Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 11. Gaming
Agency 10. Virginia Racing Commission
Chapter 60. Participants
11/24/2020

11VAC10-60-70. Trainer.

A. Generally. No horse may be entered to race at a race meeting licensed by the commission unless the horse is under the care and supervision of a person holding a permit in good standing from the commission as a trainer. A trainer may represent the owner in entering of a horse, declaring the horse out of a race or retaining a jockey.

B. Qualifications. A permit may be issued to a person to participate in horse racing as a trainer if the person possesses a currently valid permit as a trainer in Virginia or another jurisdiction or if the person satisfactorily completes a trainer's test administered under the supervision of the stewards. A person shall not be issued a permit as a trainer unless he meets the following requirements:

1. The person must be 18 years old or older;

2. If the applicant for the permit is subject to the compensation provisions of the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act (§ 65.2-100 et seq. of the Code of Virginia), he must submit proof of his compliance with the insurance and self-insurance provisions of that Act with his application for the permit;

3. The person must be qualified by experience or competence to care for and train racehorses; and

4. The person must have in his charge a horse eligible to race.

C. Trainer's test. The stewards may require any person, whether or not he holds a currently valid permit in Virginia or another jurisdiction as a trainer, to satisfactorily complete a trainer's test to demonstrate that he is qualified by experience or competence to care for and train racehorses. The test shall consist of a written test administered by the stewards and a barn test administered by representatives of the horsemen, under the supervision of the stewards.

D. Prohibitions. A holder of a permit may not participate in horse racing as a trainer and as a jockey agent, veterinarian or veterinarian's assistant. In addition, a trainer:

1. Shall not train horses under an assumed name or stable name;

2. Shall not engage in any activity, directly or indirectly, involving the care, supervision or racing of horses other than those he has registered with the racing secretary as being in his charge; and

3. A holder of permits to participate in horse racing as a trainer and as a jockey shall only ride those horses trained by the permit holder.

E. Suspension. All horses in the care of a trainer who is suspended for more than 10 days must be transferred to another trainer approved by the stewards. During the period of suspension the suspended trainer shall (i) have no communication with the new trainer, the new trainer's staff, or the horse owner; (ii) not benefit financially from transferred horses in his stable during the time of suspension; and (iii) not be permitted on the grounds except with the permission of the stewards.

F. Duties. A person holding a permit allowing him to participate in horse racing as a trainer shall be responsible for the proper care, health, training, safety and protection of horses under his care against administration of all substances foreign to the natural horse, except those specifically permitted by the regulations of the commission. In the exercise of his duties, a trainer shall:

1. Register with the stewards all persons in his employ and ensure that all of his employees have made application for the appropriate permits from the commission;

2. Promptly notify the stewards and the licensee's director of security of any employee he discharges;

3. Register all horses in his charge and present to the racing secretary the certificates of registration, certificates of eligibility or other registration documents;

4. Enter horses with the permission of the owner and bear primary responsibility as to the horse's eligibility, weight allowances, racing fitness, proper shoes, bandages, and other equipment;

5. Ensure that the horse is in the paddock at the time prescribed by the stewards;

6. Furnish the name of the jockey engaged to ride the horse at the time designated by the racing secretary;

7. Attend the horse in the paddock and supervise the saddling of the horse, and in his absence, provide an assistant trainer or other trainer to attend the saddling of horses and assume responsibility for the horses already entered;

8. Witness himself, or assign one of his employees to witness, the collection of samples of blood, urine, or other bodily substances in the test barn;

9. Maintain the stable area assigned to his horses in a neat, clean and sanitary condition at all times, and ensure that all fire prevention measures are taken; and

10. Report promptly to the commission veterinarian any serious illness or death of a horse in his charge.

G. Standardbred trainer. A permit may be issued to a person desiring to participate in horse racing as a trainer of Standardbreds if the person possesses a currently valid trainer's license from the United States Trotting Association or a permit in Virginia.

H. Steeplechase trainer. A permit may be issued to a person desiring to participate in horse racing as a trainer of horses utilized in steeplechase races if the person possesses a currently valid trainer's license issued by the stewards of the National Steeplechase Association or a currently valid permit as a trainer of horses utilized in steeplechase races in Virginia or another jurisdiction.

I. Substitute trainer. When a trainer is absent from his stable or the enclosure and a horse under his care is scheduled to race, he must provide a licensed trainer or assistant trainer to assume joint responsibility for the horses he is training. The substitute trainer or assistant trainer shall sign, in the presence of the stewards, a statement accepting responsibility for those horses.

J. Assistant trainer. A person holding a permit allowing him to participate in horse racing as a trainer may employ an assistant trainer with the approval of the stewards. Any assistant trainer shall be qualified to assume the duties and responsibilities imposed upon the holder of a trainer's permit, and the trainer shall be jointly responsible for the assistant trainer's acts and omissions involving racing matters and this chapter.

K. Trainer responsibility. The trainer shall be the absolute insurer of, and responsible for, the condition of each horse he enters in a race, regardless of the acts of third parties. A trainer shall not start a horse or permit a horse in his custody, care or control to be started if he knows, or through the exercise of reasonable care he might have known or has cause to believe, that the horse has received a substance foreign to the natural horse, except those specifically permitted by the regulations of the commission. The trainer shall guard, or caused to be guarded, each horse in his charge in a manner and for a period of time before racing so as to prevent any person from administering a substance foreign to the natural horse, except those specifically permitted by the regulations of the commission.

Statutory Authority

§ 59.1-369 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR662-03-02 § 7, eff. August 14, 1991; amended, Volume 16, Issue 21, eff. August 4, 2000; Volume 26, Issue 20, eff. May 29, 2010.

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