DSOA Comments On HISA

Published: September 30, 2020 01:25 pm EDT

On Wednesday, September 30, the Delaware Standardbred Owners Association issued a statement in regard to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, which continues to make a great deal of news in the United States harness racing industry.

The contents of the DSOA release appear below.

Delaware Standardbred Owners Association, Inc. Opposes the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020

The Delaware Standardbred Owners Association, Inc. opposes the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020 (HISA).

The costs of this new federal legislation are unknown and will add another expense to the costs that already exist to support state racing commissions, which will continue to exist. These expenses will be both redundant and a duplication of costs. Further, this legislation permits borrowing funds for start up and operating expenses, which will be passed along to the racing industry in an inequitable fashion. The industry will be responsible to repay these borrowed funds in addition to supporting an annual budget that has no bounds. This is akin to 'taxation without representation' as harness horsemen will be taxed without any input as to the amount of the tax nor the use of these funds. These costs will no doubt be substantial and will be offset by horsemen’s purse funds that are desperately needed to support racing and breeding in Delaware.

The additional lack of support for this legislation from the veterinarian profession is troubling, as the profession supports the continued use of race day lasix, the most effective known therapeutic medication available for Exercise-Induced Pulmonary Hemorrhage (EIPH). To deny the use of lasix to treat a known ailment is both cruel and inhumane. I am certain a field of horses thundering down the stretch with blood flying everywhere will create a disturbing optic that will have a devastating effect on this industry and lead to cries to shut down racing.

For nearly 25 years, Delaware Standardbred Owners Association, Inc. has been dedicated to the welfare of our equine athletes and our horsemen and women. We vigorously oppose this legislation.