TO: TOC Members
FROM: Greg Avioli, TOC President and CEO
DATE: September 10, 2020
CC: TOC Board of Directors
Scott Chaney, CHRB Executive Director
The TOC Board held a series of meetings over the past two weeks to discuss the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act recently introduced by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Since Senator McConnell’s announcement of the legislation early last week, it has moved swiftly through the House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. Click the buttons below for a full copy of the proposed legislation and bill summary.
After careful consideration of the specific language in the Act and following discussions with the The Jockey Club, CHRB and our California industry stakeholders, the TOC Board has reached the following conclusions:
- The Act has the potential to significantly improve the overall safety and welfare of racehorses throughout the United States as well as raise the bar on testing and enforcement.
- The act proposes to establish uniform national medication and racetrack safety rules, testing standards and penalties. California currently has the most stringent medication and safety regulations and spends the most money on regulation and horse welfare. As such, California owners, trainers and racetracks will benefit from the remainder of the country being required to meet California’s strict standards, which we expect will closely mirror the regulations to be promulgated by the new Authority.
- There remain many important details regarding the practical implementation of the Act that are to be worked out over the next 18 months prior to the effective date of the Act. These include the specific ways that the new federal racing Authority would interact with, and to a certain extent supersede, CHRB rules and regulations and related financial implications for racetracks, owners and other constituents. The Board believes it is critical for TOC to be an active voice in these discussions.
The TOC will be hosting a member call this Saturday, September 12 at 11 am pacific time to discuss the Act in more detail. Present will be myself, TOC Chairman Nick Alexander, Vice Chairman Gary Fenton, Chairman of Medication Committee Rick Gold as well as a representative of the Stronach Group, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and The Jockey Club.