Virginia Racing Commission Approves New Virginia Certified Residency Program

(WARRENTON, VA —- 7/7/17) —- The Virginia Racing Commission yesterday (July 6) voted unanimously to allow the Virginia thoroughbred industry to move forward with and fund a new program that is expected to contribute to the long term economic prosperity of Virginia agriculture, and encourage preservation of Virginia farmland.

The new Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program (VACTP) will reward horsemen who board horses at Virginia farms or training centers for six consecutive months prior to December 31st of the horse’s two-year-old year.

Sadler’s Joy is shown as a yearling at Woodslane Farm in The Plains, VA. Photo by Nick Hahn.

The VACTP will also extend the existing Virginia-Bred and Sired Owner’s Bonus program to include Virginia-Certified horses. This initiative will now provide a 25% bonus to the owner of a Virginia-bred, Sired or Certified Thoroughbred horse that finishes first in any non-Virginia restricted race in the Mid-Atlantic region (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, WV). There is a $10,000 cap on any one reward. Virginia-Certified Thoroughbreds will also be eligible for any Virginia-Bred or Sired restricted race. The combination of opportunities will create a significant year-round thoroughbred program for Virginia.

The Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program is sponsored by the Virginia Horsemen’s  Benevolent and Protective Association (VAHBPA) and the Virginia Thoroughbred Association (VTA).

The VACTP defines “Residency” as being based at certified farms or training centers within the Commonwealth. During their six month residency, horses must live at a “Virginia Certified Farm”, one that makes an agreement with the VTA to participate in the VACTP — where they will be available for inspection by a VACTP official. A farm may become a Virginia Certified Farm by filing a Farm Participation Agreement with the VTA. The one-time Virginia-Certified application fee is $100 for VTA members and $250 for non-members.

More details on the program are available at and