AGCO issues two-year suspension to Ontario trainer for alleged horse cruelty

TORONTO, Dec. 11, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In order to protect the integrity of horse racing in Ontario and prioritize the wellbeing and safety of horses, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) has suspended the licence of Standardbred trainer Anthony Beaton, for two years.

On October 13, 2023, the AGCO received information that Mr. Beaton had engaged in conduct which compromised equine safety and/or welfare. The AGCO subsequently immediately suspended Mr. Beaton’s horseperson licence pending a final determination of his eligibility for a licence.

Information obtained over the course of an AGCO inspection revealed that Mr. Beaton had excessively used a whip on a yearling he was training, thereby committing an act of cruelty and engaging in misconduct which is prejudicial to the best interest of racing, which are violations of the Rules of Standardbred Racing. Mr. Beaton’s horseperson licence has now been fully suspended for two years, from October 13, 2023 to October 12, 2025.

A licensed horse racing participant issued a Ruling under the Rules of Racing has the right to appeal the AGCO’s action to the Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP) which is an independent adjudicative body mandated to hear appeals of decisions.


“The AGCO holds horse racing participants to the highest standards of conduct, particularly those responsible for the care and training of horses. The integrity of racing lies in safeguarding the health and welfare of horses and protecting the safety of individuals.”

Dr. Karin Schnarr, Chief Executive Officer and Registrar – AGCO

Rule Violations

The AGCO has taken this regulatory action for violations of the following rules:
Rules of Standardbred Racing.

Rules 6.20(b) and 6.22

The Role of the AGCO

The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) acts in the public interest to govern, direct, control and regulate horse racing in all its forms in Ontario, the operation of racetracks and the licensing of racetracks and racing participants.

What We Do: Horse Racing

Horse Racing Appeal Panel (HRAP)


AGCO Media


The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) is an Ontario provincial regulatory agency reporting to the Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG). It is a corporation under the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario Act, 2019.

The AGCO is responsible for regulating the alcohol, gaming, horse racing and private cannabis retail sectors in Ontario in accordance with the principles of honesty and integrity, and in the public interest.