More Reaction To Indictments

Published: March 23, 2020 04:45 pm EDT

Reactions and feedback pertaining to the recent federal indictments in the United States continues to be received, as the Hambletonian Society and the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association are the latest organizations to comment on the matter.

Reaction came quickly after the indictments (here, here and here) were unsealed on March 9. Multiple organizations, including Standardbred Canada, issued statements on the matter. The SC website has also published an updated story on the matter, which can be accessed by clicking here.

The Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association and the Hambletonian Society are the latest racing entities to release official comments on the matter.

The contents of the SBOA release appear directly below, and are followed by the contents of the Hambletonian Society’s position.

In light of the recent indictments and serious charges laid against several individuals within the sport of horse racing, the Standardbred Breeders of Ontario Association (SBOA) remains committed to an industry that does not accept or condone the use of Performance Enhancing Drugs (PEDs).

Our organization’s primary objective is to promote the health and welfare of all Standardbred horses. All illegal activities that negatively impact the well-being of Standardbreds need to be of concern to the industry as a whole. We remain optimistic that those found guilty of these actions will have no place in the horse racing industry.

Hambletonian Society, Inc. Statement on Horse racing FBI Investigations and Arrests

Hambletonian Society, Inc. Statement/John Campbell, President

On behalf of the Hambletonian Society, I would like to applaud the efforts of the FBI and all of the law enforcement agencies that were involved in the historic horse racing investigation and subsequent arrests.

I would also like to commend Jeff Gural, the Jockey Club, and all the entities and individuals who were responsible for the initial investigation that led to the FBI getting involved.

Some of the intercepted conversations that have been released are beyond appalling and one can only hope that the people found responsible for these statements and actions will be dealt with severely and no longer be allowed to participate in our industry or have any interaction with horses.

The pain from the gaping wound this has caused to the horse racing industry will continue for some time. However with the regulatory and industry changes that will be accelerated by these events, we will emerge greatly strengthened.

There must be changes, as it is clearly evident that the current regulatory and enforcement systems that are supposed to insure fair play and a level playing field are not enough.

I am not going to speculate or suggest what those changes will or should be, but every organization and aspect of horse racing must come together to support a future that strengthens the integrity of racing and seeks a level playing field for all participants.

This is imperative. Egos and agendas must be put aside.

From this moment forward, the horse racing industry has an opportunity to showcase a product in which the people who watch, wager on, and participate in, can have confidence.

I can say, and many more people will attest, that the majority of those who work with and tend to horses are hard working, love their horses, and treat them with the utmost care and respect.

Upon hearing of this investigation, the happiest group of people were the incalculable number of trainers and horsepeople who try to do things the proper way and conduct their business inside both legal and ethical guidelines. These people have renewed optimism and excitement that they will be able to compete and have success on the track.

They cannot be defined by the small minority of wrongdoers.

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