HRU Suggestions (2020-10-10) – Letters to the editor – Harness Racing Replace

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HRU Feedback (2020-10-10) - Letters to the editor - Harness Racing Update


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Gural: We have to sit down with the thoroughbreds over HISA

I don’t assume there may be any query that the thoroughbreds have taken management of the HISA (Horseracing Integrity and Security Act) laws. Nonetheless, for my part the choice by the USTA to not take part with them and as a substitute oppose the laws is why we’re on this unlucky place. Having stated that, I’m 100 per cent sure that we may get the adjustments we require if we agree to sit down down on the desk after the laws passes. There are few issues that I do know for sure that aren’t debatable:

  • Nobody thinks the present system works.
  • Over the following yr we’re prone to see extra standardbred trainers and veterinarians plead responsible to the crimes they’re charged with and in return for lighter sentences present beneficial data to the feds so we will count on extra arrests.
  • It’s inconceivable that the state racing commissions are going to need to have two separate strategies of regulating horse racing. The thoroughbreds regulated by the Feds and harness regulated by the state. That may by no means occur and over time the entire states will decide in with or with out our enter.
  • The price to oppose this laws on constitutional grounds is within the hundreds of thousands of {dollars} and is one thing we merely can not afford. Even the $425,000 we now have already budgeted is a waste of cash.
  • The optics for our trade of opposing the laws whereas members are pleading responsible and others are being arrested couldn’t be worse. We now have all seen prior to now when the Olympics had an issue they solved it, when baseball had an issue they solved it and when bicycle racing had an issue they solved it. The thoroughbreds additionally appear to need to remedy it. To be sincere, I hate to say this however perhaps the reality is as an trade we don’t need to remedy it and perhaps that’s the reason we now have chosen the course we’re on.

At this level, we must always see if the laws goes to move within the senate and if it does we must always give you a plan to sit down down with the thoroughbreds and USADA and remedy the issues that (USTA president) Russell (Williams) has raised. It isn’t rocket science; it’s all solvable and we do have an issue.

— Jeffrey Gural / proprietor Meadowlands Racetracks, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs

USTA director David Siegel: A standardbred supporter’s sensible view of the Horseracing Integrity and Security Act of 2020

There was a lot publicity in regards to the Horseracing Integrity and Security Act of 2020 (HISA). As a United States Trotting Affiliation (USTA) director and lively participant within the racing aspect of the enterprise as an proprietor and a driver, and in addition as an govt in a enterprise that touches upon each Standardbred and Thoroughbred racing, I’ve paid shut consideration to the long-term efforts by each breed organizations to get uniform guidelines and uniform enforcement together with the creation of disincentives for members to cheat.

In sum, all of those efforts have failed. Specializing in harness racing, my true ardour, anybody who doesn’t consider that the trade is experiencing rampant dishonest resides in a dream world. Dishonest happens at a wide range of ranges, however I’ll concentrate on dishonest that entails treatment, which impacts all sides of the enterprise.

HISA has been handed by the Home of Representatives in a unanimous (voice) vote, and this can be very probably it’s going to have an analogous final result within the Senate. Regardless of the place we as harness racing supporters stand on the laws, it’s time to settle for it, take a look at its potential advantages, and work laborious to get as a lot illustration as attainable and as loud a voice as attainable for our standardbreds. Latest letters by Russell Williams and Joe Faraldo, the USTA’s president and chairman, respectively, weren’t very cordial with regard to their thoroughbred counterparts. They threw some fairly sharp daggers, maybe some deserved, however for certain not all. With regard to feedback about coming to the desk, I do know first-hand that no less than on one event, it was the USTA that put forth ultimatums to be able to even sit down.

Nonetheless, all of that’s water below the bridge at this level, as are the monies spent by the USTA to struggle the invoice. In enterprise, we name these sunk prices and fretting whether or not or not it made sense to spend the cash will bear no fruit. What is smart is to have a look at life below the laws and to increase an olive department to its supporters and attempt to reap the advantages of the invoice, despite the fact that it would fall in need of a utopian state of affairs for harness racing.

I personally know various the important thing figures concerned. I’ve nothing however respect for the talents and mind of Joe Faraldo and Russell Williams. I additionally know that Jim Gagliano (president and chief working officer of The Jockey Membership) is a really cheap man. And whereas I don’t personally know Meadowlands racetrack proprietor Jeff Gural, I do consider that he’s genuinely fascinated about bringing higher integrity to our sport. I additionally know with 100 per cent certainty that every one 4 of those males have this in widespread – so issues begin with a lot widespread floor. And whereas the USTA clearly misplaced the “battle” over the laws, I don’t consider that the supporters have any inclination to stay it to the USTA. Actually, I consider fairly the opposite; they might help completely different guidelines for breeds which have profound variations in how they race. However to get to that time, the USTA should make the right overtures to work collectively now throughout the confines of the laws.

Medicine (and different abuse-related) reform is badly wanted in our sport. Dishonest abounds in harness racing, quite a lot of that falling throughout the spectrum of treatment abuse. Most state racing commissions have accomplished a horrible job in removing cheaters and horse abusers. I base that on what I’ve seen with my very own eyes and numerous written accounts of cheaters being allowed to proceed to take part. And the failure isn’t just on the stage of the commissions, but in addition on the observe stage, the place recognized paper trainers or “beards” abound and different violations happen, the place asserting personal property rights, even with due course of, might be exercised to exorcise the issues. However most tracks select to look the opposite manner. This goes on at almost each harness observe within the nation.

Due to this fact, I urge Russell Williams and Joe Faraldo to rethink their place and lead the membership in a pivoted course given probably enactment of this laws. There’s nonetheless time to sit down down with the important thing supporters of the invoice, earlier than or after its passage and affect its course with regard to standardbred racing. I additional ask that they put apart any private points with others which may be on the other aspect of this debate and look at this with the nice practicality and professionalism that I do know each are able to, regardless of how they may understand numerous supporters to behave – in different phrases, take the best street. I encourage them to rethink the cost-benefit of any additional spending in opposition to the invoice earlier than or after its inevitable passage and embrace the attainable optimistic outcomes the invoice may imply for harness racing. Moreover, I encourage them to do their finest to exert no matter affect they may have in order that our standardbreds can get probably the most favorable therapy attainable if our breed ever turns into topic to this laws.

— David Siegel / USTA director District 3 (Western US)



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