Andy Barr

Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Passes House

By a unanimous Sep. 29 voice vote, the United States House of Representatives passed a years-in-the-making bill that, if eventually signed into law, will develop and implement anti-doping, medication control, drug testing, and racetrack safety standard programs enforced by an independent authority whose powers would supersede the long-standing state-by-state regulation of the sport. HR 1754, which has existed in various proposed forms since 2015 and was amended Sep. 9 to match the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) companion legislation that got introduced in the U.S. Senate that same day,...

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House Version of Integrity Act Amended and Advanced

Several hours after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) got introduced in the United States Senate on Wednesday, the co-sponsor of the existing Horseracing Integrity Act (HRIA) proposed striking all of the language of his existing bill and replacing it with the exact wording from the new Senate bill to create companion legislation that now reads the same in both branches of Congress. In a video conference mark-up session of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, this newly amended version of the federal bill was then reported to...

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McConnell Introduces Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in U.S. Senate

U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and U.S. Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Wednesday to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing. At a press conference last week in Lexington, the Horse Capital of the World, Senator McConnell joined U.S. Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06) and leading Kentucky stakeholders, including Keeneland, Churchill Downs Incorporated, Breeders' Cup Limited, and the Jockey Club in announcing the introduction of the bill. They also...

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NTRA Votes to Support HISA

The Board of Directors of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) has voted to support passage of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA). The action was taken Wednesday afternoon at a special meeting of the Board of the Directors. The HISA will improve the integrity and safety of Thoroughbred racing by requiring uniform safety and performance standards, including an anti-doping and medication control program and a racetrack safety program to be developed and enforced by an independent Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. "We thank Senate Majority Leader...

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HBPA ‘Never Consulted’ on New Version of Integrity Act

Six hours after an Aug. 31 press conference at which United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and other proponents of a federal bill announced newly achieved compromise among industry stakeholders in crafting new anti-doping oversight for horse racing, Eric Hamelback, the CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA), told TDN that his organization is actually not on board with the plan. Hamelback's emailed clarification was in response to a request for comment from TDN that did not arrive in time to be included in the...

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Op/Ed: A Critical Step Forward for the Sport

When 27 individuals were indicted in March by federal authorities for their alleged involvement in a wide-spread doping scheme the story was about more than Jason Servis or Jorge Navarro or the cocktails of performance-enhancing drugs they were charged with using on their horses. It was about a system that was so hopelessly broken and incapable of effectively policing the sport that it took the federal government to come in and do what racing had continually failed to do--take meaningful steps to clean up the game. There had to be...

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Officials Announce the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority; Horseracing Integrity Act to Be Introduced in Senate

Backed by the political clout of United States Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), proponents of a federal bill mandating an independent anti-doping and medication control program for horse racing announced at an Aug. 31 press conference at Keeneland that a retooled version of the framework of legislation that has existed since 2015 will be introduced in the Senate in September by McConnell himself. Backers of the bill spoke Monday of newfound compromise and consensus among the sport's stakeholders that they said would help to usher the Horseracing Integrity and...

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Carol Barr, wife of Congressman Andy Barr, Dies at 39

The wife of Congressman Andy Barr, who represents Lexington, died Tuesday. Eleanor Carol Leavell Barr was just 39. She died of mitral valve prolapse, a condition where the two valve flaps which make up the mitral valve do not close properly. "Congressman Andy Barr's wife Carol passed away suddenly tonight at the family home in Lexington," Mary Rosado, the congressman's chief of staff, said in a statement Tuesday night. "During this tragic time, we respectfully ask for privacy for Congressman Barr and his family to grieve Mrs. Barr being called...

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Horseracing Integrity Act Reaches Majority Milestone in House

The Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), introduced last year by Congressional Horse Caucus co-chairs Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY), has officially received formal endorsement by a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives, with 226 Members now cosponsoring the legislation. The bipartisan bill authorizes creation of a non-governmental anti-doping authority governed by representatives of all major constituencies of the industry and responsible for implementing a national, uniform medication program throughout the sport. "After years working side by side with my friend Congressman Andy Barr to move this...

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