HISA — will it be ready; will racing be ready?

Updated 4th Aug 2021 5:54 AM

Will the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) be ready for horse racing and will horse racing be ready for it when it is put into action in 2022?

We quote liberally from Dan Ross writing for the Thoroughbred Daily News. The selections below come from Part of 1 of 2.

Will HISA Be Ready in Time?

Open quote

With the official enactment of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) on the first of July, 2022, racing jurisdictions North and South, East and West will be bound by the same medication standards, safety rules, and enforcement mechanisms–a hallelujah for many who have long championed the ouster of l’ancien regime to pave the way for national uniformity.

But with slightly more than 11 months between now and then–provided in the interim HISA successfully navigates constitutional challenges in the courts–what do we know about how this brave new world will play out on a practical level?

Those familiar with some of the backroom negotiations stressed fluidity. According to USADA spokesperson Adam Woullard, the agency is “humbled and excited” to be part of racing’s new governing program. “We just have to get all the details in place,” he wrote.

“This is a moving target,” says Alex Waldrop, president and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), who pointed out that Scheeler only officially assumed the HISA board chairmanship at the end of May. “Nothing’s set in stone yet.” Read full report »

See Pt 2: “What Will HISA Look Like?” »


Louisiana joins two other states, Oklahoma and West Virginia, in challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act and seeks an injunction to prevent the Authority from assuming its responsibilities by July 2022, as required by the law. That suit, which also includes the United States Trotting Association as a plaintiff, was filed in April of this year.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry issued the following statement concerning the decision to join the suit:

“HISA requires the unelected Authority to exercise regulatory authority over horseracing in Louisiana, mandates our State to assist the Authority, and forces us to choose between remitting funds to the Authority or losing some of our powers of taxation. This violation of the Tenth Amendment would have devastating effects to our State and the thousands of Louisianans in the horse industry,” said Landry.

“While I believe that horses should be treated humanely and horseracing should be held to the highest degree of integrity, I know that more bureaucracy from an overreaching and unaccountable fiefdom is not the way to achieve these goals,” Landry continued.

Our take

“Nothing’s set in stone yet.” “This is a moving target.” These people are unbelievable. It is also going to be another nail in the coffin of U.S. horseracing if they don’t get busy figuring this out — not that we mind that.

We say just ban it. Horse racing cannot be reformed. Why? Because truthfully there is no interest. They want to be able to run racing exactly the way they have been — without interruption. Business as crooked usual. Another reason? This old saying sums it up nicely, “The horse has bolted.” In other words, it is too late, gone, you have lost him.

In the meantime, Dan Ross knows what he is talking about; he is a good analytical writer. We recommend you read both articles if this is a topic of interest to you, or if you have gotten behind on where the enforcement of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act stands, and what is to happen next.

It looks like a disaster waiting to happen to us simply because U.S. horse racing is corrupt and narrow minded.

The Fund for Horses supported this legislation for one reason and one reason only — to get American horse racing under one jurisdictional roof, and go from there, instead of having to deal with a patchwork of State and local laws. These horse racing States are not stupid and know what it means: loss of local control.

Link to Part 1 — Will HISA Be Ready in Time? by Dan Ross, TDN (29th Jul 2021)
Link to Part 2 — What Will HISA Look Like? by Dan Ross, TDN (1st Aug 2021)



Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s