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
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