A Virginia-Certified horse is a horse registered by The Jockey Club, conceived and foaled outside of Virginia, but that maintains residency in Virginia for at least a 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.)

The horse must maintain residency at a Virginia-Certified Farm or Training Center within the Commonwealth, where the horse can be available for inspection by a VACTP official. Virginia-Certified Farms and Training Centers have made an agreement with the VTA to participate in the Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program.

A list of Virginia Farms and Training Facilities Accepting Outside Horses can be found here.

Incentive Program & Eligibility

  • OWNERS of Virginia-Certified horses are eligible for 25% Owners Bonuses for wins at Mid-Atlantic racetracks (NY, NJ, PA, DE, WV, MD & VA). Owners of Virginia-Certified horses that win races at National Steeplechase Association sanctioned meets in the Mid-Atlantic region (NY, NJ, PA, DE, WV, MD, VA) are eligible for a 25% purse bonus. Owners bonuses will not be paid for wins in Virginia-Bred, Virginia-Sired and/or Virginia-Certified restricted races. Bonuses are paid monthly. There is a $10,000 cap on any one award.
  • In order to collect an owners bonus you must be a member of the Virginia Thoroughbred Association. If you are not currently a member, a $100 membership fee will be deducted from your award and you will be made a VTA member. We must also have a current W-9 on file before funds can be released. The VTA will make every effort to identify all Virginia-Certified winners, but ultimately it is the owner’s responsibility to notify the VTA when a registered Certified horse wins in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Virginia-Certified thoroughbreds are eligible for any Virginia-restricted race, except for Virginia restricted Black-Type stakes races where there are six (6) or more Virginia-Bred and/or Sired horses entered in the race. If less than 6 Virginia-bred and/or sired horses enter, Virginia Certified horses may be allowed to draw in but the race will immediately lose its black type status. Virginia-Certified horses are not eligible to earn black type in these restricted races, per the National Stakes Committee. Virginia-Bred and Sired horses will be preferred  in Virginia restricted races.
  • Virginia-Certified Owners Bonus monies will not count towards a horse’s earnings.
  • Virginia Breeders awards are not available for Virginia-Certified horses.

To register a Virginia-Certified Horse

VA Certified Fee Schedule
Within 30 days of the horse’s arrival in Virginia, owners must submit the application for the Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program along with the fee. Failure to submit the application and fees within 30 days could increase residency requirements. 

Please complete the following materials:

  • A Virginia-Certified application form, or register online here
  • A copy of the horse’s registration papers ( beginning with foals of 2018, The Jockey Club registration papers are no longer required)
  • A check made out to the Virginia Thoroughbred Association, in full payment for the registration fees in accordance with the current fee schedule (see above).

Send all materials to the VTA office:

c/o Virginia Thoroughbred Association
250 West Main Street, Suite 100
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Once the six-month residency is complete, the Virginia-Certified Farm will send a notarized Verification Form to the VTA office, confirming that the horse has completed the requirements of its residency. The VTA will process the form and issue a Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program certificate to the owner of the horse. The certificate will not be issued until this Farm Verification form has been received.

Please note that you do not have to be a member of the VTA at the time of registering your horse. However, you will need to be a member in order to collect any Owners Bonus money. If the owner is not a current member of the VTA at the time the bonus money is earned, $100 will be deducted from the bonus amount and the owner of the horse will be made a member of the VTA. A current W-9 must be on file at the VTA office before bonus money will be distributed. To become a VTA member, please click here.


Please fill out and send the application to the VTA office; there is no fee. Contact us at (434) 977-3716 with any questions.

DISCLAIMER:  Nothing contained herein creates a contractual obligation for payment of any award or bonus by the VTA or any other entity.  The VTA’s receipt of sufficient funding for the bonus or award is a condition precedent to any obligation it may have to pay any award or bonus.  The VTA reserves the right at any time, with or without notice, and in its sole discretion to (i) change the amount of the bonus or award or (ii) cease paying bonuses or awards.