News Releases

Wednesday, September 30, 2020Contact: Shannon Luce (859) 224-2716
On Behalf of CHRI: A Historic Day for Racing The HISA Unanimously Passes the House

Washington, D.C. – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) was unanimously passed in the House of Representatives yesterday, marking a historic step for the racing industry. The bill addresses industrywide reform efforts, making the sport safer for Thoroughbred racehorses and jockeys by requiring national, uniform safety standards that include anti-doping and medication control and racetrack safety programs. An independent, self-regulatory authority will be empowered to implement and manage new safety standards and programs. 

The bi-partisan legislation received ringing endorsements on the House floor from bill authors Reps. Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) along with Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Ranking Member Greg Walden (R-OR), and Consumer Protection and Commerce Subcommittee Jan Shakowsky (D-IL).

“Congressmen Andy Barr and Paul Tonko have tirelessly worked to bring reform to horse racing and protect our equine athletes and jockeys,” said Shawn Smeallie, Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity executive director. “The action by the House of Representatives is an historic milestone in implementing meaningful, industrywide reforms.”

The HISA will replace the patchwork quilt of state regulations and standards with a new, national system to regulate medication and safety protocols. A new Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority will standardize drug testing and put an end to an outdated regulatory structure.

“After many years of negotiation and deliberation, today I stand proud to finally bring this legislation to the House floor for a vote,” said Rep. Andy Barr on the House floor. “Throughout my time in Congress, I have worked diligently to enact policies that will promote economic growth and investment in this key Kentucky industry.”

The HISA now goes to the Senate for consideration. The Senate companion bill was introduced by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) Sept. 9 and enjoys bi-partisan support from key Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA).

The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity represents a diverse group of racing organizations, racetracks, owner and breeder associations, and animal welfare groups that support adoption of a national, uniform standard for drug and medication rules in horse racing. To learn more, visit