National HBPA

Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards Handed Out At Keeneland Tuesday Night

Winners were named across seven categories with a total of $122,000 awarded at the Thoroughbred Industry Employee Awards, now in its eighth year in the United States, which concluded Tuesday evening at Keeneland Racecourse's Entertainment Center, Godolphin said in a press release after the event. For the first time this year, in addition to the three finalists in each category, two alternates were also chosen and received monetary rewards. Todd Schrupp, FanDuel TV analyst, served as the master of ceremonies. Tom Law, Saratoga Special Managing Editor and this year's judging...

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Federal Bill to Repeal and Replace HISA in Pipeline

A bill that would repeal the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) and replace it with a voluntary interstate compact to govern the nation's Thoroughbred, Standardbred, and Quarter Horse racing is about to be introduced in Congress. The Republican Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins on Tuesday announced his intention to file the Racehorse Health and Safety Act (RHSA). The bill would establish a governing body known as the Racehorse Health and Safety Organization (RHSO), which would oversee breed-specific Scientific Medication Control Committees tasked with drafting and recommending drug rules for each...

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Authority Tells Appeals Court Not To Be Persuaded by HBPA's 'Scattershot' Attempts to Derail HISA

With oral arguments in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit looming in less than two months, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority defendants in a two-year-old lawsuit spearheaded by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) asserted in a legal brief Friday that the panel of judges should "dismiss this appeal or affirm the judgment" from a lower court that ruled the 2022 rewrite of the HISA law was constitutionally compliant. "Congress, the Executive, and all three federal courts that have considered the...

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National HBPA Issues Statement on HISA's Power to Suspend Racing

Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association on Monday released a statement on the organization's position on the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority's (HISA) power to suspend live racing. Recently a HISA offial indicated the regulatory body is considering a rule to allow it to shut down racetracks even without any welfare and safety violations. "The National HBPA supports a robust investigation of the tragic deaths at Churchill Downs," Hamelback said. "But at this point, no one has found any evidence of rules violations by...

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Claiming Crown Returns To Fair Grounds

The 2023 Claiming Crown will be staged for the first time since 2011 at the Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans on Saturday, Dec. 2, the National HBPA and the TOBA said in a joint release early on Thursday. The event will feature eight races totaling $1 million in base purses, headlined by the $200,000 Claiming Crown Jewel. Eric Hamelback, CEO of the National HBPA said, "The Claiming Crown was designed to celebrate our hard-knocking, unsung heroes of the turf. What better place--especially for our 25th running--than...

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Eric Hamelback: Now Is Not The Time To Go Low Or Assign Blame

National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback response to Gagliano's statement: While we will not respond in a tit-for-tat with The Jockey Club, we want to make one thing abundantly clear. That is to quote the Authority's own statement in response to these tragic deaths last week: "Churchill Downs has been cooperating with HISA since its inception and is in full compliance with our rules and processes." To suggest that these deaths were somehow attributable to the HBPA is simply wrong. HISA clearly stated in its own press release that Churchill Downs...

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James L. Gagliano

It has been increasingly difficult to watch as the opponents of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA) continue to ramp up their campaign to see it derailed. Much like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks, they continue to pitch mistruths and diversions and file myriad lawsuits across the nation in an attempt to get something to stick in the minds of lawmakers, judges, and policymakers. I would like to set the record straight about HISA and to comment on its opponents' most recent actions....

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NHBPA 'Will Not Exploit the Deaths of Horses To Make a Point'

Not even 24 hours after the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) alleged links between the sport's recent adverse headlines and the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA)'s request to delay the May 22 implementation of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) program, the NHBPA fired back with a response that stated the fatalities of seven horses during GI Kentucky Derby week shouldn't be used as a means to make legal arguments in the 2-year-old lawsuit. "The Horsemen will not exploit the...

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Lucinda Finley Q&A: HISA Critics Throwing `Everything” Until Something “Sticks'

After a series of false starts, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act's (HISA) signature anti-doping and medication control (ADMC) program is now set to go into effect on May 22. Continuing to play out against this latest development are a handful of lawsuits seeking to derail the law—a complex legal landscape evolving at seemingly vertigo-inducing speed. In a ruling delivered last week, judge James Hendrix of the Lubbock Division of the Northern District of Texas found the version of the act amended by Congress at the end of last year...

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Screening Levels, Transparency Among Key Topics Day 2 of HBPA Conference

Scientifically-based screening levels and transparency in how policy is made were among key items addressed in the Kent Stirling Memorial Medication Panel, held during Wednesday's second day of the National Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association conference at the Hotel Monteleone. The National HBPA has long advocated for scientifically-developed screening and threshold levels used to determine if a positive finding is a legitimate rules violation, or if a negligible amount was inadvertently transferred to a horse or by contamination with no pharmacological impact on the animal's performance. The topic comes to...

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HBPA Plaintiffs Tell Fifth Circuit New Law 'Does Not Fix' HISA's Problems

As the Fifth Circuit United States Court of Appeals weighs a motion by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority to vacate its recent opinion that HISA is unconstitutional, a plaintiff team led by the National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association (NHBPA) on Friday urged the court not to do that, arguing that a new federal law passed two weeks ago to amend the operative language of HISA "does not fix" three alleged constitutionality issues. "This Court's opinion identified three distinct problems with HISA: 'An agency does not have...

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Landry To Deliver Keynote Address at National HBPA Conference

Edited Press Release Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry will be the keynote speaker at the National HBPA's annual conference Mar. 6-10 at the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans' historic French Quarter, the horsemen's organization announced. The conference, being hosted by the Louisiana HPBA, takes place in conjunction with the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI) Annual Meeting and Racing Integrity Conference. Landry's keynote address is to be delivered Mar. 7. He has been at the forefront of states challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) and...

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