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Individual Thoroughbred

Any person or as a member of a multiple ownership (stable name, corporation, partnership) involved in Thoroughbred racing in Ontario must hold a current and valid Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) Thoroughbred horse racing licence to participate in racing in the province.

A licensee who has not renewed their licence for five (5) years or more will be treated as a new licence applicant.

Categories of Licence

  • Owner
  • Trainer
  • Assistant Trainer 
  • Jockey
  • Apprentice jockey 
  • Jockey’s Agent
  • Jockey’s Valet 
  • Groom 
  • Exercise Person 
  • Hot Walker 
  • Occupational 
  • Veterinarian 
  • Authorized Agent 
  • Pari-Mutuel 
  • Tradesperson 
  • Stable Guest
  • Program
  • Association Official 
  • Commission Official 
  • To obtain a licence from the AGCO, an individual needs to complete a licence application form indicating the category(s) required, i.e. owner, groom, etc.

To obtain an application form: 

  • Download from this website;
  • Contact the AGCO Head Office to have forms faxed, emailed or sent by regular mail;
  • Contact or visit the AGCO Racetrack Licensing Offices located on the backstretch of Woodbine and Fort Erie Racetracks.

For more information on submitting your application see: How do I get Licensed?

First-time Applicant for Licensing  
A new AGCO applicant will be expected to provide the following:

  • Detailed personal information, including date of birth, current address and emergency contact information, etc.;
  • Proof of Identification (i.e. Ontario Drivers Licence); 
  • Applicable licensing fees.

A new licensee can expect to undergo a due diligence investigation to determine their suitability for licensing. The total fee amounts will vary depending upon the category(s) being applied for. 

For information on Thoroughbred licence fees see: Thoroughbred Licence Fee Schedule

Annual Renewal 
Licences issued to individuals participating in Thoroughbred racing in Ontario expire, and should be renewed, annually with the start of the Thoroughbred racing season. Thoroughbred licences must be renewed annually and expire on March 1st of the year. An exception is made for Owners and their related licences, which expire of March 31st of the year. A person wishing to renew their licence can take a completed application form to any operating Thoroughbred ORC Licensing Office for processing. A licensee can obtain an application form at any operating Thoroughbred ORC Licensing Office, or download the form from our website here. Licensees are reminded it is their responsibility to have their licence renewed.

For information on renewing a licence see: How do I get Licensed?

Any individual residing outside Ontario must apply for a licence in the same manner as a resident of Ontario. All forms and fees apply.

Multi-Jurisdictional Licence 
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:

Contact the ARCI:

Contact the National Racing Compact: 

Under Age Licensing 
Persons under 16 years of age may be licensed with the approval of the Stewards and upon written consent of the parent or guardian. No person under 18 years of age will be licensed by the AGCO as an apprentice jockey or jockey, except those who have previously been licensed by another racing regulator. 

Lost Licence 
If an AGCO Horse Racing Licence Card is lost, a replacement can be applied for at an AGCO Racetrack Licensing Office. Fees for replacement card will apply.

Requirements for Licensing (by Category)

Any person owning all or part of a horse racing in Ontario must hold a valid AGCO licence. To apply for an owner licence, an applicant must have a horse of racing age in Ontario. Owners must declare their trainer on the application form. 

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). Each year trainers must provide proof in the form of a Clearance Certificate that they are registered and in good standing with the WSIB. A Clearance Certificate can be obtained by contacting a WSIB office. 

Find information on registering with the WSIB here.

Before being granted a jockey’s or apprentice jockey’s licence, each applicant shall present to the 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. 

The expense of these examinations shall be borne by the applicant. The Stewards, at their discretion, may grant temporary licensing without the completion of the above obligations for a specific limited period. 

A groom’s application for licensing must be signed by their employer, who must be a trainer with a valid AGCO licence. 

Occupational personnel are persons employed by a 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 the application signed by their employer. 

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, unless they hold a valid AGCO Thoroughbred licence in another category, needs to obtain a licence in this category. 

Authorizations must be registered with the AGCO and an Authorized Agent Card issued. Owners must complete and submit an Appointment of Authorized Agent form with the appropriate fees to an operating Throroughbred AGCO Racetrack Licensing Office.

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 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 licence; said owner must hold a valid AGCO licence and be present when the stable guest licensee is in secure areas of the racetrack association.

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. 

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 participant in horse improvement programs, can apply for a program licence.

Association Official 
Association official licenses 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. 

Commission Official 
A commission official licence is issued to employees of the AGCO only and would include AGCO veterinarians, investigators, horse racing licensing agents, head office staff, judges and stewards.


90 Sheppard Avenue East

Suite 200-300

Toronto, Ontario

M2N 0A4

(416) 326-8700 [Phone]
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