Open Letter To The Industry: Tom Rooney

Many of you may have seen that last week a bill was introduced in Congress to repeal the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, better known as HISA. I want to set the record straight as to what this legislation does or doesn't do, assure you that the bill isn't going anywhere in Congress, and stands no chance of becoming law. First things first-it's important to remember that any member of Congress can introduce a bill. They write the language, file the bill, and voila it's been introduced. Just in the...

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HBPA: 'Best Of Both Worlds' For HISA Is 'Worst Of All Worlds' For Horsemen

With oral arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit now five weeks away, the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) filed a legal brief Aug. 25 underscoring that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority unconstitutionally "wants the best of both worlds" by allegedly portraying itself as both a governmental body or a private organization "depending on which suits its interests on any individual argument." "Sometimes [the Authority] wants to be like a government entity, with the power to compel registration, collect mandatory...

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Sam Houston Postpones Interstate Simulcast Wagering

Despite previously announcing that interstate simulcast wagering would resume Friday, Feb. 3, Sam Houston released a statement Friday morning postponing it. "We have determined that more time is needed to fully evaluate the many legal complexities surrounding recent court decisions and the HISA amendment enacted by Congress at the end of last year," the statement read. "While we are eager to export our signal across the country, our commitment to maintaining federal and state compliance remains our top priority. We will export our signal across state lines when we are...

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Statement on HISA from NTRA President and CEO Tom Rooney

"As a former instructor of constitutional and criminal law at the United States Military Academy, I implored upon the cadets that we are a nation of laws, not of emotional disinformation. Article III of the Constitution gives the courts the task of interpreting the laws to determine constitutionality and that process is exactly what is happening right now with HISA. "HISA is the law of the land and has been challenged in the courts. In this country constitutionality is not determined by those who may disagree with the language of...

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Equine Protection Groups Urge US Government to Pass Bill to Stop Slaughter of American Horses

Edited Press Release A coalition of equine advocacy groups representing supporters across the United States has joined together to urge members of Congress to move a bill to the floor of the House for a vote. The bill (H.R. 3355/S. 2732), also known as the Save America's Forgotten Equines (or SAFE) Act, prevents the transport of horses, mules, and donkeys across national borders for the purpose of slaughtering them for their meat or skins, and would permanently ban horse slaughter on U.S. soil. "Until a ban is in place, every...

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Legislation Introduced to Ease Tax Burden

U.S. Congressman Andy Barr, a Kentucky Republican who represents Lexington, has reintroduced the Equine Tax Fairness Act, which, if passed would make changes to the tax laws favorable to horse owners and breeders, it was announced by his office Wednesday. The bill calls for new regulations that would make the three-year depreciation schedule permanent for racehorses, no matter their age when put into service. Currently, Congress must reauthorize this provision in the tax law on an annual basis. The legislation would also reduce the holding period for equine assets to...

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Congressman Rooney Named NTRA President & CEO

Thomas J. (Tom) Rooney, a former U.S. Congressman, has been named to succeed Alex Waldrop as the president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA). As has been previously announced, Waldrop will retire at the end of this year. Rooney is an owner and breeder and has been part of his family's Shamrock Farm, a Thoroughbred breeding and lay-up operation in Maryland. The farm was founded by his grandfather, Art Rooney, Sr. He has also served on the board of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association for the past...

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Congressmen File Amicus Brief In Support of HISA

The lead congressional sponsors of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Representatives Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), have filed a 14-page amicus ('friend of the court') brief in response to a lawsuit filed by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association and some of its affiliates, challenging its constitutionality. The brief lays out the reasons why HISA is necessary to protect and preserve the future of horse racing, deliberations in Congress over the course of several years that included input from all...

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Horse Racing Integrity Act Moving Through the House

The Consumer Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held a major hearing today on the Horseracing Integrity Act (HIA) that brought together horse racing industry heavy weights and representatives from two major animal welfare groups to advocate for passage. Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) spoke at a hearing Tuesday in support of H.R. 1754: the Horseracing Integrity Act, legislation that would establish a non-governmental anti-doping authority responsible for implementing a national, uniform medication program throughout the sport. Tonko introduced the bill last year with fellow Congressional Horse Caucus...

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