Senate Majority Leader claims to have found compromise,but representative horsemen’s, vet groups not consulted
LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, Aug. 31, 2020) — Today, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced his plans to introduce legislation that purports to set national standards to promote fairness, transparency, and increased safety in Thoroughbred racing.
Senator McConnell claims to have found compromise within the industry, yet no representative horsemen’s groups, horseplayers or veterinary leadership organizations seem to have been consulted in the collaboration. The National HBPA represents close to 30,000 owners and trainers who want nothing more than increased safety and integrity to secure the strength of the business and our industry.
The greatest concern of the National HBPA is protecting the health and safety of horses. If Senator McConnell is serious about hearing from tens of thousands of real Kentuckians, as well as horsemen across the country, we stand ready to meet with him. We certainly hope he will meet with us since those pushing this bill have mischaracterized the industry and our views in the past.
As CEO, I can tell you we were never consulted on the recently-announced Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. Contrary to an erroneous statement made by another elected official at today’s announcement, the HBPA was not made aware of any “compromise” negotiations until a deal had already been reached, nor has the Board of the National HBPA even been asked for its support.
Because the legislative text has not yet been released, the National HBPA will reserve final judgement, but we caution our elected leaders to not be misled by the wealthy few who continue to promote federal legislation in service to their own, private interests. Based on what we heard today, we are concerned these elite few continue to hold the reins.