Rules & Regulations

General Stakes Conditions

Version March 2019

Any person nominating to any stakes event listed in this directory agrees to abide by the following terms and conditions stated herein:

1. All races will be run under the Rules of the American Quarter Horse Association, Horse Racing Alberta and this directory.

The definition of a “Stakes Race” as stated in the AQHA Official Handbook. “A stakes race is a race in which any
horse must make nomination(s), sustaining and/or entry fee payment(s), or a supplemental payment to participate in a race,  the minimum purse for stakes races conducted internationally shall be $7,500 U.S. funds, based on the conversion rate on each race day, except Canada where the minimum is $15,000 Canadian funds.”

2.  All owners and trainers participating in any way in any stakes event listed in this directory must be an accredited member in good standing in the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association (AQHRA).

Membership fees must accompany the initial payment for all stakes events. Membership year is January 1 to December 31. A supplementary payment for a late nomination to a stakes race constitutes the initial payment to participate and the AQHRA membership fee will be required at that time. No entries into trials or finals of any stakes race will be accepted on behalf of any owner/trainer who is not an accredited member in good standing of the AQHRA.

3. All horses must be registered in either the permanent Stud Book or the tentative Stud Book of the AQHA; or, where applicable, horses must be registered with The Jockey Club, New York or Canadian Livestock Registry.
4a. Alberta Bred Definition: Any Quarter Horse that was foaled in Alberta is “Alberta Bred”.
b. Alberta Bred Accreditation: In order to participate in races for Alberta breds, and/or be eligible for Alberta bred incentives or bonuses, horses must be Alberta Bred accredited by the AQHRA.
5. Nominations are purchased and owned by a person or persons at the time of payment and are not transferable. A nomination allows a horse to be named on the date specified. A horse so named, must be owned or leased under the rules of the AQHA at the time of the naming. Subsequent to the naming date, a horse may be sold or ownership may be otherwise transferred. A nomination in a sweepstakes is automatically transferred with the horse when a horse changes ownership by sale or claim, and nominations do not become void on the death of the nominator.
6. There is no sex allowance in any stakes race listed in this directory, either for trials or for finals.
7. All nominations and sustaining fees must be postmarked on or before the due date or be delivered to the AQHRA office dropbox before 4pm on or before the due date. Meter stamped mail will only be accepted if received on or before the due date.
8. In the event of a dispute over the timing of a stakes payment, the onus of proof of payment rests with the owner of the horse in question.
9. Any returned cheques will void nominations and no refunds of earlier payments will be made.
10. Nominations or subscriptions to these stakes may be refused or cancelled for just cause without liability at any time to the AQHRA or other race sponsor. There will be no refund of any prior fees paid for a particular horse to participate in a specific event.

11. The Alberta Quarter Horse Racing (1984) Association or its successors, or other Race Sponsors reserves the right to cancel or change any race dates listed in this directory, or to transfer any such race to another racetrack. If an event is cancelled, all monies will be divided equally among the owners of horses, which remained eligible at the time of cancellation, with the permission of the Horse Racing Alberta.

12. The Alberta Quarter Horse Racing (1984) Association accepts no responsibility or liability for any issues related to anything that happens to a horse at any racetrack.

13. (a)Stakes Races with less than 6 head entered may be cancelled by the AQHRA at its discretion.  No Financial liability is to remain with the AQHRA after the return of entry fees paid to those remaining eligible.

 (b) If any horse is scratched from a final being run without qualifying trials, there will be no refund of nominating, sustaining or late fees, and the horse will not be eligible for the purse monies in that race.

(a) Except in cases where the starting gate physically restricts the number of horses starting, each race in this directory consist of   

     (i) On community tracks be limited to eight (8) horses

     (ii) On ‘A’ tracks the number be limited to ten (10) horses

with the discretion of the Host Race Tracks Rules and Regulations.

(b) The time trials shall be raced under the same conditions as the final. If all the time trials are conducted on the same day, the horses with the 10 fastest times shall qualify to participate in the final. If the time trials are conducted on two days, the horses with the five fastest times on the first day and the horses with the five fastest times on the second day shall qualify to participate in the final. When time trials are conducted on two days, the racing secretary shall split owners with more than one entry into separate days.
(c) If a starting gate has less than 10 stalls, then the maximum number of qualifiers will correspond to the maximum number of starting gate post positions.
(d) If only 11 or 12 horses are entered to run in time trials from a gate with 12 or more stalls, the host track or the AQHRA may choose to run a final only. If 11 or 12 horses participate in the final, only the first 10 finishers will receive purse money.
(e) In the time trials, horses shall qualify on the basis of time and order of finish. The times of the horses in the time trial will be determined to the limit of the timer. The only exception is when two or more horses have the same time in the same trial heat. Then the order of finish shall also determine the preference in qualifying for the finals
Should two or more horses in different time trials have the same qualifying time to the limit of the timer for the final qualifying position(s), then a draw by public lot shall be conducted as directed by the stewards. Qualifying times in separate trials shall not be determined beyond the limit of the timer by comparing and/or enlarging photo-finish images.
(f) Except in the case of disqualification, under no circumstances shall a horse qualify ahead of a horse that finished ahead of that horse in the official order of finish in a time trial.
(g) When there is a malfunction of the timer during one or more of the time trials, but the timer operates correctly in other time trials, the accurate electronic times shall not be discarded, nor shall the average of hand times be used for all time trials

(h) Should a horse be disqualified for interference during the running of a time trial, it shall receive the time of the horse it is immediately placed behind plus one hundredth of a second, or the maximum accuracy of the electronic timing device.

(i) No adjustments will be made in the times recorded in the time trials to account for head-wind, tailwind, off-track, etc.

(j) If a horse is disqualified for interference with another horse causing loss of rider or the horse not to finish the race, the disqualified horse shall be given no time.

(k) Should a malfunction occur with the electronic timer on any time trial, finalists from that time trial will then be determined by official hand times operated by three impartial officials. The average of the three hand times will be utilized for the winning time, unless one of the hand times is clearly incorrect. In such cases, the average of the two accurate hand times will be utilized for the winning time, other horses shall be given times according to the order and margins of finish with the aid of the photo finish, if available.
(l) If the accuracy of the electronic timer and/or the average of the hand times are questioned, the recording of a time trial may be used by the stewards to estimate the winning time by any acceptable means possible including counting the number of video frames in the race from the moment the starting gate stall doors are fully open parallel to the racing track. When the timer malfunctions and there are no hand times, the stewards may select qualifiers based on the recording.
(m) Should there be a malfunction of the starting gate, and one or more stall doors not open or open after the exact moment when the starter dispatches the field, the stewards may declare the horses with malfunctioning stall doors non-starters, or may allow any horse whose stall door opened late, but still ran a time fast enough to qualify to be declared a starter for qualifying purposes. If a horse breaks through the stall door, or the stall door opens prior to the exact moment the starter purposely dispatches the field, the horse must be declared a non-starter, and entry fees should be refunded. If one or more, but not all stall doors, open at the exact moment the starter purposely dispatches the field, these horses should be considered starters for qualifying purposes, and placed according to their electronic time. If the electronic timer malfunctions in this instance, the average of the hand times, or if not available, the video may be utilized for horses that are declared starters.
 (n) If a horse should be scratched from the time trials, the horse’s owner shall not be eligible for a refund of the fees paid and shall not be allowed to enter the final. If a horse that qualified for the final should be unable to enter due to racing soundness, or scratched for any reason other than a positive drug test or a rule violation, the horse shall be deemed to have earned, and the owner will receive, last place money. If more than one horse is scratched, then those purse monies shall be added together and divided equally among those owners.
(o) If a qualifier for a final or consolation is disqualified for ineligibility or a rule violation after the time trials are declared official, but prior to entry for the final or consolation, the non-qualifier with the next fastest time shall replace the disqualified horse. If a qualifier is disqualified after entry for a final or consolation for ineligibility or a rule violation in the time trials the purse shall be redistributed, and the nonqualifier with the next fastest time shall receive last place purse money.
15. There will be no “also eligibles” for stakes race finals. Qualifiers must pass the entry box or be on the vet list, or deceased to be eligible for last place money. (A Qualifying finalist that is physically disabled and on the vets list or dead may receive purse payouts.) The second fastest full gate of horses that had entered the trials will be eligible for the consolation. Qualifiers for the finals will not be eligible for the consolation. Note that all non-finalists may enter any consolation for eligibility consideration. All finalists will be selected on the basis of timed trials, with fastest times preferred. In the event of equal times, lots will be drawn for stakes and consolation qualifiers.
16. HRA requires that all starters be tattooed and gate approved for entry or must have an official line from another racetrack in order to start in a race in Alberta covered by this directory.
17. All overnight stakes races set out in this directory will only be run under the following conditions:
If fewer than six (6) horses are named to compete at the close of entries, the racing secretary has the option to cancel the event. In such instances, all fees paid to that point would be refunded to the owners of the horses remaining eligible. The racing secretary, in consultation with the racetrack operator and the AQHRA may decide to allow the race to proceed, in which case there will be no refund of any previous fees paid. Owners who choose not to compete in such a race, will not be eligible for a refund of any fees.
18. All monies in eight-horse stakes events sponsored by the AQHRA, will be paid out as follows:
a) If fewer than 33 horses enter the trials,
1st place   45%                 5th place 6%
2nd place  20%                 6th place 4%
3rd place   12%                7th place 3%
4th place    8%                 8th place 2%
b) If 33 or more horses enter the trials, there shall be a championship final and a consolation with 90% of the added monies going to the championship final and 10% of the added monies going to the consolation final.
Final                                                        Consolation
1st place   40%                                       1st place 3.0%
2nd place 17.5%                                     2nd place 2.4%
3rd place   8.1%                                      3rd place 2.1%
4th place 5.6%                                          4th place 1.5%
5th place 5.0%                                          5th place 1.0%

6th place 4.8%
7th place 4.6%
8th place 4.4%


c) All money for overnight stakes races (including the aged and claiming series) will be split — 1st 53%, 2nd 26%, 3rd 12%, 4th 6%, 5th 3%

19. All added monies in ten-horse stakes events sponsored by the AQHRA will be split as follows:
 a) If fewer than 33 horses enter trials,
1st place  45%                                6th place 5%
2nd place 17%                                7th place 4%
3rd place 10%                                 8th place 3%
4th place   7%                                 9th place 2%
5th place   6%                                10th place 1%
b) if 33 or more horses enter the trials, there shall be a championship final and a consolation final with 90% of the purse monies going to the championship purse and 10% of the purse monies going to the consolation purse.
Final                                                             Consolation
1st place   38.0%                                               1st place   2.9%
2nd place  14.0%                                               2nd place 2.3%
3rd place     7.8%                                              3rd place   1.8%
4th place     5.9%                                              4th place   1.6%
5th place     4.6%                                              5th place   1.4% 

6th place      4.3%                                            
7th  place     4.1%                                               
8th place     3.9%                                             
9th place     3.8%                                              
10th place    3.6%                                             

 20. Seven per cent (7%) of all horseman’s fees paid for AQHRA stakes races will be deducted from the purse pool to be used for AQHRA expenses.
21. The decisions of the stewards who are employed by Horse Racing Alberta will be final in all matters, but subject to objection/appeal process as per the rules governing horse racing in Alberta.
22. The purse values and added monies in this directory are estimates only.
23. Due care and attention have been taken in the preparation of this directory. However, the Alberta Quarter Horse Racing Association will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions.
24. Clarification Only; Entries into Overnight Stakes Races; Where the number of starters is limited by the size of the starting gate those horses entering but who do not get an opportunity to race because of the size of the starting gate will have their time of entry fee refunded.  This does not apply to any prior nomination fee that may have been charged.
All questions related to any material in these general conditions should be directed to: Program Coordinator, AQHRA (403) 381-8167 | Fax (403) 381-8197

All questions related to any material in these general conditions should be directed to: Program Coordinator, AQHRA (403) 381-8167 | Fax (403) 381-8197