Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act

Spirited Debate On HISA Highlights Saratoga Conference

SARATOGA SPRINGS, NY-To hear some, the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) is badly needed legislation that will right the ship for an industry that has gone badly off course when it comes to issues of horse safety, integrity and illegal drugs. To others, it is another example of big government wading into a sport where it doesn't belong, which will ultimately cause horse racing a lot more problems than it solves. There was little middle ground Monday as the HISA issue dominated day one of the Racing and...

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What Will HISA Look Like?

We recently ran part one of our story on the challenges facing HISA. Today, we deal with lawsuits, adjudication, and more. This time next year, the machinery of horse racing in the U.S. may be almost a month into a radical system overhaul. But with scant few calendar pages between now and then, what do we know about how the cogs, wheels, and pulleys of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will work together? To find out, the TDN reached out to Charles Scheeler, chair of the HISA board...

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Saratoga's Racing and Gaming Conference Set to Return

After a two-year absence, the Racing and Gaming Conference is back. The two-day conference will kick off Aug. 16 and will be held in the 1863 Club on the grounds of Saratoga Race Course. With the goal of examining industry trends and challenges facing the sport, the conference was known for bringing together notable industry leaders from across a wide spectrum, including racing officials, regulators and politicians. This year, more than 40 gaming and racing industry professionals will participate in 14 sessions as speakers and panelists throughout the two days....

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Will HISA Be Ready in Time?

Part One of a Two-Part Series If the letter of the law is any reliable prognosticator, this time next year the United States horse racing industry will already be nearly a month into what promises to be a major realignment of the planets. With the official enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) on the first of July, 2022, racing jurisdictions North and South, East and West will be bound by the same medication standards, safety rules, and enforcement mechanisms--a hallelujah for many who have long championed the...

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The Week in Review: Vitali Starting a Horse at Saratoga Is Not OK

The system, whatever that has come to mean, failed badly last week when Marcus Vitali, one of the sport's most controversial trainers, was allowed to start a horse at Saratoga. Then again, should anyone have been surprised? This was just the latest example of this being a sport that is so dysfunctional, its regulatory systems so weak, that it is completely unable to police itself. Help is on its way. Some day, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) will be implemented and a central body led by the U.S....

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Virginia Vet Daniels Elected National HBPA President

Dr. Doug Daniels, a horse owner and equine veterinarian, was elected president of the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association at the organization's full board meeting last week at Prairie Meadows Racetrack and Casino in Altoona, Iowa. Daniels, the lone candidate to replace Leroy Gessmann, has been vice president of the Virginia HBPA and a member of the executive committee of the National HBPA since 2019. In addition to his Virginia Equine PLLC practice, Daniels also works for the Virginia Racing Commission when his services are required as a regulatory...

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West Virginia Advances Model Rules; 2022 Implementation Hinges On Legislature

After a failed attempt last year to adopt a group of drug-related model rules that every other racing jurisdiction in the mid-Atlantic region has already implemented, the West Virginia Racing Commission (WVRC) on Monday voted 2-0 to advance to the state legislature new regulations concerning medication abuse and stepped-up penalty scales. The July 12 passage of new rules concerning clenbuterol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, intra-articular injections and the adoption of the most current Uniform Classification Guidelines for Foreign Substances list did not come without drama and several detours. In fact, much...

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ARCI Working On 'Smooth Transition' to HISA

Association of Racing Commissioners International Chair Robert Lopez said today that the U.S. members of ARCI are focused on a smooth and expeditious implementation of the newly enacted Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. "We view this as an opportunity to achieve improvements we support and believe necessary," Lopez said. "Uniform rules, uniform testing, expanded jurisdiction over horses, and the creation of a multi-jurisdictional investigative entity are all tremendous improvements that will result from this law," added Ed Martin, ARCI's President. ARCI had, in the past, advocated a different path to...

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Oklahoma Attorney General Files Lawsuit Challenging HISA

A federal lawsuit spearheaded by the state of Oklahoma to try and get the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) voided for alleged constitutional violations was filed Monday, meaning there are now two active legal challenges in the United States court system attempting to derail the regulatory powers of the HISA "Authority" prior to that regulatory body's planned 2022 phase-in. According to a press release issued by the state attorney general's office in Oklahoma, the suit is challenging that "HISA gives a private corporation broad regulatory authority over Oklahoma's horse...

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Second Lawsuit Against HISA Seeking Supporters

A second and separate federal lawsuit that would attempt to keep the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) from being implemented on grounds of alleged unconstitutionally continues its way through the legal pipeline. Different from the March complaint filed by various Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Associations against members who represent the HISA "Authority" and the Federal Trade Commission, this yet-to-be-filed lawsuit is being spearheaded by the Oklahoma Attorney General in conjunction with that state's racing commission. Various other racing commissions are apparently being courted as co-plaintiffs, and on Apr. 20...

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Op/Ed Feedback: Why Is Legality Considered Optional?

by Peter Ecabert Bill Finley, in his Mar. 17 TDN opinion piece on the National HBPA challenging the legality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, wrote: "It's hard to imagine that there is one horseman anywhere who cares one bit whether or not HISA is unconstitutional or not." To Mr. Finley, it doesn't matter if this legislation, ramrodded through to passage with no Senate Committee discussion or debate as a little-known add-on to December's COVID relief bill, is legal or not. Who cares about the law's legality? he asks....

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Horsemen's Groups File Federal Lawsuit Over HISA

Organizations representing some Thoroughbred horse owners and trainers have filed a federal lawsuit to stop the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA), signed into law in the U.S. Congress's December omnibus spending bill. The National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (National HBPA) and state affiliates in Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Washington and West Virginia are suing HISA's newly-created "Authority" to regulate the sport and the Federal Trade Commissioners. In addition, they are suing the Nominating Committee and asking the court to immediately stop them from...

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