Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulatory Reform and Engagement

In the Spring of 2016, the AGCO launched Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulation in Ontario, a project directed at identifying and moving forward on common-sense reforms to the regulatory rules that govern horse racing. The AGCO is committed to ensuring integrity, safety and public interest in horse racing, while also taking steps to reduce the administrative burden on industry participants, and contribute to the government’s ongoing effort to support the commercial sustainability of horse racing.

The AGCO is actively consulting with the horse racing industry as part of this initiative, and we are committed to keeping industry informed on the status of the project. Please continue to check this page for regular updates and information related to the ACGO Racing Reform Project.

Race Reports


Project Timeline

Winter 2020

  • Introduction of iAGCO online services (March)
  • Evaluation of the Concussion Protocol Pilot at Thoroughbred Racetracks (December)
  • Launched an industry-wide Interference Rules Adjudication Survey (December 2 - January 20)

Fall 2019

  • Implemented a test period for revised urging rules at Woodbine Racetrack for Thoroughbred racing (October 18 – December 15)


  • Introduction of a Concussion Protocol pilot at Woodbine and Fort Erie Racetracks (March)
  • Implementation of standards-based rule, banning Race day Medications (April)
  • Revised rules for Claiming Races (April)
  • Revised urging rules for Standardbred racing and updated Penalty Guidelines (June)


  • Introduced rule requiring all Associations conducting Standardbred racing to provide a microchip identifier and temperature reader (January)
  • Implemented enhanced testing of Quarter Horses for Clenbuterol via hair samples (January)


  • Release of Directives relating to changes to the Rules of Racing and the revised Equine Drug Program  (March)
  • Creation of new Equine Drug Program webpage
  • New Rules and Penalty Guidelines in effect, April 21
  • Introduction of published Race Reports following each card of racing at all tracks (April)


  • Release of Standards-Based Temperature Rule (January)
  • Release of Equine Drug Program Working Group Summary Report (February)
  • Release of Health and Safety Working Group Summary Report (March)

FALL 2017

  • Final meeting of Equine Drug Program Working Group (September)
  • Release of Officiating Working Group Summary Report (September)
  • Health and Safety Working Group commences
  • Third issue of Race Line newsletter released (October)


  • Officiating and Equine Drug Program Working Group meetings (July/August )
  • Second issue of Race Line newsletter released (July)


  • Twitter and Race Reports Pilot commenced at The Raceway at Western Fair (April)
  • First issue of Race Line newsletter released (April)
  • Announcement of membership of industry Working Groups (May)
  • First meetings of Officiating and Equine Drug Program Working Groups (May)


  • Wrap-up of roundtable consultations.
  • Release of Findings Report (February)
  • Announcement and call for members for three industry Working Groups: Officiating; Equine Drug Program and Health and Safety (February)
  • Release of 5 Rule changes and some initial series of policy reforms (March)

FALL 2016

  • AGCO analysis of consultation feedback.
  • Launch of industry roundtable discussions to further discuss proposals for reform and implementation details on a more in-depth basis. Over 15 Roundtable consultations were  held with industry and stakeholders


  • AGCO Racing Officials regularly promoted the consultation and AGCO policy staff visited racetracks across the province to answer questions and create awareness of the consultation paper.


  • Outreach to industry associations (meetings and calls) to inform them that the AGCO would be releasing a public consultation paper.
  • Launch of Moving Ahead: Horse Racing Regulation in Ontario. The Moving Ahead consultation paper was widely distributed across the industry. The paper was shared electronically with AGCO contacts; was made available at racetracks; was posted on the AGCO website, the Government of Ontario's Regulatory Registry and was advertised on the Standardbred Canada website.