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Vice - Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)

. Toscani and Holland v. AGCO

In Toscani and Holland v. AGCO (Div Court, 2024) the Divisional Court dismissed a JR of "the decision of the Horse Racing Appeal Panel (“HRAP”) which dismissed their appeal from rulings by the Registrar, Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (“Registrar”) that they had violated the Rules of Standardbred Racing (“RSR”) established under the Horse Racing Licence Act, 2015".

These quotes illustrate procedures in this little-litigated area of 'horse law':
[3] In accordance with Rule 22.38 of the RSR, the Registrar required that blood samples be taken from GF and tested for total carbon dioxide, or “TCO2” to determine whether they were within the permissible thresholds set by the Registrar.

[4] The test results showed that GF’s blood levels of TCO2 were above the permitted threshold. This is generally a sign that the horse has been administered an alkalizing substance, which can enhance race day performance. There are other reasons why a horse may have high TCO2 levels. If an owner wants to claim that his or her horse has high TCO2 levels for reasons other than the administration of alkalizing substances, pursuant to Rule 22.38.07, the owner may have the horse quarantined and re-tested over a few days. If a quarantined horse’s TCO2 levels stay high after the effects of any alkalizing substances should have subsided, then the RSR precludes a finding that the owner and/or the trainer of the horse violated the rules.

[5] The Applicants did not request that GF be held in quarantine nor did they re-test GF following the TCO2 testing done at the time of the August 7, 2021 race.

[6] The Registrar imposed penalties for the violation of Rule 22.38 as follows:
a. Mr. Toscani as Horse Owner – GF was ineligible from racing for 30 days;

b. Mr. Holland as Trainer – Suspension of Mr. Holland for 90 days, a monetary penalty of $5,000, designation of “unplaced” for GF in the race, redistribution of the purse money and two-year probationary terms on Mr. Holland’s license, until February 15, 2024.
[7] The Applicants appealed to the HRAP and participated in a six-day hearing in October 2022.


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Last modified: 28-03-24
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