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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 2336 (April 27, 2024).

58 Pa. Code § 163.521. Duties of trainers.


§ 163.521. Duties of trainers.

 (a)  A licensed trainer may represent the owner in the matter of entries, declarations and the employment of jockeys. A licensed trainer may not have an interest, whether by ownership or lease, in a horse of which he is not the trainer at a race meeting at which the trainer is operating as a licensed trainer.

 (b)  A trainer who represents or files an application for an unlicensed owner shall file with the Commission an affidavit certifying that he will secure a license for the owner. The trainer shall be liable for a sanction, penalty or default of the filing of an owner’s application until the same has been filed and the owner’s license finally issued and shall be absolutely responsible for insuring the due, prompt and proper filing of the application.

 (c)  A trainer shall have his horse in the paddock at the time appointed.

 (d)  A trainer shall attend his horse in the paddock, and shall be present to supervise his saddling, unless he has obtained the permission of a steward to send another licensed trainer as a substitute.

 (e)  When a trainer is to be absent from his stable or the grounds where his horses are racing for a period of more than 2 racing days and horses are entered or are to be entered, he shall provide a licensed trainer to assume the complete responsibility of the horses he is entering or running. The licensed trainer shall sign in the presence of the stewards a form furnished by the Commission accepting complete responsibility for the horses being entered and running. This section does not apply to trainers having in their employ a licensed assistant trainer.

 (f)  A trainer shall be responsible for the condition of a horse trained by him. A trainer shall register with the racing secretary the horses in his charge, giving the name, age, sex, color, breeding and ownership of each, and he shall present the foal certificates at the time the horses arrive on the grounds.

 (g)  A trainer shall promptly report to the racing secretary the spaying or gelding of a horse giving the date of the procedure, and in the case of mares or fillies, a description of the procedure used. Spaying as used in this section includes any procedure including removal of ovaries rendering an animal incapable of reproduction. Gelding includes any procedure having the effect of castration.

 (h)  A trainer shall register with the Commission every person in his employ.

 (i)  A trainer may not enter or start a horse that:

   (1)  Is not in serviceable, sound racing condition.

   (2)  Has its median, volar or plantar nerves either blocked or removed. The horse is not permitted to race on Commonwealth tracks. A horse which has been nerved below the fetlock (digital nerves) may be permitted to start.

   (3)  Has been given internally or externally a stimulant, depressant, hypnotic or narcotic drug prior to the race.

   (4)  Is on the stewards’, starter’s or veterinarian’s list in a racing jurisdiction.

 (j)  A licensed trainer may employ an assistant trainer. The assistant trainer shall be licensed before acting in the capacity on behalf of his employer. Qualifications for obtaining an assistant trainer’s license shall be prescribed by the Commission. A licensed assistant trainer shall assume the same duties and responsibilities as imposed on the holder of a trainer’s license. The licensed trainer shall be jointly responsible with his assistant trainer for all acts and omissions of the assistant trainer involving a racing matter.


   The provisions of this §  163.521 amended through March 19, 1982, effective March 20, 1982, 12 Pa.B. 994. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (56266).

Notes of Decisions

   It was a violation of this section for a horse trainer to negligently allow a horse to ingest caffeine from discarded coffee and cola drinks in the barn; the trainer has a positive duty to protect his horses from the administration of a foreign substance. Yanofsky v. Horse Racing Commission, 537 A.2d 92 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1988).

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