Statement from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association:
For eight years, there have been various attempts to enact federal legislation aimed at standardizing equine medication policy across the country. Typically, horsemen’s groups have opposed those efforts. On Friday, the Board of Directors of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) voted unanimously to support the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) that was recently introduced by Senator McConnell. Simultaneously adopted by the House of Representatives, the new HISA features significant changes that vastly improves upon previous proposals. As a result of these improvements, the HISA now deserves our support.
Horse Racing is at a crossroads. The 2019 breakdown crisis and this year’s shocking indictments of veterinarians and trainers have exposed the industry’s uneven commitment to both equine safety and competitive integrity. What’s been obvious for years, to owners, trainers, bettors and fans – is that our industry’s institutions need structural change.
Passing legislation is a mere first step and meaningful change will only come about with a) a truly diverse Authority Board and nominating committee, and b) a well-funded and independent Authority staff. NYTHA will advocate strongly for these priorities.
Over the next few months, we look forward to working with Senators McConnell and Gillibrand as well as Representatives Tonko and Barr to produce a final piece of legislation ensuring an improved environment for equine welfare.
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