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Congressman Andy Barr

Representing All the People of Kentucky's Sixth District

Barr, Tonko Reintroduce Horseracing Integrity Act

Mar 14, 2019
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) today reintroduced the Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754), which establishes an authority to create and implement a national uniform medication program with input from the horse industry.

“As the Representative for the Horse Capital of the World, I have the distinct honor of fighting for the future of this great American sport,” said Congressman Barr.  “I continue to believe the prosperity of Kentucky’s signature horseracing industry depends on national uniform medication standards and testing procedures. I am proud to reintroduce this legislation with my friend and colleague, Congressman Tonko, and I look forward to building upon the great bipartisan work we secured last Congress, including more than 100 cosponsors, to ensure the safety and integrity of this sport is preserved for years to come.”

“Horseracing thrives when we put the majestic equine athlete front and center,” Congressman Paul Tonko said. “Our legislation creates a set of nationwide rules that are clear, consistent, and conflict-free. This will make horseracing safer for our equine athletes and jockeys while increasing confidence in the sport among the trainers, owners, horseplayers, and horseracing fans alike. This sport of kings has long supported good jobs and delivers billions of dollars in economic impact every year in my home state of New York and throughout the country. I am grateful to Congressman Barr for partnering with me on this common-sense legislation and look forward to advancing our measure through the House.”

“Today over 1,700 members of the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) celebrate the reintroduction of The Horseracing Integrity Act in the House of Representatives,” said Staci Hancock, Managing Member on behalf of the Water Hay Oats Alliance. “We thank our sponsors, Congressmen Andy Barr and Paul Tonko, for working together in a bipartisan effort to achieve ‘clean racing’ and uniformity among the 38 racing jurisdictions in the United States. Passage of the Horse Racing Integrity Act is absolutely crucial to the future of American horse racing.  WHOA strongly believes it is the right thing for our industry.”

“The Jockey Club is grateful to Representatives Barr and Tonko for their strong support of the Horseracing Integrity Act,” said Jim Gagliano, President and Chief Operating Officer of The Jockey Club, “this legislation is vital for the health and safety of our athletes and the integrity of the sport of horse racing.”

“We greatly appreciate the work of Congressman Barr and all who are passionately working to advance this legislation for all the right reasons and look forward to the continued process to achieve these crucial objectives,” said Bill Thomason, Keeneland’s President and CEO.

"Nothing is more important to our great industry than the integrity of racing and it is vital that our regulatory and rulemaking system meets the needs of the 21st century,” said Criag Fravel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Breeders' Cup Ltd. “The Horse Racing Integrity Act is the logical response to those needs, and we thank Representatives Barr and Tonko for their efforts to reintroduce this important legislation."

Under existing law, the American horseracing industry labors under a diverse patchwork of conflicting and inconsistent rules governing medication policies and practices across dozens of different racing jurisdictions.  This lack of uniformity in the rules of horseracing has impaired interstate commerce and undermined the public confidence in the sport.

The Horseracing Integrity Act

-Establishes a conflict-free, self-regulatory organization responsible for creating and implementing an anti-doping program for the entire horseracing industry

-Develops standardized list of permitted and prohibited substances, treatments and methods for all covered races in the United States

-Requires full & fair information disclosure to breeding stock purchasers and the wagering public

-Bans the use of all medications within 24 hours of a race

-Provides for the increased safety and welfare of horses, jockeys and drivers

By encouraging fair competition and a level playing field across state lines, assuring full and fair disclosure of information to purchasers of breeding stock and to the wagering public, and providing for the safety and welfare of horses and jockeys, the Horseracing Integrity Act will enhance the popularity and international competitiveness

Congressman Barr and Congressman Tonko have introduced a version of this legislation since 2015. They serve as co-chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus.

 

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