The U.S. Trotting Association (USTA) released the first of three videos on Monday (August 9) from USTA President Russell Williams that provide an in-depth analysis of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act law and why it is both unconstitutional and bad for harness racing.
In the first video, “USTA President Russell Williams Explains the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act and Why it is Unconstitutional,” Williams discusses two laws, one (HISA) that “got sneaked through Congress without a vote” and became law, and another that has been prepared for introduction into Congress should one of the two lawsuits that have been filed in Texas and Kentucky successfully challenge the constitutionality of HISA.
He explains that the Racehorse Health and Safety Act (RHSA), which is draft legislation created with the input of practicing veterinarians, horsemen, regulators and the USTA, is ready for introduction into Congress if HISA is declared unconstitutional by the courts.
Williams details how “the elite upper crust of Thoroughbred racing” chose a nominating committee who selected the members of the current HISA Authority that will regulate medication regulations, perform testing, conduct investigations, and enforce rules through state law enforcement and other methods. None of the HISA Authority appointments were subject to confirmation by any elected officials and the statute does not provide for any of these appointments to be removed from their position of power.
The Racehorse Health and Safety Act, which focuses upon the health and welfare of the horse, provides a constitutional alternate to HISA that allows state racing commissions to retain governmental authority with federal oversight pursuant to the compact laws of the U.S. Constitution, determines the use of Lasix dictated by scientific standards like all other therapeutic medications, provides for separate rules for each breed, and will be funded through existing state budgets.
The second part of the three-part video series, “USTA President Russell Williams asks about HISA ‘Which One Deserves the Public Trust: Veterinary Science or Optics?’” will be released in a week on Monday (August 16).
The third video, “USTA President Russell Williams: A Small Group of Rich Men Want Racing to Go Back to Being a Rich Man’s Hobby,” is scheduled for a week later on Monday (August 23).