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OHHA opposes federal horse racing legislation

October 12, 2020

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The Ohio Harness Horsemen's Association (OHHA) has released the following statement regarding the federal Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act (HISA).
"OHHA is first and foremost an advocate for the equine athlete and a proponent of reasonable regulation for the health, safety, and welfare of our equine athletes, and participants, public confidence in wagering, and the integrity of the sport. The mission of the Ohio Harness Horsemen’s Association is to preserve, protect, promote and serve the entire Standardbred industry in Ohio and beyond. For the sixth year running, Ohio is the number one Standardbred racing jurisdiction in the United States. Ohio has more registered Standardbred stallions (110) standing at 51 farm locations statewide in 37 of Ohio’s 88 counties.
"Ohio has produced more Standardbred yearlings and registered more Standardbred racehorse owners yearly than any other State. Ohio’s four pari-mutuel racetracks and sixty-seven racing fair locations race live on over 600 live days with 8,500 statewide races, and 60,000 Standardbred starts in a year. Ohio’s Standardbred racing is unmatched nationwide.
" H.R. 1754 and S.B. 4547 (HISA or, the Bills) will have an impact on not only the health and longevity of our Standardbred partners, but also on our agricultural business spread statewide. If enacted there will be no reason for racing or the Ohio State Racing Commission. If passed, HISA will decimate Ohio’s Standardbred racing business.
"The OHHA opposes H.R. 1754 and S.B. 4547. The Bills provide more oversight and regulation than any white collar, securities, or governmental regulatory and enforcement program in place at the federal level. The Bills provide for Federal regulation of medication and testing forcing privatization of that process at the federal level with United States AntiDoping Agency for the first professional sport in the United States. The NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL all administer, regulate and enforce their own anti-doping programs. Motocross, professional boxing, and UFC mixed martial arts have voluntarily opted-into the USADA. The USADA Program is and has always been limited to human athletes.
"The Bills provide for a limitless, discretionary, undefined, and unfunded program. The framework provided in the text is extensive, it is not possible to quantify the underlying basis for implementation as being rational for any purpose except extinction, due to the costs it will directly add to racing’s participants. Widespread modification in this form will have an impact on not only the health and longevity of our Standardbred partners, but also on our agricultural business spread statewide. There are serious and significant concerns about the legality, regulation, enforcement, and the Bills’ intent."
Click here to read the entire OHHA statement.
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