The Virginia Breeders Fund is a financial incentive program to encourage Thoroughbred breeding in the Commonwealth. It is funded by a 1% take-out of all live and simulcast pari-mutuel wagering conducted in the Commonwealth.

The daily activities and administrative functions are handled by the VTA under the auspices of the Virginia Racing Commission.

The purpose of the Fund is:

  1. To recognize Virginia-breds through incentive awards.
  • Breeders awards are paid once a year –  $950,000 was awarded to breeders of Virginia-breds for 2020 wins at any racetrack in North America (awards were approximately 40% of each winning purse).
  • Stallion awards are paid once a year – $50,000 was awarded to owners of Virginia registered stallions whose offspring won 2020 races at any racetrack in the continental United States.
  • Virginia is the only state in the Mid-Atlantic region that pays breeder and stallion awards for wins at every racetrack in North America.
  1. To promote breeding and further develop the Thoroughbred Industry.

The Fund helps subsidize:

  • Virginia-bred and sired restricted races
  • The annual Breeder’s Fund Yearling Futurity
  • Other events and seminars

The VTA subsidizes a 25% owner’s bonus to Virginia-bred and sired horses that win races at Mid-Atlantic area racetracks (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, WV, and VA)

  • No owner bonuses are paid for wins in Virginia restricted races

Only Thoroughbred horses and Thoroughbred stallions standing in Virginia that are registered with the Virginia Breeders Fund are eligible to earn incentives in the form of Breeder, Owner, or Stallion Owner Awards.


The Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program contributes to the long-term economic prosperity of Virginia agriculture and encourages the preservation of Virginia farmland by rewarding horsemen who board horses at Virginia farms or training centers for six (6) consecutive months prior to December 31st of the horse’s two-year-old year.

The goals of the VACTP are:

  • To create incentives for developers (the person or entity listed on the chart as “owner” when a Virginia Certified horse makes its first start) of horses raised and domiciled in the Commonwealth.
  • To stop the continuing downward trends of the thoroughbred business in Virginia and to create new agricultural business in the state.
  • To enhance the maintenance and growth of thoroughbred related jobs and green space in light of rapidly declining Virginia-bred foal crops and the relative non-existence of Virginia stallions.
  • To enhance the incentive programs and restricted races we fund in order to create a significant year-round Thoroughbred program for Virginia.

The VACTP bonuses:

  • A 25% bonus to the developer of a Certified Thoroughbred horse that finishes first in any non-Virginia restricted race in the Mid-Atlantic region (NY, NJ, PA, DE, MD, WV).
  • A 10% developer bonus is paid for wins in West Virginia restricted races.
  • There is a $10,000 cap on any one award.

VTA Definitions:

  • Virginia-Bred and Virginia-Sired Thoroughbred – defined under current Virginia regulations.
  • Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred – a horse that foaled in 2016 or later and foaled outside of Virginia, but that maintains residence in Virginia for any six (6) month consecutive period prior to December 31st of its two-year-old year. (An interruption period for up to 14 days is allowed if the horse needs to leave for a horse sale or veterinary issue. If this is the case, the residency period will be extended by the number of days the horse was out of state.)
  • Residency is defined 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 – a farm that makes an agreement with the VTA to participate in the Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Progam – 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.

Application Process:

  • The one-time Virginia-Certified application fee is $100 for VTA members, $250 for non-members.
  • Within 30 days of the horse’s arrival in Virginia, owners must submit the application for the Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program along with the application fee.
  • During Virginia residence, horses must be available for inspection by a VACTP representative with or without prior notice.

Once the six-month residency is complete:

  • The certified farm where the horse resided must submit the Verification Form to the VACTP office. Owners will receive a confirmation email once the registration process is complete.
  • No Owner’s bonuses will be distributed without a current IRS W-9 form on file at the VTA office.
  • Owners must be a current member of the VTA before a bonus check is sent. If the owner is not a current member of the Association, $100 will be deducted from the bonus amount and the current owner of the horse will be made a VTA member.
  • Bonuses will be mailed once a month to the owners.
  • Bonus monies will not count towards the horse’s earnings.