HISA Establishes Horsemen's Advisory Group To Expand Ongoing Collaboration - Horse Racing News | Paulick Report
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HISA Establishes Horsemen’s Advisory Group To Expand Ongoing Collaboration

Lisa Lazarus, CEO, HISA speaks during the Seventieth Annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing at the Saratoga City Center Sunday Aug. 14, 2022 in Saratoga Springs N.Y. Photo Credit: The Jockey Club

As promised in remarks made by HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus during the Aug. 14 Jockey Club Round Table, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has 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 [email protected] indicating their interest and qualifications by Friday, Sept. 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.

About the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

Established when the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into federal law in 2020, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) is responsible for drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HISA was created to implement, for the first time, a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack facility. HISA is comprised of two programs: the Racetrack Safety Program, which went into effect July 1, 2022, and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which will go into effect in January 2023.

The Racetrack Safety Program includes operational safety rules and national racetrack accreditation standards that seek to enhance equine welfare and minimize equine and jockey injury. The Program expands veterinary oversight, imposes surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhances jockey safety, regulates riding crop use, and implements voided claim rules, among other important measures.

The ADMC Program will create a centralized testing and results management process and apply uniform penalties for integrity violations efficiently and consistently across the United States. These rules and enforcement mechanisms will be administered by a new independent agency, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU), established by Drug Free Sport International (DFSI). HIWU will oversee testing, educate stakeholders on the new system, accredit laboratories, investigate potential integrity violations and prosecute rule breaches.

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