Coalition For Horse Racing Integrity Issues Response To HANA Poll

by | 09.04.2015 | 3:32pm

Statement from Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity Regarding Horseplayers Association of North America Poll

The Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity has released the following statement in response to the publication of a poll by the Horseplayers Association of North America reflecting overwhelming support among bettors for reforming drug use and enforcement in horse racing:

“Horseplayers and bettors are the lifeblood of the Thoroughbred racing industry. The leadership of HANA clearly understands that we must ensure their voice is represented, and we praise the recent announcement of a poll of its members which concluded that more than four in five horseplayers (83%) support national uniform drug and medication standards overseen by experts at USADA, an independent, nongovernmental non-profit organization.

These results mirror similar polling conducted among bettors in recent years by the NTRA, McKinsey & Company and Penn Schoen Berland.  Most recently, a 2015 Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity survey found that:

·         77% of horseracing bettors consider the possibility of illegal drug use when handicapping.

·         Among those who form an opinion about whether trainers are using performance enhancing drugs (PEDs), three in five (60%) say they typically bet less on the race, compared with less than one in twenty (4%) who say they bet more.

·         92% of horseracing bettors said they want to see uniform medication policies happen faster than they are happening now, and

·         72% support a proposal to grant oversight of drug and medication testing and enforcement to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

The support of individual horseplayers for a national framework, as well as the recently announced support of the Meadowlands, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs, epitomizes the wide variety of industry interests who are committed to the medication reform and uniformity that is needed to ensure integrity in our sport.”

The Coalition – whose membership also includes the Breeders' Cup Ltd., the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Veterinary Medicine Association, The Jockey Club, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners & Breeders, Meadowlands Racetrack, Tioga Downs, Vernon Downs and the Water Hay Oats Alliance – supports the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015.  This bill, introduced in July 2015 to the House of Representatives by Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), will direct the non-governmental, non-profit U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to create an independent, racing-specific, non-governmental and non-profit organization to work collaboratively with state racing commissions and their respective staff members throughout the country.

Additional information, including full 2015 polling results, stories from supporters and ways to contact Congressional members to express support for this legislation, is available at

  • Would welcome any comment by any active board member of an HBPA organization (use your name) to comment as to the industry’s lifeblood supporting USADA’s oversight. #nomoreexcuses.

    • Ben van den Brink

      Try to organize a poll, via the New York Times.


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    • Amanda: HBPA leaders, when asked, have always told me that a) a vast majority of their members want to keep using drugs and b) horseplayers want to see drugs continued to be used. I think they are absolutely wrong on both accounts. These are the same people that have told me that Lexington Congressman Andy Barr was a big HBPA supporter, which we now also realize is not the case. Until they do an honest job in canvassing their members, they cannot in all good conscience continue to say their members support the continued use of drugs.

      • Their membership has an obligation to stand up and be heard. Silent acquiescence is as bad as saying, “we want drugs and political appointees to supervise us.”

        • Concerned Observer

          Most race horse owners (especially the small owners) have no idea how to be heard within the HBPA political apparatus. We need the power of TOBA and WHOA to educate the owners how to have a voice and an impact on the decisions of the HBPA.

  • Horses first

    Gai Waterhouse hit the nail right on the head,it is all about horsemanship,which is sadly lacking by the membership of the HPBA

  • Richard C

    And when it comes to spending entertainment dollars through sports wagering…..daily fantasy sports is now driving a bulldozer through the landscape littered with traditional race tracks and modern racinos.

  • Karl Bittner

    At this point any rational thinking person knows where as an industry they need to go on drug reform in horse racing it’s a matter of will and the ability to make it happen.

  • 4Bellwether666

    One of these day’s???…But which one???…HPBA in Virginia is absurd for sure…

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