Today, in Kentucky's Franklin County Circuit Court, the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (“KHRC”) and three KHRC officials were named in a lawsuit filed by prominent Lexington attorney, Richard A. Getty. The complaint, brought by major thoroughbred owner/breeder Jerry Jamgotchian, was filed to insure that horse owner rights are not abused by the KHRC or other racing commissions who conspire to illegally restrict horse owner rights. The goal of Jamgotchian's action is to seek the immediate rescission of the KHRC's Claiming Rule which he believes violates Commerce Clause provisions, as contained in the United States Constitution. This action was required because the KHRC refused to voluntarily rescind its illegal Claiming Rule and is using the board's enforcement power to shakedown, threaten and harass Kentucky owners and trainers who want to race their claimed horses in other states.
Upon filing this action, Jamgotchian stated, “I'm quite surprised that the KHRC refused to rescind their unconstitutional Claiming Rule, like the California Horse Racing Board did two years ago after I filed the same litigation against them. It just highlights how dysfunctional, out of touch and oblivious the KHRC, its executive staff and board members are, and further illustrates why horses, trainers, owners, and breeders are leaving Kentucky and probably will never return.”
“We look forward to winning this case and making sure that all horse owners in the US, including the Commonwealth of Kentucky, have the opportunity to claim a horse and then race it anywhere in the world they want, without harassment, restriction or the threat of suspension.”
Jamgotchian further believes that elimination of the Kentucky Claiming Rule could actually help Kentucky horse racing in the future, if and when, there is new, competent and respected leadership at the KHRC and when the Kentucky legislature recognizes the many jobs, tax revenue and economic opportunities horse racing provides to the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
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