National HBPA defeats HISA in court again

March 31, 2023

Judge stops Medication Control Rules for next 30 days

HBPA Press Release

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association (HBPA) released the following statement regarding the injunction issued this evening to stop the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (Authority) from implementing its Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) rules. Northern District of Texas federal judge James Hendrix issued the ruling to apply nationwide for the next 30 days, in response to a request from the National HBPA and 13 of its state affiliates.

On Monday, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) approved the ADMC rules to go into effect immediately. Later Monday, HBPA requested relief based upon showing that irreparable harm would be suffered by horsemen should the ADMC rules become effective immediately. The HBPA’s argument demonstrated that enforcing new rushed medication rules prior to the running of the Florida Derby and Arkansas Derby and several other races this weekend would cause harm. This evening, the court granted its motion to enjoin the Authority and FTC from implementing and enforcing the ADMC rules prior to May 1, 2023.

“We are very pleased that the National HBPA has defeated HISA in the courts yet again,” stated National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback. “It was reckless and irresponsible of the Authority and the FTC to rush to implement these brand-new rules this weekend. Horsemen need time, and we were glad to stand for them once again. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that HISA was unconstitutional in our lawsuit before, and we expect they will do so again.”

Today’s ruling marks the third victory for the National HBPA over the Authority and the FTC. On November 18, 2022, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled HISA unconstitutional. On January 31, 2023, the Fifth Circuit declined to vacate its earlier ruling after a minor legislative tweak from Congress.

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