More House Representatives Sign On To Horseracing Integrity Act

by | 01.16.2020 | 1:36pm
Reps. Paul Tonko (left) and Andy Barr, co-chairmen of the Congressional Horse Caucus

The two House representatives who co-chair the Congressional Horse Caucus said this week that formal co-sponsorship of the Horseracing Integrity Act has now reached 226 members. Last month, Paul Tonko (D-NY) and Andy Barr (R-KY) announced that the bill had reached the majority mark for support at 218.

The Horseracing Integrity Act (H.R. 1754) would authorize the creation of a non-governmental oversight body to implement a national, uniform medication program for the horse racing in the U.S.

“After years working side by side with my friend Congressman Andy Barr to move this legislation forward, I am deeply gratified that our bill to strengthen America's horseracing industry and elevate the health and safety of our equine athletes is finally getting its due support,” said Tonko. “Establishing a single, national approach to medication testing with strong independent oversight and enforcement will help ensure the long-term viability of this sport of kings. The stakes for this legislation are high, especially in regions like ours with historic ties to an industry that contributes billions of dollars and supports thousands of jobs in the New York economy each year, much of it at and around our legendary Saratoga Race Course.”

“The bipartisan support we have garnered for this legislation demonstrates the urgency of needed reforms in the horseracing industry,” said Congressman Barr. “At the end of the day, my efforts are about ensuring the safety of our equine athletes and the integrity of the sport.  I will continue to educate my colleagues on the need for transparency and standardization in horseracing and build on this momentum to fight for Kentucky's signature industry.”

“Industry leaders in the Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) are encouraged by growing support in the U.S. Congress for the Horseracing Integrity Act and have high hopes for its passage in 2020,” said Staci Hancock, managing member of WHOA. “WHOA supports the creation of a national independent agency, under the leadership of USADA, to oversee the rules, testing and penalties essential to the health of our horses, and our sport. Additionally, the Horseracing Integrity Act puts U.S. horse racing on track to achieve international uniformity in drug and medication rules. The over 1,800 members of WHOA appreciate Congressmen Barr and Tonko for their ongoing efforts on our industry's behalf.”

Companion legislation has been introduced in the Senate and has 23 cosponsors.

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