Congressman Andy Barr: Horseracing Integrity Act Needed

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With the introduction of the Horseracing Integrity Act on March 14 in the United States House of Representatives, BloodHorse’s online editor Frank Angst caught up with Rep. Andy Barr (Republican, Ky.), who introduced the rules; with Rep. Paul Tonko (Democrat, N.Y.) The invoice, which would create a private, independent horse racing anti-doping authority accountable for developing and administering a national anti-doping and medicine control program for horse racing, become delivered with 27 co-sponsors and become stated by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

The Horseracing Integrity Act is backed by way of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, a diverse organization of 18 individuals that includes racing corporations, racetracks, proprietor and breeder institutions, and animal welfare corporations that guide the adoption of a national uniform general for drug and medicinal drug regulations in horse racing. CHRI counts among its contributors BloodHorse proprietors The Jockey Club and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.  Five days after the bill was brought, Barr expressed optimism because he stated there might be greater information that horse racing has ended up an industry this is national in scope.

He stated the current country-by means of-kingdom regulatory framework has fallen short on uniformity and noted that the contemporary law might be funded within the enterprise—not utilizing horseplayers via delivered takeout. BloodHorse: What are a number of the motives you have been so devoted to these rules? Andy Barr: My first time period in Congress, I changed into learning about the issue. I had been round the horse enterprise my whole existence, my grandfather (J. B. Faulconer) became vp of public members of the family at Keeneland again within the ’60s, I grew up going to Three Chimneys Farm with my pal Case Clay—being around Seattle Slew and going out to Keeneland as a younger man and being a fan. You can not avoid it in case you develop up in Lexington, Kentucky. As a young legal professional, we represented horse farms even in my regulation practice, and we labored on various troubles associated with the horse industry.

So I had familiarity with the industry. However, I spent those first few years in Congress virtually listening to all facets, from proprietors, breeders, trainers, the tracks—getting a lay of the land.  This has been a long-standing movement and effort to cope with the difficulty of medication in Thoroughbred racing. I took a look at the mins of the Jockey Club Round Table from 1980 when my grandfather became going to those meetings. In the early ’80s, I trust my grandfather turned into vice-chairman of Thoroughbred Racing Associations. I type of desire to look at what my grandfather was listening to at the time. (Then Jockey Club Chairman) Nicholas Brady gave a speech, and it becomes remarkable. They had been speakme about the equal problems 30, 40 years ago—which became ‘What will we do about doping? What will we do about medication?’

AB: That’s a hassle for me. I realized that for the future prosperity of the industry, after taking note of my ingredients and absolutely soaking up the arguments on all facets, we do want to do all we can do to make sure uniformity. Especially while you consider the differences in U.S. Racing and foreign jurisdictions—in which they’re—I wanted to do something that could deliver the U.S. Up to global requirements within the way we modify remedy. BH: There are nevertheless differences from kingdom to nation under this regulatory model in terms of uniformity. Thoroughbred racing within the Thirties changed into more of an intrastate proposition. There had been some horses who manifestly traveled, but it wasn’t like it is nowadays.

Today maximum Thoroughbreds are moving across nation traces; their starts are at distinct racetracks throughout the country. Obviously, ninety% of the care is being wagered via (advance-deposit wagering) systems and simulcast wagering. It’s now not like most of the manage is at one track in one state.  So to entice that new generation of fans, we want to ensure that there’s uniformity inside the racing guidelines. I do not assume everybody could say, ‘Well, university basketball regulations must be distinct due to the fact you’re gambling inside the East Region instead of the South Region.’ Or while Kentucky performs Abilene Christian, they’re going to be playing with a 25-foot three-point line; however, while Duke plays, they will be playing with a 20-foot 3-factor line. It’s better for the game, better for the fans if the wagering public has confidence that every one of those racehorses is racing beneath a unmarried set of uniform nationwide rules. We want to do as plenty as we can to ensure the protection and integrity of the sport.