U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Martha McSally (R-AZ), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act today to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing.
The Senators’ bipartisan bill will provide federal recognition and enforcement power to a nine-member Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority. This independent, non-governmental regulatory body will set national standards for track safety, anti-doping and medication rules, and lab protocols for Thoroughbred racing.
“The misuse of potentially dangerous substances in racehorses to boost performance harms horses and has led to numerous injuries and deaths,” said Senator McSally. “I have worked for years to protect racehorses against this abuse and uphold the integrity of the sport. I’m pleased to join Majority Leader McConnell and other bipartisan Senators to do just that by creating uniform racetrack safety standards that will better enforce anti-doping measures.”
“It’s been a privilege throughout my Senate career to deliver for Kentucky’s signature horseracing industry and the workers who support it. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act we introduce today will help protect this sport for the future with uniform, national standards. Baseball, football, and other professional sports have a central regulatory authority, and Thoroughbred racing should too,” said Senator McConnell. “I am proud to join Senator Gillibrand, my colleague from another Triple Crown state, in introducing our bipartisan legislation, along with Senator McSally and Senator Feinstein. Together, we can make Thoroughbred racing as fair and as safe as possible. We owe nothing less to the jockeys, trainers, breeders, equine athletes, and fans.”
“Having grown up near the races at Saratoga Raceway, I know how important it is to protect horses at Saratoga and across the country. Congress must put an end to the harsh treatment of racehorses and solidify health and safety standards for both racehorses and racetracks,” said Senator Gillibrand. “I’m proud to work with Majority Leader McConnell on the bipartisan Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. This legislation will do the important work of creating an independent regulatory process tasked with implementing anti-doping and safety programs to help ensure health and safety in America’s historic horseracing industry.”
“I’m pleased to join Leader McConnell in introducing a bill to finally establish uniform, nationwide standards to protect racehorses, jockeys and the integrity of the sport,” said Senator Feinstein. “Given the troubling number of racehorse deaths in recent years, this legislation is a step in the right direction, and I will continue working to ensure that increased safety standards, like those adopted in California, are applied nationally.”
U.S. Congressmen Andy Barr (KY-06) and Paul Tonko (NY-20) will sponsor identical legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives.
On June 12, 2019, McSally and Gillibrand introduced the Horseracing Integrity Act.