Speakers Selected for Congressional Horse Racing Hearing

Speakers Selected for Congressional Horse Racing Hearing

The proposed legislation would prohibit the race-day use of furosemide (Salix) to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage,

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

A diverse group of speakers will gather to discuss integrity and safety in horse racing at a U.S. House of Representatives subcommittee hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. (EST) Nov. 21 at the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, D.C.

The following individuals are scheduled to appear:

  • Veterinarians Lawrence Soma, VMD, Dipl. ACVA, and Sheila Lyons, DVM;
  • Former Minnesota Racing Commission chairman Jesse Overton;
  • National Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association chief executive officer Phil Hanrahan; 
  • U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief executive officer Travis Tygart; and
  • Humane Society of the United States president Wayne Parcelle.

The hearing called by the Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will focus on "a bill to improve integrity and safety of interstate horse racing and for other purposes." That proposed legislation would designate the USADA as the independent anti-doping organization responsible for ensuring the integrity and safety in the sport.

The subcommittee is chaired by U.S. Rep. Lee Terry, a Nebraska Republican.

Most of horse racing's handle is generated off-track and the bill would require tracks that offer interstate wagering to grant oversight to the USADA. The USADA would define rules for therapeutic substances but no medication would be allowed to be administered within 24 hours of the race.

The proposed legislation would prohibit the race-day use of furosemide to treat exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage (EIPH), an equine condition characterized by bleeding into the lungs or out the nose during exercise. The bill says furosemide (known as Salix or Lasix), which currently can be administered four hours before a race, would be phased out.

The USADA would have the authority to exclude persons from participating in racing.

Additional background information on the hearing is available online. Live video of the hearing will be available online when it begins.

Originally published on BloodHorse.com.

About the Author

Frank Angst

Frank Angst is a staff writer for The Blood-Horse magazine. An American Horse Publications three-time winner in best news story category, Angst has covered horse racing for more than a decade. Angst spent ten years at Thoroughbred Times, where he earned awards as that magazine’s senior writer and helped launch Thoroughbred Times TODAY. Besides covering horse racing, Angst enjoys handicapping. Angst has written about sports for more than 20 years, including several seasons covering a nationally ranked Marshall Thundering Herd football team.

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