Louisiana Against HISA

Horse Racing Radar
Frisco Bash
Frisco Bash is a Staff writer for Horse Racing Radar
Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Louisiana Attorney General Landry has joined the state of Louisiana in challenging the constitutionality of the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Act (HISA) of 2021. Landry says HISA violates the 10th Amendment, and would devastate industry.

"HISA requires the unelected Authority to exercise regulatory authority over horse racing in Louisiana, mandates our State to assist the Authority, and forces us to choose between remitting funds to the Authority or losing some of our powers of taxation," explained Attorney General Landry. "This violation of the Tenth Amendment would have devastating effects on our State and the thousands of Louisianans in the horse industry."

HISA becoming a reality would create a non-governmental agency responsible for enforcing law-abiding policies. This agency is expected to contract with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, and the Federal Trade Commission is charged with reviewing this authority's policies. (Horse Racing Today)

HISA's regulatory agency was scheduled to begin its activities in July 2022, but with Louisiana, Oklahoma, and West Virginia taking legal action to repeal HISA, there may be some delay.

If you haven't yet tuned in to Rich and Terry's Horse Racing News for Tuesday July 20th, you can watch it here, as they shed light on this issue, amongst other topics.

Landry continued: "While I believe that horses should be treated humanely and horse racing should be held to the highest degree of integrity, I know that more bureaucracy from an overreaching and unaccountable fiefdom is not the way to achieve these goals. We should continue our Legislature's decades-long delegation of police powers over the industry to the Louisiana State Racing Commission, knowledgeable participants who have collected significant fees and taxes while enforcing our statutes and regulations concerning the health and safety of equine athletes and all other industry participants throughout Louisiana."

HISA passed in Congress On December 22, 2020, in a bill that included a $900-billion Covid-19 relief package, which was signed by then-president Donald Trump.

Major groups that pushed for HISA's passing included The Jockey Club, The Breeder's Cup, The NTRA, Keeneland, Churchill Downs, The NYRA, Del Mar, The Stronach Group. 

Many racing fans and horsemen see HISA as the opportunity to "clean the sport up"; a chance to regulate equine medication, Lasix, and general drug policies, all to promote fairness and safety.

Congressman Paul Tonko, in commenting on HISA's passing, stated the aim was to "save a sport, provide additional jobs, and be respectful to equine athletes, jockeys and others involved."

Trainer Mark Casse doesn't understand how people can be opposed to HISA.

"This is ridiculous," said the Hall of Fame trainer back in March, when the first groups filed their Federal Lawsuits against HISA.

"I read this [news of opposition to HISA] and thought, 'you've got to be kidding me.' All we are trying to do is clean up our sport. Looking at the states where they are backing this, those are some of the states that most need cleaning up. I don't know how anybody could be against cleaning up our sport. I can tell you one thing, they never asked me for my opinion."

Arthur Hancock, owner and breeder of racehorses, says: "If they are successful and they stop this, you can kiss the horse industry goodbye. Look at what has happened in the past. That so many have come together to try to clean up the sport is a wonderful thing. Everyone wants a level playing field and this will give it to them. I don't know why anyone would object to that."

Source: Bill Finley, ThoroughbredDailyNews, HarnessLink, BloodHorseStaff, HorseRacingToday

Get today's full picks for all tracks and races on our Premium Picks Page.