WASHINGTON (LEX 18) — The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act championed by U.S. Rep. Andy Barr and Sen. Mitch McConnell was signed into law Monday by President Donald Trump, Barr's office announced in a release.
The reform was passed after six years of working its way through Congress and was led to passage by McConnell in the Senate, Barr said.
“This legislation is the most significant reform to Kentucky’s signature industry in over four decades, providing a uniform standard of competition as well as protection for equine athletes to ensure the industry thrives for generations to come," Barr said.
McConnell said he supported the legislation to protect Kentucky's horseracing traditions, as well as the roughly 24,000 workers it employs.
"As majority leader, I made this Kentucky-focused legislation a top priority in the Senate," he said.
With its passage, HISA will provide thoroughbred racing with national uniformity in its rules and regulations, as well as create a safer environment for its human and equine athletes, Jockey Club Chairman Stuart S. Janney III said.
"Poll after poll of racing fans and non-fans alike showed that medication policy and track safety were their biggest concerns," said Shawn Smealie, executive director of the coalition for horseracing integrity. "And HISA addresses both issues head-on."
Barr has advocated for the development of uniform standards of competition in horseracing since entering Congress in 2013.