Penalty Matrix by Racing Infraction Category

Horse Racing Alberta (HRA) Penalty Guidelines for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse, and Standardbred Racing Rule and Licensee Violations

Effective May 15, 2022

As part of our commitment to modernizing our existing rules, policies and processes, HRA has completed a review of its penalties, including suspensions and monetary fines, to ensure they adequately deter racing participants and racing officials from violating the Rules Governing Horse Racing in Alberta. This document outlines the updated penalties for Thoroughbred, Quarter Horse and Standardbred horse racing rule and licensee violations.

A cross-jurisdictional review of violation penalties was conducted to ensure that HRA penalties are appropriately aligned with other Canadian provinces. Representatives from the various stakeholder organizations, including the Alberta Standardbred Horse Association, Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association of Alberta, Canadian Thoroughbred Horse Society (Alberta Division), Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association, Alberta Community Thoroughbred Racing Association, and “A” and “B” Racetrack Operators were consulted and provided their input into the process. The penalty guidelines were subsequently reviewed and updated by the HRA Regulatory Director and Supervisor of Racing, the Board of Stewards and the Board of Judges and then approved by the HRA Regulatory and Licensing Committee.

What follows is not an exhaustive list of the penalties but rather a list of the most common violations. These guidelines provide recommended penalties only. Each violation has its own set of circumstances, which may lead to different penalties than those shown below. When considering penalties, the Board of Stewards and/or the Board of Judges will take into account the licensee’s horse racing rule and licensee violation penalty history. All other penalties will be at the discretion of the Board of Stewards and/or the Board of Judges.


Flat Racing (Thoroughbreds and Quarter Horses)

Violation 1st Offence 2nd Offence 3rd Offence
Urging Minimum fine $100 or 60% of monies earned whichever is greater Minimum fine $100 or 60% of monies earned whichever is greater and may be suspended for 1 day depending on the severity of the offence Referred to the HRA Director, Regulatory and Supervisor of Racing
Failing to maintain a straight course away from the gate with no disqualification $100 $200 or more $300 or more
Interference causing a horse to fall if deemed to be extremely careless suspension of 15 calendar days or more suspension of 15 racing days or more Jockey licensed cancelled
Failing to maintain a straight causing interference with DQ 1 day suspension or more 1 day suspension or more 2-day suspension or more
Easing up on mount before finish line $100 $200 or more $300 or more


Harness (Standardbreds)

Violation 1st Offence 2nd Offence 3rd Offence 4th Offence 5th Offence
Urging $100 $200 3 days
*Days cannot be in lieu of Stakes Races
5 days
*Days cannot be in lieu of Stakes Races
10 days
*Days cannot be in lieu of Stakes Races
One-handed Urging 5% winning purse or $100 and 1 day 5% winning purse or $100 and 2 days 5% winning purse or $100 and 3 days
Fail to maintain pace (Slow Pace) 5% winning purse or $100 5% winning purse or $100 5% winning purse or $100 (Whichever is greater)
FOOS (Foot out of stirrups) $100 $200 $300 2 days 3 days
Kicking $100 $300 $500 and 1 day 2 days 5 days
Interference $300 or 2 days $450 or 3 days $600 or 4 days
Foot Out of Stirrups Contacting $100 $300 $500 2 days 5 days
Pylon Violation Placing as per rule and a $200 Fine
Off gate $50 $75 $100


Administration and Conduct

Violation 1st Offence 2nd Offence 3rd Offence 4th Offence
Medicating in error necessitating a scratch $100 $200 or more depending on circumstance $300 or more depending on circumstance
Administering a foreign substance after the prescribed time on race day $500 and horse is scratched $1000 and horse is scratched $2000 and horse is scratched, and may include suspension
Gastroscopy (Tubing) 60-180 days and $2,000 6 months- 1 year and $5,000 1-2 years and $10,000 2-10 years
Syringe (Needle) Up to $2500 and may include suspension $5000 and 60 days
*Revoked licence Reviewed by the Supervisor of Racing
Probationary licence may be considered.
Unprofessional conduct toward other racing participant $100 or more $200 or more $300 or more
Unprofessional conduct towards a racing official $250 or more $500 or more Referred to Supervisor of Racing
Entering in the wrong race causing a late scratch $100 $200 or more Horse will not be scratched
Failing to conduct business in a proper manner Up to $300 Up to $500 Up to $4000


Horse Positives & TCO2 (All Breeds)

Violation 1st Offence 2nd Offence 3rd Offence 4th Offence
Class I 1-5 years and $5,000 fine 5-10 years and $20,000 10 years and $80,000
Class II 6 months- 1 year and $4,000 1-5 years and $10,000 10 years and $40,000
Class III 60-180 days and $2,000 6 months- 1 year and $5,000 1-2 years and $10,000 2-10 years
Class IV 15-30 days and $1,500 fine or $3,000 30 days and $2,000 6 months and $3,000 1 year and $4,000
Class V 7-15 days and $1,000 fine or $2,000 15 days and $2,000 30 days and $3,000 60 days and $4,000


Human Positives

Violation 1st Offence 2nd Offence 3rd Offence
Jockeys and Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 50 milligrams of alcohol per one hundred milliliters of blood, while unfit for work on account of the use of a prescription, medically authorized or non-prescription drug; or with a level of drugs in excess of the concentrations below. Immediate removal from all mounts or drives; and fined $150.00 and suspended from riding or driving privileges for ten (10) calendar days. Immediate removal from all mounts or drives; and fined $300.00 and suspended from riding or driving privileges for ten (10) calendar days. Immediate removal from all mounts or drives; Fined $500.00 and suspended from riding or driving privileges for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days; and denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand for 30 days. A reduced penalty may be considered after 14 days if the offender has met with and received the approval from the Backstretch Coordinator for re-instatement. A Reinstatement Monitoring Agreement may be put into place.
Sanctions for Positive Tests for Illicit Drugs (Safety Sensitive Positions *excluding jockeys and drivers) Immediate removal from all duties on the grounds; Fined $200.00 and suspended from their duties on the grounds for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days; and denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand for up to thirty calendar (30) days. A reduced penalty may be considered after 14 days if the offender has met with the Backstretch Coordinator and the Backstretch Coordinator makes a recommendation for re-instatement. A Reinstatement Monitoring Agreement may be put into place. Immediate removal from all duties on the grounds; Fined $350.00 and suspended from their duties on the grounds for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days; and denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand for up to thirty calendar (30) days. A reduced penalty may be considered after 14 days if the offender has met with the Backstretch Coordinator and the Backstretch Coordinator makes a recommendation for re-instatement. A Reinstatement Monitoring Agreement may be put into place. Immediate removal from all duties on the grounds; Denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand; and Revocation of license. Will not be considered for re-instatement until at least three (3) years after 1st Offence. The offender will only be restored when:
1. Negative sample has been provided.
2. Has taken and satisfied a treatment program.
3. Agrees to release all results from the program to the Backstretch Coordinator
4. Agrees to any conditions applied to re-instatement including periodic drug testing.
Sanctions for Positive Tests for Illicit Drugs (All Other Persons): Immediate removal from all duties on the grounds; and fined up to $200.00 and suspended from their duties on the grounds for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days; and denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand for up to thirty calendar (30) days. A reduced penalty may be considered after 14 days if the offender has met with the Backstretch Coordinator and the Backstretch Coordinator makes a recommendation for re-instatement. A Reinstatement Monitoring Agreement may be put into place. Immediate removal from all duties on the grounds; and fined up to $350.00 and suspended from all duties on the grounds for a minimum of thirty (30) calendar days; and denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand for thirty (30) calendar days. A Reinstatement Monitoring Agreement may be put into place. Immediate removal from all duties on the grounds; and denied the privileges of all grounds including grandstand; and Revocation of license. Will not be considered for re-instatement until at least three (3) years after 1st Offence. The offender will only be restored when: Negative sample has been provided. Has taken and satisfied a treatment program. Agrees to release all results from the program to the Backstretch Coordinator. Agrees to any conditions applied to re-instatement including periodic drug testing.