Retired Hall of Fame jockey Chris McCarron will be among those testifying next Tuesday during a Congressional hearing on the Horseracing Integrity Act, federal legislation that would create a private, independent national oversight agency to regulate medication policy for the sport.
The hearing of the Committee on Energy and Commerce's Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce is entitled Legislation to Promote the Health and Safety of Racehorses. It will be held in the Rayburn House Office Building at 10:30 a.m. ET. Jan. 28.
McCarron will be speaking on behalf of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, which supports the legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) and with more than half of the Members now signed on as co-sponsors.
Others speaking on behalf of the CHRI in support of the bill are William M. Lear Jr., vice chairman of The Jockey Club, a driving force behind the legislation, and one of three trustees of the Keeneland Association, which is a member of the CHRI; Joe De Francis, Humane Society of the United States, chairman of the National Horseracing Advisory Council and former owner of Maryland Jockey Club tracks Pimlico and Laurel Park; and Marty Irby, executive director of Animal Wellness Action, a Washington, D.C., advocacy group.
Also testifying will be Dr. Kathleen M. Anderson, an equine veterinarian and former president of the American Association of Equine Practitioners. Anderson was a member of the panel that announced the formation in November 2019 of the Thoroughbred Safety Coalition, which includes Churchill Downs, an opponent of the Horseracing Integrity Act. (The Thoroughbred Safety Coalition founding members include Horseracing Integrity Act supporters Keeneland and the Breeders' Cup.).
Other witnesses include Dennis A. Drazin, chairman and CEO of Darby Development, operator of Monmouth Park, and Ed Martin, president and CEO of the Association of Racing Commissioners International. Both are expected to speak in opposition to the federal legislation.
The Horseracing Integrity Act would create a new agency, the Horseracing Anti-Doping and Medication Control Authority (HADA) that would be responsible for developing and administering a strict anti-doping and medication control program. Under the oversight of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USASDA) and governed by a board of six individuals with deep horse racing expertise and seven individuals from USADA, HADA would create a set of uniform medication rules, including lists of permitted and prohibited substances and methods in line with international anti-doping standards and veterinarian ethical standards.
A live stream of Tuesday's hearing can be seen here.
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