Day At The Track

Delaware Commission opposes integrity Act

12:32 PM 28 Oct 2020 NZDT
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Dover DE - The Delaware Harness Racing Commission (DHRC) opposes U.S. Senate Bill 4547, Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act of 2020. Earlier this month, the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission (DTRC) voted to unanimously oppose this bill.
"This bill appears to establish a governing body which is not accountable to the general public or regulated community," stated DHRC Chair Beth Steele. "It is an unnecessary burden that could be potentially harmful to the entire horseracing industry."
Delaware's horse racing commissions are concerned with the complete lack of financial information and accountability outlined in this bill. Additional unknown costs will be detrimental to an industry that is already challenged to keep margins profitable. There is significant concern that another layer of government oversight will cause increased costs.
The organizational structure proposed appears to lack the financial accountability or transparency procedures required of government agencies, such as open meetings, financial disclosures, FOIA protocols and due process procedures. Furthermore, DHRC specifically notes that the governing body established by the S. 4547 would not necessarily include individuals with experience in either thoroughbred or harness racing, and the control of drugs used in the sport.
DHRC recognizes one of the objectives of S. 4547 is to establish standard drug testing rules to be followed by all racetracks; however, nearly all state harness racing commissions follow the standard testing, racing, and safety rules established by the United States Trotting Association (USTA) and the Association of Racing Commissioners International (ARCI). In addition, DHRC has worked with the USTA for the past two years to develop harness racing specific regulatory thresholds for certain therapeutic drugs necessary to properly treat our equine athletes. There are times that national standards are not effective in a particular locale; and as a result, each jurisdiction needs the ability to enforce local rules within the spirit of national standards.
Delaware's racing commissions work diligently to ensure the integrity of racing and the welfare of participating horses. They coordinate activities, rules, and standards through the ARCI and USTA, to prevent and eliminate corrupt practices that would undermine the public trust, and bring violators of commission rules, regulations, and Delaware law to justice.
From the Delaware Harness Racing Commission
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