Any person or corporation involved in Thoroughbred racing in Ontario must hold a current and valid ORC Thoroughbred licence to participate in racing in the province. ORC Licensing Offices are located at all operating Thoroughbred racetracks. An ORC license is required for all owners and trainers entering horses and is required by any person needing access to the backstretch or paddock for the purposes of racing. All licences must be renewed annually.
Licence must be carried at all times
Whenever a licensee is in the stable area of the Association or needs to gain access to the paddock when their horse is racing, they must have a valid and current photo identification card on their person. A licensee is required to produce his or her licence card when requested by an authorized representative of the Association, a racing official or a representative or member of the Commission.
A “guest” of a licensee is allowed in the backstretch accompanied by the licensee, once the guest has been signed in and approved.
Change of Address
A licensee must provide written notification of any change in permanent address within five (5) days of any change.
Licensing Requirements for claiming
To claim a racehorse in Ontario, an individual must be an active licensee, meaning they hold a valid and current ORC owner licence and have started a racehorse during the current season. An individual not meeting these requirements should apply for an Initial Claim Permit.
An Initial Claim Permit can be used at any time during the racing season, except for the first and last 30 days of the meet. An individual should apply for the Initial Claim at the ORC Licensing Office by completing an application form and submitting the required fees of $130 for the Initial Claim Permit and $100 for an Owner Licence. Approval of the application will be held pending an investigation of the applicant. An Initial Claim Permit allows an individual to claim one horse. For further information, please refer to Rule 12.29 of the Rules of Thoroughbred Racing.
Leasing horses for racing
Any individual leasing a horse for racing must be identified as the lessee on the horse’s registration papers and must be licensed.
Each owner must register their colours
In Thoroughbred racing, the colours worn by the jockey help the betting public identify the horses during the race. The colours, also known as silks, refer to the unique combination of colours on the jacket and cap worn by the jockey. Each owner is required to apply to the ORC Licensing Office for their own unique set of colours and once they are approved, have the jacket and cap made to be used by the jockey when their horse races. Colours are registered in the Colours Registry which currently holds over 3,000 sets of colours. Colours must be renewed annually, unless the licensee applies for lifetime colours.