A recent survey on the US-based Paulick Report asked readers if, as we enter 2020, if they were optimistic or pessimistic over the future health of the Thoroughbred industry. 70% checked the pessimistic box.
Things appear to be more optimistic over at The Water Hay Oats Alliance (WHOA) a grassroots movement of horsemen and women supporting the passage of federal legislation to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs in the sport of horse racing. Champion jockey, Gary Stevens, inspiration to my reaction for a “revolution” in North American horse racing, is a longtime member. As am I.
The organization has been lobbying for the appointment of an independent anti-doping program run by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The aim is to resolve the problem of widespread drug use in American racing and put U.S. racing jurisdictions in step with international standards. The good news is that the organization is making headway.
Writing in his “View from the rail” column at ThoroughbredRacing.com, veteran horse racing executive, Charles Hayward, says “nothing could be more important to the future of the sport” than passage of the Horseracing Integrity Act by the United States Congress. Hayward is encouraged by the fact that a majority of the 435-member House of Representatives has signed on as co-sponsors of the bipartisan bill that would create a single, non-governmental agency affiliated with the United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to regulate medication policy and enforcement in horse racing.