From the HISA Media Team:

HISA Announces Comprehensive Emergency Preparedness Initiative with Sports Medicine Concepts

The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) has partnered with Sports Medicine Concepts, Inc. (SMC), a leading provider of elite sports emergency care training and emergency action planning services, to develop emergency action plans across Thoroughbred racetracks operating under HISA’s rules.

Through the partnership with SMC, HISA will help improve each racetrack’s emergency preparedness by supporting the development of an emergency action plan (EAP) template, identifying weaknesses in any existing EAPs and providing an opportunity for tracks and first responders to collaborate further on how to prepare and train for, and respond efficiently to, emergencies.

The partnership with SMC is the latest in a series of steps undertaken by HISA towards promoting health and safety initiatives in U.S. Thoroughbred racing. This initiative aims to bring all tracks up to a best-practice standard through structured policy implementation.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with SMC in what represents a significant step forward in our commitment to the wellbeing of all racing participants,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “By adopting a holistic and elevated approach to emergency preparedness, we aim to ensure all stakeholders are equipped to handle emergencies with skill and coordination. Together, we are working towards a safer sport for everyone involved.”

“Medical emergency preparedness planning has become essential to any sport,” said SMC CEO and Director of Operations Michael Cendoma. “An effective response plan reflects a multifaceted approach that combines training and education, technological innovation, science and evidence-based practices, and collaboration. We look forward to working alongside HISA and its racetracks across the U.S. to implement best practices that will ensure swift and effective responses to medical emergencies.”

The program is set to commence in the second quarter of 2024 and will continue with a series of strategic implementations throughout 2024 and 2025.

About the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

When the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into federal law, it charged the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) with drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HISA is implementing, for the first time, a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack facility. HISA is comprised of two programs: the Racetrack Safety Program, which went into effect on July 1, 2022, and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which went into effect on May 22, 2023.

The Racetrack Safety Program includes operational safety rules and national racetrack accreditation standards that seek to enhance equine welfare and minimize equine and jockey injury. The Program expands veterinary oversight, imposes surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhances jockey safety, regulates riding crop use and implements voided claim rules, among other important measures.

The ADMC Program includes a centralized testing and results management process and applies uniform penalties for violations efficiently and consistently across the United States. These rules and enforcement mechanisms are administered by an independent agency, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU), established by Drug Free Sport International (DFS). HIWU oversees testing, educates stakeholders on the Program, accredits laboratories, investigates potential ADMC violations and prosecutes any such violations.