U.S. Trotting Association: ‘No Official Position’ On Horse Racing Integrity Act

by | 06.02.2017 | 8:47am

The Horse Racing Integrity Act (HRI) was recently reintroduced in Congress by Representatives Andy Barr and Paul Tonko, with the hopes that the legislation will make more progress during the current session than it did previously. In addition to covering Thoroughbred racing, the new proposal also includes both Quarter Horse and Standardbred racing.

The HRI has had firm support from The Jockey Club since it was first introduced. However, as Bill Finley points out in his column for Harness Racing Update, the United States Trotting Association “is not ready to commit one way or the other” on the legislation.

“Since the proposed legislation was introduced just last week and there hasn't been an opportunity to convene the USTA Board or even its executive committee, we have no official position on the bill at this time,” Mike Tanner, the USTA's executive vice president said.

The latest version of the HRI calls for the elimination of all race-day medication, which Tanner indicated is not something the USTA supports.

“I think that I'm safe in saying that the race day prohibition of Lasix would be very troubling to us,” Tanner said. “In 2012, we came out strongly in favor of it as a being an effective and humane treatment. That's a position that's echoed by several other equine groups, including the American Association of Equine Practitioners. It's not just us, and we're perplexed as to why this keeps coming around.”

Tanner added, “This appears to be a “one-size fits all” proposition that treats standardbred racing, thoroughbred racing, and quarter horse racing as if they are one and the same, with the same issues and challenges — and that's just not the case.”

Read more at Harness Racing Update

  • A once great equine sport has fallen on the hardest of times as only a very few diel hards seem to give a rat’s tuchus.

    • Lehane

      It might gain some popularity if it banned the whip, which Australia has recently done in harness racing. Watching those horses in all that restrictive gear and being beaten with a whip was unacceptable and the harness people here got the message and made a prudent decision.
      As for Tanner’s and Finley’s comments…….another nail in the coffin for their sport….they sure know how to shoot themselves in the foot.

      • me

        I believe a rule on all harness tracks of keeping BOTH hands on the lines through the finish would solve the “whipping” issuein harness racing. And if you think that a jockey beating and whacking a horse down the stretch is any different you are wrong. And btw, Australia is looking in to a shorter type of stick to use in racing, the ban is not in affect yet.
        As far as the HRI, In Maryland, the harness tracks are basically ruled but what ever the MDJockey Club has followed. I am a firm believer if we had more uniformity between racetracks/between states a government “takeover” would be unnecessary.

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