Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Establishes Horsemen’s Advisory Group to Expand Ongoing Collaboration

August 29, 2022 (Lexington, Ky) – Today, as promised in remarks made by HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus during the August 14 Jockey Club Round Table, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) formally announced its intent to establish a Horsemen’s Advisory Group to provide feedback to its executive team and Standing Committees on the implementation and evolution of HISA’s regulations and protocols. HISA is inviting all horsemen and women who wish to be considered for membership in the Advisory Group to email horsemenadvisory@hisaus.org indicating their interest and qualifications by Friday, September 9, 2022.

“We look forward to building upon our existing efforts to collaborate with participants in all facets of the sport by seeking more targeted input from active horsemen and women. Their hands-on experience will help ensure the practicality and effectiveness of our rules for all racing participants,” said Lazarus. “HISA is proud of and grateful for the unparalleled expertise that has informed the development of our regulations – the first ever national rules to govern our sport. As we continue the implementation phase of our mandate from Congress, HISA will benefit immensely from additional perspectives from the trainers and owners who are on the backside, standing trackside and in the racing office every day.”

HISA’s executive team will select a diverse group of 10-12 horsepersons with input from its Standing Committees and is seeking members who are involved in both small and large racing operations across the country to represent the broad array of viewpoints that make up the American horse racing community. Those interested should expect to participate in monthly meetings with HISA leadership and to serve as individual sounding boards on specific issues on which they may have unique knowledge or insights on a more frequent basis.

“Establishing the Horsemen’s Advisory Group will significantly enhance our regulatory system and allow us to account for the wide range of environments found at tracks across the U.S. as we continue to implement HISA’s safety and integrity programs,” said Ann McGovern, HISA Director of Racetrack Safety.

The Advisory Group’s membership is expected to be announced and hold its first monthly meeting in October.

Fourteen HBPA Affiliates, Four Tracks Seek To Join HISA Lawsuit

by Paulick Report Staff

 

An alliance of 14 affiliates of the Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and four racetracks are seeking protection from the alleged harms of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act Authority (HISA). They are asking a federal judge to allow them to participate in an existing lawsuit that claims HISA and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) violated the Fourth and Seventh Amendments to the U.S. Constitution as well as the process by which federal agencies develop and issue regulations, T. D. Thornton of Thoroughbred Daily News reports.

The HBPA affiliates and the tracks on Friday filed a “motion to intervene” in United States District Court (Western District of Louisiana). If accepted by the judge, it would grant the petitioners status in the case alongside the lead plaintiffs from the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

The HBPA affiliates seeking to join the lawsuit are Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Washington, Charles Town, and Tampa Bay Downs. The Colorado Horse Racing Association, the state’s statutorily recognized horsemen’s group, also wants to be an intervenor.

 

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Court Of Appeals Issues Temporary Stay, Lifting Injunction Against HISA In Louisiana, West Virginia

by Paulick Report Staff

 

The United States Court of Appeals has issued a temporary stay nullifying a July 26 injunction preventing the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority from enforcing its racetrack safety regulations in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

For now at least, the stay also makes moot the question of whether the injunction is limited to Louisiana and West Virginia or also applies to Jockeys’ Guild members riding Thoroughbred races in other states. The July 26 order by Terry Doughty, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, stated that the “geographic scope of the injunction shall be limited to the states of Louisiana and West Virginia,” but also included the phrase “and as to all plaintiffs in this proceeding.”

Jockeys’ Guild Tries To Ban HISA Enforcement Nationwide

The Jockeys’ Guild has delivered on its promise to take “immediate action” against the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority if the newly created national regulatory agency continued to enforce riding crop rules following a federal judge’s order for an injunction blocking HISA from operating in Louisiana and West Virginia.

The injunction, ordered July 26 by U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty in the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, limited the HISA ban to the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, but added the phrase  “and as to all plaintiffs in this proceeding.”

Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., interpreted Doughty’s ruling to mean that all members of the Jockeys’ Guild are exempt wherever they are riding. HISA interpreted the language as applying only to the organization as a plaintiff and not its individual members. One Guild member, Gerard Melancon, was listed as a plaintiff.

 

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HISA Faces New Legal Challenge in Texas

Lawsuit says the authority’s enforcement systems are unconstitutional.

 

A lawsuit filed on July 29 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas challenges the authority of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority.

The suit was brought by Lone Star Park owner Global Gaming, the owner of a Texas greyhound track seeking approvals to run horse races, and two entities trying to develop racetracks for horses in Texas. The suit and a motion for preliminary injunction motion argue that members of the HISA board of directors should have been appointed by the President on the advice and consent of the Senate, and that the Authority is unconstitutionally structured because the President cannot superintend the authority’s execution of laws.

 

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HISA, FTC Seek Stay Of Federal Judge’s Injunction Blocking HISA In Louisiana, West Virginia

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and the Federal Trade Commission have each filed emergency motions seeking stays of a federal judge’s injunction effectively blocking the Authority from enforcing its regulations in the states of Louisiana and West Virginia.

The motions were filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans.

The injunction, ordered July 26 by Judge Terry A. Doughty in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Lafayette Division, was in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against the FTC, HISA and its board members and CEO by the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, their respective racing commissions, Jockeys’ Guild, Inc., Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association and five individuals.

 

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Stay of Adverse Ruling Denied, HISA Seeks Clarification

Federal District Judge Terry Doughty July 29 denied a motion filed by the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to stay enforcement of a preliminary injunction entered July 26 against HISA’s enforcement of its rules in Louisiana and West Virginia.

At the same time, HISA appealed the preliminary injunction to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The online record appears to direct the court clerk to certify the appeal record by Aug. 15.

HISA also filed a motion asking Doughty to clarify that the preliminary injunction applies to named plaintiffs only and not to all of plaintiffs’ members nationwide. The Jockeys’ Guild and Louisiana Horsemen Benevolent and Protective Association, who are among the plaintiffs, publicly took the latter position after the injunction was entered. Plaintiffs in the lawsuit include only five individuals.

 

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HISA Amends Hind Shoe Rules

Announcement Concerning Enforcement of HISA Rule 2276 (HORSESHOES) as It Pertains to Full Outer Rim Shoes and Toe Grabs
July 29, 2022

Rule 2276 shall not be enforced for horses racing on dirt surfaces that are shod on the hindlimbs with traction devices in the form of either a full outer rim shoe (up to 4 mm in height) or a toe grab (up to 4 mm in height). All other provisions of Rule 2276 shall remain in full force and effect. Enforcement of Rule 2276 will begin as previously announced on Monday, August 1, 2022.

RATIONALE

In the last week, the Racetrack Safety Committee (“the Committee”) was made aware through communications from elected officials on Capitol Hill and from horsepersons of widespread concerns that the traction provided by full outer rim shoes and toe grabs for the hindlimbs is essential for the safety of horses in certain circumstances. These circumstances include breaking from the gate and track conditions that are impacted by ambient temperature or precipitation (including maintenance procedures such as watering the track). The concerns are that reduced traction will result in horses either slipping, falling, or otherwise being unable to firmly grip the track surface, with resulting injury to horses and their riders. In response to these concerns, the Committee invited a representative group of horsepersons including trainers, owners, a veterinarian, and a blacksmith to present their concerns to the Committee. Following this meeting, the Committee met for several hours to discuss the concerns expressed in light of the upcoming implementation of the horseshoe rule.

After full consideration of the matter, the Committee strongly recommended the use of full outer rim shoes for hindlimb traction because these shoes provide traction while enabling the hoof to land flatly on the track surface, whereas toe grabs accentuate stressors on bone and soft tissues, such as tendons and ligaments, which contributes to injury. Moreover, the only study investigating the association of hindlimb toe grabs with injury revealed that injuries to the suspensory apparatus were more likely to occur to horses shod with hindlimb toe grabs.1 In contrast, there is no evidence indicating that toe grabs protect horses or riders. However, given the concerns expressed, the Committee recommended to HISA that Rule 2276 shall not be enforced for horses racing on dirt surfaces that are shod on the hindlimbs with traction devices in the form of either a full outer rim shoe (up to 4 mm in height) or a toe grab (up to 4 mm in height). All other provisions of Rule 2276 shall remain in full force and effect. Enforcement of Rule 2276 will begin as previously announced on Monday, August 1, 2022.

 

EVIDENCE AND FINDINGS SUPPORTING THIS RECOMMENDATION

Findings that support the rationale for strongly recommending use of full outer rim shoes rather than toe grabs are the epidemiological data1, consistency of the association of musculoskeletal injury with toe grabs on the hindlimbs with that of injury on the forelimbs1-4, findings of the association of a long-toe conformation with racing injury (toe grabs would extend the effective length of the toe)5, expert opinion6, and evidence from other racing jurisdictions where toe grabs are banned and where injury rates are lower (including Japan, where racing on a dirt surface is prominent).

 

REFERENCES

  1. Kane AJ, Stover SM, Gardner IA, Case JT, Johnson BJ, Read DH, Ardans AA. Horseshoe characteristics as possible risk factors for fatal musculoskeletal injury of Thoroughbred racehorses. Am J Vet Res 1996;57:1147-1152.
  2. Hill AE, Stover SM, Gardner IA, Kane AJ, Whitcomb MB, Emerson AG. Risk factors for and outcomes of noncatastrophic suspensory injury in Thoroughbred racehorses. J Am Vet Med Assoc 200; 218:1136-1144.
  3. Hernandez JA, Scollay MC, Hawkins DL, Corda JA, Krueger TM. Evaluation of horseshoe characteristics and high-speed exercise history as possible risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in thoroughbred racehorses. Am J Vet Res 2005;66:1314–1320.
  4. Anthenill LA, Stover SM, Garner IA, Hill AE. Risk Factors for proximal sesamoid bone fractures associated with exercise history and horseshoe characteristics in Thoroughbred racehorses. Am J Vet Res 2007;68:760-771.
  5. Balch OK, Helman RG, Collier MA. Underrun heels and toe-grab length as possible risk factors for catastrophic musculoskeletal injuries in Oklahoma racehorses. Proc AAEP 2001;47:334-337.
  6. Casner B. 2010 Jockey Club Welfare & Safety Committee Presentation
  7. Hitchens PL, Morrice-West AV, Stevenson MA, Whitton RC. Meta-analysis of risk factorsfor racehorse catastrophic musculoskeletal injury in flat racing. Vet J 2019;25:39-40.

Victory For State Sovereignty & Louisiana Industry: Federal Takeover Of Horse Racing Halted

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

Victory For State Sovereignty & Louisiana Industry: Federal Takeover Of Horse Racing Halted
Federal Judge Sides with AG Jeff Landry, Blocks Enforcement of HISA Regulations in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA – Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has won a victory over regulations imposed by an unconditional and unfunded Congressional mandate that cedes much regulatory and taxation power of the State to an unelected and unaccountable nongovernmental entity.

Ruling in favor of Attorney General Landry – Judge Terry Doughty of United States District Court in the Western District of Louisiana has granted the State of Louisiana, State of West Virginia, Louisiana State Racing Commission, Louisiana Horseman’s Benevolent & Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Jockeys Guild, West Virginia Racing Commission, and horse owners, trainers, and jockeys a preliminary injunction against rules created from the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act of 2021 (HISA).

“I am grateful Judge Doughty applied the law and blocked this federal overreach from devastating our State and the thousands of Louisianans in the horse industry here,” said Attorney General Landry. “Since becoming a State in 1812, Louisiana has not only regulated horseracing but also built an entire culture around it with the owners, trainers, jockeys, racetracks, and patrons.”

“Congress ramrodded HISA into the COVID relief bill and recklessly set up this massive regulatory scheme that is onerous at best on everyone; then to add insult to injury, it is paid for on the backs of those who work the hardest and receive the least,” explained Attorney General Landry.

As noted when Attorney General Landry filed suit in June – HISA purports to effectively substitute state regulatory commissions with a private corporation, setup 90 days prior to the passage of this Act, in charge of horseracing. This newly-created private corporation then began to issue regulations – allowing very little time for public comment, leaving those that actually labor under them with little input or voice.

“The process of creating the law and its associated regulations showed a reckless disregard for the thousands of industry participants in Louisiana and a correspondingly reckless disregard for the impact to our State,” added Attorney General Landry. “The regulations are unclear, inconsistent, and violate due process; and I will continue to do all that I legally can to halt them from taking effect in Louisiana.”

A copy of the ruling may be found at https://www.agjefflandry.com/Article/13056.

Injunction Halts HISA Rules in Louisiana and West Virginia

By T. D. Thornton

The plaintiff states of Louisiana and West Virginia won a preliminary injunction in federal court Tuesday that will keep the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA) Authority’s rules from being implemented in those two states until a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HISA gets decided in full.

“This court believes the threatened harm to Plaintiffs outweighs any harm that may result to the Defendants and that a preliminary injunction will not undermine the public interest,” wrote Judge Terry Doughty of U.S. District Court (Western District of Louisiana).

“This Court is only ruling on the adoption of the rules by HISA, not the constitutionality of the Act,” Doughty was quick to add.

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