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Seeking Feedback On Interference

Published: December 6, 2019 10:08 am ET

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The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (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.

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.

Submitting feedback

Please provide your written submission directly to the AGCO no later than January 20, 2020, in one of the following ways:

  • Read and submit your answers via this online survey.

  • Download and provide your answers in this printable PDF (attach additional pages if necessary).

  • Pick up a printed copy of the PDF from an AGCO licensing agent at any open racetrack

Please submit printed responses via mail, fax, or email to:

  • Strategic Engagement Office
    Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
    90 Sheppard Avenue East, Suite 200
    Toronto, ON
    M2N 0A4

  • Fax: (416) 326-8054

  • Email: [email protected]

This phase of the consultation consists of a request for written submissions in response to a series of questions on topics that fall within the scope of interference adjudication. Following the close of the written consultation period, the AGCO will hold a limited number of in-person or teleconference meetings with interested stakeholders to discuss the feedback and comments received.

Submissions received as part of this consultation will not be released publicly, except as may be required by the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act. Please note, however, that the AGCO intends to release a findings report, which anonymously aggregates the feedback received during the consultation.

Video Links

To assist you with your submission, this consultation includes links to several publicly available videos that require internet access to view. If you have opted not to use the online survey, here are the links to the videos:

2019 Kentucky Derby Finish


Standardbred Example

Click here for the Thoroughbred Example.

Overview of the consultation topic

There are currently two different approaches to adjudicating interference used in racing jurisdictions around the world: Category 1 and Category 2.

  • Category 1 - Category 1 states that Judges and Stewards may disqualify a horse only if it improved its finishing position because of that interference, or in cases of dangerous riding.

  • Category 2 - The Category 2 approach provides Judges and Stewards with the authority to disqualify a horse if, in their opinion, it interfered with another horse regardless of whether the interference was accidental, willful, or the result of careless riding.

In Standardbred racing, several jurisdictions have indicated that they are exploring switching from Category 2 to Category 1, but the majority remain as Category 2, with the exception of Australia and New Zealand who are Category 1.

In Thoroughbred racing, Category 2 is used exclusively in North America, and Category 1 is used in every other jurisdiction. Several countries have switched from Category 2 to Category 1 in the last decade, including France and Germany who most recently switched in 2018.

Quarter Horse racing is predominantly conducted in North America and follows the Category 2 approach. To our knowledge, a switch to Category 1 has not been discussed in Quarter Horse racing.


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