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Tuesday, December 22, 2020Contact: Shannon Luce (859) 224-2716
Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Passes Congress

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) has been passed in the House of Representatives and the Senate and has been sent to President Trump for consideration, signifying meaningful change for the Thoroughbred horse racing industry in the United States.

The bill will make the sport safer and fairer for Thoroughbred racehorses and jockeys by requiring national, uniform safety standards that include anti-doping and medication control and racetrack safety programs managed by an independent, self-regulatory authority.

The bi-partisan legislation was originally introduced to the House as the Thoroughbred Horseracing Integrity Act of 2015 by Reps. Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), and it was introduced in the Senate this year by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) with bi-partisan support from Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martha McSally (R-AZ), and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA). Since then, the legislation was included in omnibus legislation that was passed by both houses of Congress and is awaiting the president’s signature.

“I’d like to thank Leader McConnell for introducing and steadfastly supporting the HISA,” said Stuart S. Janney III, chairman, The Jockey Club. “Leader McConnell has long been a strong champion for Thoroughbred racing, and the passage of HISA puts the sport’s medication and safety policies in the U.S. on par with those of other major racing jurisdictions around the world.

“Congressmen Andy Barr and Paul Tonko and their staffs are also to be commended for the hard work and effort they have devoted over the years to ensure the safety of our Thoroughbreds with the passage of this historic bill,” Janney continued. “They should be proud of this achievement, and we are grateful for their leadership. Finally, I would like to thank Senator Chuck Schumer for his strong leadership in including the HISA in the omnibus package.”

The HISA will replace the current disjointed system of state-by-state regulation with a national program carefully crafted to provide uniform and effective medication and safety protocols. A new Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Authority), working cooperatively with the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), will have jurisdiction and enforcement authority over anti-doping and medication control and racetrack safety protocols for the Thoroughbred racing industry.

“As the enforcement agency for drug testing and medication policy for the U.S. Olympic team and other major sports, USADA is ideally suited to work with the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority,” said James L. Gagliano, president and chief operating officer, The Jockey Club. “USADA and the Authority will ensure rigorous race-day and out-of-competition testing and modernize the regulation of Thoroughbred racing in the U.S.

“This would not have been possible without the outstanding support we received from the original members of the Coalition for Horse Racing Integrity, many of the prominent organizations in Thoroughbred racing, the leaders in the Standardbred industry, in particular Jeff Gural of the Meadowlands, and the numerous animal welfare groups that rallied their members to voice support for HISA.”

Click here to read the HISA, starting on page 2,980.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (, the ownership resource. Additional information is available at