"There is a country song, "What Part of No Don’t You Understand." Some of us have come to identify with this song in our efforts over the last thirty years to win the war against drugs and thugs. Aside from creating awareness, we have failed miserably so far. This issue has once again seized the headlines and this time the consequences are far from over. We all have eyes and ears and seeing and hearing is believing. You cannot sweep this one under the rug no matter how vigorously you sweep, and the ramifications will be severe, as they should be."
By enacting the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 (“IHA”) the federal government has allowed the simulcasting of races and off-track betting all across America. Ironically, the abuse of Thoroughbreds is now regularly televised and wagered upon under the authority of the IHA. The drugging of America’s Thoroughbreds to enhance their racing performance clearly affects interstate commerce, and yet the federal government has thus far not acted to stop the cruelty inflicted upon these animals or the deception perpetrated upon the public by the use of these drugs... It is my hope that the federal government will wake up and do something about all of this. Nobody else will. Nobody else can.
Stone Farm Supports HR 1733, a bill to amend the Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 to prohibit the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
"If you are sick and tired of watching this industry go down the drain, standing by helplessly while wagering, attendance and handle continue to fall, and even witnessing certain organizations call for the elimination of racing altogether, please add your signature in support of IHIA, the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act."
CLICK HERE to see a list of those already in support.
I am a fourth generation horseman and I am here today because I love this industry and I feel that we’re in danger of losing it. Sadly, statistics bear this out. The recent McKinsey Report on Thoroughbred Racing points out that a vast majority of the population, over 75%, regards racing as a sport in which drug use runs rampant. The report also says that this majority of the population has a very negative perception of the sport... I think that is worth repeating... the vast majority o f the population has a very negative perception of our sport.
How in the world can we expect to thrive and be popular when a vast majority of the population views us in such a negative light?
AT THE PRECIPICE: An open letter published in the TDN Writtenin an effort to reach out to other industry members for their support of the proposed legislation in The Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act. By Arthur and Staci Hancock, Roy and Gretchen Jackson and George Strawbridge.
"While there are a number of problems facing the American Thoroughbred industry, many of us who are heavily invested in this industry believe that the most destructive and undermining influence today is the continued proliferation and use of drugs in racing. Our observation of racing both in the United States and abroad has made us painfully aware that American racing stands alone as a “rogue nation” with its permissive use of race day medications. England, Ireland, France and the other principal European countries, together with Australia, Hong Kong and Japan maintain a zero tolerance for drugs on race day."
The real problem with the horse industry is that nobody is in charge. We are a rudderless ship and the way we are going, we will end up on the rocks. Our ship has many captains and they all have a different agenda.
My primary worry is the complete lack of uniformity on the permissive medication policies that vary from state to state, and the catastrophic results that this medication is wreaking upon our industry.
There are 38 racing jurisdictions in the United States and they all have their own rules...
So, why are we in this situation, and how can it be remedied? What is this Thoroughbred industry? It is a conglomeration of different entities, each of which has its own function as well as its own agenda.
Being admitted to the profession of veterinary medicine, I solemnly swear to use my scientific knowledge and skills for the benefit of society through the protection of animal health, the relief of animal suffering, the conservation of livestock resources, the promotion of public health and the advancement of medical knowledge.
Arthur Hancock discusses the issues in Thoroughbred Racing and his concern about the direction of the sport and presents his ideas on how to address them, in 1991:
"We need desperately to create the perception of credibility, honesty and absolute integrity, and we need to rid ourselves once and for all of drugs and thugs. Once we do this, our future can be as bright and unlimited as that of any sport in this world, and our light will shine for all to see. Let’s do it because it’s right."