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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Congressional Hearings Set for June 19

The Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection announced yesterday through a press release that it will hold a hearing on Thursday, June 19, 2008, at 10:00 a.m. entitled, “Breeding, Drugs, and Breakdowns: The State of Thoroughbred Horseracing and the Welfare of the Thoroughbred Racehorse.”

According to the press release:

"The hearing will explore all aspects of the health and well-being of Thoroughbred racehorses including commercial breeding practices that emphasize speed and precocity over durability, the prevalence of performance enhancing drugs and other medications, track surfaces, and maintenance of the tracks. Recent high-profile deaths, including Eight Belles at this year’s Kentucky Derby, Barbaro after his 2006 Preakness injury, and George Washington in last year’s Breeder’s Cup Classic, point to a persistent and widespread problem, raising significant questions about the sport and its governance. The hearing therefore will also examine the fact that horseracing lacks a central regulatory authority like other sports leagues such as the National Football League and Major League Baseball, and consequently has been very slow to address longstanding problems plaguing the sport. Given the unique benefits of the Interstate Horseracing Act to the racing industry, the hearing will play an oversight role in determining whether the special status of the sport under Federal law is still warranted."

As part of the Committee’s examination of this issue, Chairman Bobby L. Rush (D-IL) and Ranking Member Ed Whitfield (R-KY) sent letters on May 22, 2008 to five horse racing associations regarding horse breeding and medication practices, a copy of the letter can be found at a previous post here.

The initial witness list released is as follows:

Panel I:
Allen Marzelli, President and CEO
Jockey Club

Richard Shapiro, Chairman
California Racing Commission

Arthur Hancock, Owner/breeder

Jess Jackson, Owner/breeder

Randy Moss, Analyst

Jack Van Berg, Hall of Fame Trainer

Richard Dutrow, Trainer of Big Brown

Panel II:
Sue Stover, Veterinarian
UC Davis

Larry Soma, Veterinarian
University of Pennsylvania

Mary Scollay, Track Statistician

Wayne McIlwraith, Veterinarian
Colorado State University

Alex Waldrop, President and CEO
National Thoroughbred Racing Association

According to the list, more witnesses could be called and that updates to the witness list will be posted at the Committee on Energy and Commerce website at Looks like I'll be taking a day off next Thursday to watch the fun....interesting collection of industry folks (but no jockeys?).

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Let's see if the real truth comes out for once.


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