Long-time owner/breeders Jim and Joan Brady put their support behind the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) Sunday as the group makes efforts towards the passage of The Horseracing Integrity Act. The Brady family races under Mill House stable, and their past graded stakes winners include America Alive, Brilliant, and Trappe Shot. Jim Brady’s brother, Nick, has previously pledged support of the Water Hay Oats Alliance.
In a statement to WHOA, Mr. Brady shared the following:
My family and I have derived immense enjoyment from Thoroughbred breeding and racing through the years, and it is my strong desire to see our sport not only survive but thrive in the future. I’m not sure that can happen, however, unless we get our proverbial house in order when it comes to the topic of medication and anti-doping.
Frankly, we have wrestled with the issue for far too long. I served as a steward of The Jockey Club for more than 30 years, and it was a constant topic of concern for us. The McKinsey Study that was commissioned and released in 1991 [“Building a World Class Drug Detection System for the Racing Industry: A National Strategic Plan”] addressed many of our issues, but several of the recommendations from that study have yet to be fully implemented.
There was a time when a wager on a horse race was the only legal bet a person could place. Obviously, times have changed and there are many options out there for anyone who wants to make a wager. That makes the integrity of competition even more critical for our sport. If we want to build and maintain consumer confidence, we need to take every step possible to ensure a level playing field for all participants–and that includes our bettors.
To me it is clear that we sorely lack uniformity in rules, in drug-testing lab standards, and in penalties, and we can’t expect to prosper as an industry until we have a system that efficiently deters the use of illegal substances [and overuse of legal ones] in our equine athletes.
I have been impressed with the cross-section of individuals represented in WHOA and the steady increase in its membership. Each of these people share a desire to see federal legislation enacted to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in horse racing. They also share a passion for our sport and I’m proud to join their ranks. For these reasons, I support the passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2017.
This bill would require that a uniform anti-doping and medication-control program be developed and enforced by a private, non-profit, non-governmental organization known as the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority. The authority, which would include as members both horse-racing and anti-doping experts, would be overseen by Travis Tygart’s team at the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
The time to act is now. For this sport to be sustainable, we need this bill enacted into law.