News Releases

Friday, January 24, 2020Contact: Shannon Luce (859) 224-2716
On behalf of CHRI: Hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754)

Hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754)
Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020 – 10:30 a.m. ET
U.S. House of Representatives
Energy & Commerce Committee
Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce

Hearing signals the need for meaningful and effective reform of the horse racing industry

The Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA), introduced in the House by Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), is a horse-first bill that would create a private, independent national Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA) responsible for developing and administering a strict anti-doping and medication control program.

HADA, under the oversight of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and governed by a board of six individuals with deep horse racing expertise and seven individuals from USADA, will create a set of uniform anti-doping rules, including lists of permitted and prohibited substances and methods in line with international anti-doping standards and veterinarian ethical standards. The new nationwide rules would replace the current state-by-state regulatory mechanism that governs horse racing’s 38 separate racing jurisdictions.

On behalf of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity (CHRI) and the HIA, the following people are testifying before the committee in support of the bill’s passage:
      • William M. Lear Jr., The Jockey Club Vice Chairman
      • Marty Irby, Animal Wellness Action Washington, D.C., Executive Director
      • Joe De Francis, Humane Society of the United States, National Horseracing Advisory Council Chairman and former owner of the Maryland Jockey Club
      • Chris McCarron, retired American Thoroughbred horse racing Hall of Fame jockey

The current state-based regulatory system for pari-mutuel horse racing has created a fragmented landscape. Each state maintains its own rule book for drug testing and enforcement, which subjects horses to differing rules that can compromise rest and recovery of injured horses. Voluntary efforts among states to create uniform medication rules and penalties have failed for myriad reasons, including differing state processes for rulemaking and influences from local parties interested in maintaining the status quo. The HIA will create a single uniform rule book for drug testing and enforcement that can bring the United States up to international standards and will better protect equine athletes’ health.
The CHRI is confident that passage of HIA will strengthen the horse racing industry by reforming industry drug use and showing Americans that the health of racehorses is a top priority.

Tuesday, Jan. 28

10:30 a.m. ET
2322 Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

Web page and live stream link

Shannon Luce

(859) 224-2716
Director of Communications
The Jockey Club

Interviews available upon request.