McConnell, Barr announce plans for national horse racing oversight authority
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Thoroughbred industry leaders, Senator Mitch McConnell and Congressman Andy Barr were among those present Monday afternoon for the announcement of a national oversight body for horse racing.
Officials announced the formation of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Authority, which will be an independent, non-governmental body that will regulate medication use and racetrack safety.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency will also be involved with enforcement.
Sen. McConnell mentioned recent scandals involving accidents on tracks and doping. There were nine horse deaths at Keeneland in 2019.
McConnell said he will introduce a bill in the Senate in September, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, to help set national standards to promote fairness, increase safety, and help preserve Thoroughbred racing. He says 24,000 Kentuckians rely on the horse industry.
Rep. Bar says there are currently 38 separate governing bodies for horse racing. The bill will create an independent governing body with a single set of nationwide rules to streamline the industry.
McConnell’s bill will also provide federal recognition and enforcement power for the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority to develop uniform, baseline standards for horseracing.
The authority will be overseen by the Federal Trade Commission.
Sen. McConnell said he will be working with Rep. Barr in the House to get the bill through both branches as soon as possible.
The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority will be led by a nine-member board. No members will have current ties to the Thoroughbred industry.
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