Barr, Tonko Hold Congressional Horse Caucus Hearing

Lawmakers and horse industry leaders discuss medication reform efforts.

April 28, 2016

Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), the co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus, hosted a hearing with fellow Caucus members and leaders from the horseracing industry to discuss a path forward for the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act. 

Barr and Tonko introduced the legislation in July, 2015 in order to advance reforms aimed at promoting uniform medication standards across the 38 different racing jurisdictions in the United States.  In doing so, the American thoroughbred industry would benefit from increased safety and integrity.

Congressman Barr said, “With the running of the 142nd Kentucky Derby next week, this is the right time to bring lawmakers and the horse industry together to build on the progress that has already been made toward uniform medication standards.  At today’s hearing, we received great feedback from expert witnesses from across the horse industry as we continue to build momentum and expand our coalition of support.  I appreciate Congressman Tonko and all of the members of the Congressional Horse Caucus who participated in the hearing to learn more about our efforts to promote safety, integrity, and competitiveness in American horseracing.” 

“The Thoroughbred industry is a year-round enterprise, responsible for a large number of quality jobs and economic growth.  Stakeholders have taken significant steps in recent years toward medication reform, and together we can build on that work to provide a uniform, national standard of independence and integrity that ensures the health and prosperity of the sport,” said Congressman Tonko.  “I thank today's panelists for their time and invaluable testimony on legislation that requires a thoughtful approach.  I have a great deal of gratitude for Congressman Barr for his passion and determination to get this right, preserve thousands of jobs, and protect our equine athletes.”

Hearing panelists included racehorse owner/celebrity chef Bobby Flay, Breeders’ Cup President & CEO Craig Fravel, former Maryland Jockey Club CEO Joe De Francis, Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Executive Director Chauncey Morris, and National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association CEO Eric Hamelback.