rule changes and the new Penalty Guidelines can be found in the Directives. Health and Safety Working Group The Health and Safety Working Group was announced on September 15, 2017, and met four times over the course of five months. The Working Group played a valuable role in advising the AGCO on ways to enhance health and safety for both equine athletes and human participants, and in identifying opportunities for the industry at large to act collectively on a range of prominent issues. The Working Group’s Summary Report, released March 7, 2018, may be viewed online on the AGCO website on the ‘Moving Ahead’ project page. Based on the recommendations of the Working Group, AGCO is introducing two changes: Standardbred Rule 6.52 and Thoroughbred Rule 15.37, related to extracorporeal shockwave machines, have been modified. Effective April 21, 2018, only veterinarians licensed by the AGCO can possess and use such machines under specific conditions. A new Standardbred Rule 6.54 and a new Thoroughbred Rule 15.39, address the use of blood gas machines. Effective April 21, 2018, only veterinarians licensed by the AGCO may use blood gas machines on a racehorse and the use of machines is restricted to valid diagnostic procedures. The use of a machine on a racehorse must be recorded and maintained as part of the record for a horse. The health and safety rule changes can be found in the Directives. Rules of Racing Updated to Reflect the Current State of Industry Practices The AGCO has also taken the opportunity to reflect on the current state of industry practices and is updating the Rules of Racing accordingly. Across the two rule books, sixteen (16) rules which are no longer in use are being removed and twelve (12) are being updated to better reflect current practices. A number of the changes are expected to help reduce the administrative burden on industry. These rule changes can be found in the Directives. AGCO Official Race Reports In 2017 the AGCO launched a Race Reports pilot project, and today the AGCO is pleased to announce the expansion of the program to all racetracks in Ontario, as each racetrack becomes operational in 2018, starting with Woodbine Racetrack on April 21, 2018. The pilot was initially launched at The Raceway at Western Fair in April 2017, and over the course of the last eleven months, the AGCO expanded the pilot to include Woodbine Mohawk Park, Flamboro Downs and Rideau Carleton Raceway. The Race Reports include details on in-race calls made by AGCO Race Officials and other insights impacting each race card. Daily race reports have been advocated for by the betting public for additional wagering insights, and by participants for improving consistency. Details on the outcome of the 2017 Race Reports pilot project, including feedback received from industry through a recent survey, will be released in the Spring 2018 issue of the AGCO’s Race Line  newsletter. A big thank you to the racetracks that supported the 2017 Race Reports pilot. Racing Reform Phase 2 Later this year the AGCO will launch Phase 2 of its multi-year racing reform project. This second phase of reform will focus on modernizing the Rules of Racing to better align with the AGCO regulatory framework; progressing towards a more risk-based, outcomes-based and compliance-focused model.  The AGCO is committed to ongoing collaboration with industry stakeholders, and therefore will establish formal engagement and advisory processes to ensure industry input is reflected in future reforms. In the months ahead, there will be further communication regarding Phase 2 of the reform process. For more information, please contact connect@agco.ca.   NUMBER:  63 DOCUMENT NUMBER:  10063   Alcohol & Gaming Commission of Ontario 90 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 200 Toronto ON M2N 0A4 416-326-8700 |  www.agco.ca  

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