April 1, 2022 – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) reached significant milestones this week with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approving the proposed Enforcement and Methodology Assessment Rules in addition to the distribution of the 2022 cost assessments to state racing commissions. As the July 1, 2022 program effective date for the Racetrack Safety Program approaches, these developments are the latest steps forward in HISA’s mission to make racing safer and protect the integrity of the sport through uniform rules, enforcement mechanisms and accreditation standards.
“These developments bring us closer to fulfilling our mandate to protect the wellbeing of both horse and rider through uniform rules and accreditation standards,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “The Racetrack Safety Program will expand veterinary oversight, impose surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhance jockey safety and implement voided claim rules, among other important measures that will go into effect on July 1.”
The Enforcement Rule (8000 Series) describes a range of violations and civil sanctions, establishes procedures for disciplinary and racetrack accreditation hearings, and grants the Authority necessary investigatory powers. Its approval by the FTC indicates that the rules meet the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act’s (the Act) requirement to define violations and provide for adequate due process, including impartial hearing officers or tribunals commensurate with the seriousness of the alleged violation. In developing these rules, the Authority relied to a great extent upon rules governing horseracing as they currently exist in most states.
The annual assessments that state racing commissions are receiving today were determined by the FTC approved Methodology Assessment Rule (8500 Series), which outlines a process designed to ensure fairness and equity across thoroughbred racing jurisdictions. The cost calculations represent each state’s proportionate share of HISA’s 2022 budget as required under the Act. Under the rule, HISA calculated 50% of each state racing commission’s cost according to the total number of starts in covered races and the remaining half based on starts weighted for purses in covered races.
It is HISA’s intention to work with relevant stakeholders on an ongoing basis to evolve and improve the rules as more data become available and as circumstances dictate.