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 return to Virginia and make up the days it was out of the state.)

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 Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program (VACTP) official. Virginia-Certified Farms and Training Centers have made an agreement with the VTA to participate in the Virginia-Certified Thoroughbred Program.

Incentive Program & Eligibility as of April 1, 2021:

  • Developers of Virginia-Certified horses are eligible for 25% Bonuses for wins at Mid-Atlantic racetracks (NY, NJ, PA, DE, WV, MD & VA). Developers 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 also eligible for the 25% purse bonus. Developer bonuses are 10% for wins in West Virginia-Restricted races. Developer bonuses will not be paid for wins in Virginia-Restricted races (Virginia-Bred, Virginia-Sired and/or Virginia-Certified races).
  • A DEVELOPER is defined as the person or entity listed on the chart as owner when a Virginia-Certified horse makes its first start.
  • The Certified developer’s bonus will be calculated as 25% (or 10% in a West Virginia Restricted race) of the lesser of the winner’s purse share published on the Equibase chart or 60% of the published purse on the overnight and does not include state bred incentive monies that may be part of the horse’s first place earnings.  There is a $10,000 cap on any one award. Bonuses are paid monthly.
  • In order to collect a Developer 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. A current W-9 must be on file in the VTA office before funds can be released. The VTA will make every effort to identify all Virginia-Certified winners, but ultimately it is the developer’s responsibility to notify the VTA when a registered Certified horse wins in the Mid-Atlantic region.
  • Virginia-Certified thoroughbreds are eligible for Virginia-Restricted and Virginia-Certified races at Colonial Downs. They are not eligible for Virginia-Bred or Sired Black-Type Stakes. Per the National Stakes Committee, Virginia-Certified horses are not eligible to earn black type. Virginia-Bred and Sired horses will be preferred in Virginia-restricted races.
  • Virginia-Certified Developer Bonus monies will not count towards a horse’s earnings.
  • Virginia Breeders awards are not available for Virginia-Certified horses.
  • 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 under the VACTP.  The VTA reserves the right at any time, with or without notice, and in its sole discretion to (i) amend the requirements of the VATCP,  (ii) change the amount of the bonus or award, or (iii) cease paying bonuses or awards.


Step 1: Apply

IMPORTANT: Within 30 days of the horse’s arrival in Virginia, owners or their agents must submit a VACTP registration application along with all applicable fees (this includes the VTA membership fee if needed). Failure to submit the application and fees within 30 days will increase the residency time requirements.

As of January 1, 2020, VACTP registration applications received by mail with reported arrival dates older than 30 days from when the application was postmarked will be assigned an arrival date matching the postmarked date (or the date of arrival in the VTA office if the postmark is not legible).

VA Certified Fee Schedule

If applying online, complete the application and pay the registration fees in accordance with the fee schedule (including VTA Membership fee, if applicable).

NOTE: Online VACTP registration applications will not be accepted with arrival dates older than 30 days. To complete the online registration the user will need to adjust the arrival date to be within the 30 day requirement.

If applying by mail, complete the application and mail with a check to Virginia Thoroughbred Association for the registration fees in accordance with the fee schedule (including VTA Membership fee, if applicable) and mail to:

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

Step 2: Complete the six-month residency requirement

Step 3: Complete the Verification Form

Once the six-month residency is complete, the Participating Farm will send a VACTP Verification Form, confirming that the horse has completed the requirements of its residency. The VTA will process the form and notify the owner by email that the horse has been registered in the VATCP (for foals of 2018 and after, the Virginia-Certified credential will be noted on the horse’s digital Jockey Club registration papers). A horse’s registration in the VATCP will not be completed until the Verification Form has been received and processed.

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 Developer Bonus money. If the developer 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 developer 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 Participating Farm

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