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 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.

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 also eligible for the 25% purse bonus. The 25% bonus is based on the published purse for the race and does not include other state bred incentive monies that may be part of the horse’s first place earnings. Owners’ bonuses will not be paid for wins in Virginia-Restricted races (Virginia-Bred, Virginia-Sired and/or Virginia-Certified races). Bonuses are paid monthly. There is a $10,000 cap on any one award.
  • An Owner is defined as the person or entity listed on the chart as owner when a Virginia-Certified horse wins.
  • In order to collect an owner’s 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 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 Owners 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.

To register a Virginia-Certified Horse

VA Certified Fee Schedule
Within 30 days of the horse’s arrival in Virginia, owners or their agent’s 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).

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.


* Register online here

* Or A VACTP downloadable application form

* 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, this also should include the VTA Membership fee if applicable).

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 Participating Farm will send a notarized VACTP Verification Form to the VTA office, 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 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.

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.