From the HISA Media Team:

The HISA Newsletter
July 20, 2023
Dear Thoroughbred racing participants,

Earlier this month, we marked the one-year anniversary of HISA’s implementation. While much work still lies ahead, we’ve already made significant progress in strengthening our sport in the first 12 months of the Racetrack Safety Program and the first two months of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program.

As my team and I took a brief moment to reflect on the past year, it became clear that despite the work ahead and the challenges we’ve faced over the last year, what this industry has accomplished has been momentous. For example:

  • More than 32,000 Covered Persons and 48,000 Covered Horses have been registered with HISA.
  • Overuse of the crop has decreased, with violations of HISA’s crop rule falling from every 4 per 1,000 starts in the second half of 2022 to 2.8 per 1,000 starts in the first half of 2023.
  • 46 racetracks have completed HISA’s Racetrack Safety Accreditation Audit.
  • More than one million veterinary treatment records have been uploaded to HISA’s Portal.
  • The Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit (HIWU) has tested over 10,000 horses since launching on May 22.
  • HISA’s help desk has fielded more than 51,000 calls and emails from industry participants.

I’m proud of the foundation we have laid for Thoroughbred racing’s future. We started from a blank piece of paper and the collaboration, patience and goodwill of the vast majority of racing participants have allowed us to undertake this enormously important task and to continuously improve throughout our first year.

As we look back on the last few months and look ahead toward HISA’s future, it’s clear that our mandate from Congress has never been more important. I am confident that HISA will continue to usher in a fairer, safer, and more modern framework that seeks to ensure that all racing participants prioritize horse and jockey health and welfare above all else.

Yours in racing,
Lisa

HISA Issues Updated Guidance on Intra-Articular Injections

Last week, HISA announced that the ADMC Standing Committee has re-considered ADMC Rule 4222 on Intra-Articular Injections and issued new guidance regarding its enforcement. Effective Sunday, July 16, HIWU began enforcing sanctions against the Responsible Person of any Covered Horse that violates the prohibition on Intra-Articular Injections within 7 days prior to a Timed and Reported Workout. The sanctions schedule will be enforced as follows (within a 365-day period):

  • 1st violation: $3,000 fine.
  • 2nd violation: $6,000 fine, 10-day suspension.
  • 3rd violation: $10,000 fine, 30-day suspension.
  • 4th violation: $20,000 fine, 60-day suspension.
  • 5th violation: $25,000 fine, 120-day suspension.

Covered Horses will not be subject to a period of ineligibility for violations of the Intra-Articular Injections Workout rule or Race Day rule, unless multiple violations involving the same horse are incurred within the 365-day period. The sanctions associated with the prohibition on Intra-Articular Injections within 14-days prior to Post-Time have not been modified, other than the fact that the Covered Horse will not be suspended.

The full language of last week’s guidance, which was approved by the HISA ADMC Standing Committee and the HISA Board, can be found on HISA’s website.

Under Rule 4222, the day of administration is considered day 1. A horse may breeze on day 8 following administration and may enter to race at any time, provided the race is on day 15 or later. For example, if the horse is injected on a Saturday, it may work the following Saturday and race the Saturday after that.

Meet HISA’s Field Support Team

HISA’s Field Support Team consists of staff members focused on providing constant support to racing participants nationwide in order to help them comply with HISA’s rules. Members of the team work with trainers, veterinarians, racetracks and horsemen’s groups both virtually and in their travels throughout the sport to assist in problem-solving and navigating a range of situations.

The members of the HISA Field Support Team include:

Julie Carmichael – Julie joined HISA from the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, where she managed HISA reports and supported registration during the launch of the Racetrack Safety Program. Julie provides IT support for racetracks and Covered Persons and may be reached at Julie.Carmichael@hisaus.org.

Tracy Gilman – Tracy joined HISA with more than 30 years of experience in racing, including as a trainer and as the Horsemen’s Liaison at Arlington Park. Tracy may be reached at Tracy.Gilman@hisaus.org.

Brenda Jones – Brenda joined HISA from a career spent as a Stewards Assistant at Delaware Park and Claims Clerk and Stewards Assistant at Tampa Bay Downs. Brenda is a native Spanish-speaker and may be reached at Brenda.Jones@hisaus.org.

Linda Lankester – Linda joined HISA with a lifetime of animal care and rescue experience as well as a 20-year track record of providing technology support and customer service. Linda may be reached at Linda.Lankester@hisaus.org.

Michelle Lefkowitz – As HISA’s Business Process Analyst, Michelle liaises between HISA and business leaders to further streamline the reporting process. Michelle may be reached at Michelle.Lefkowitz@hisaus.org.

HISA and The Jockeys’ Guild to Launch Historic Jockey Wellness Initiative

Since hosting the industry’s first-ever jockey mental wellness symposium in May, HISA and The Jockeys’ Guild have been working together to explore the mental wellness challenges jockeys face and the resources that would be most helpful to address them. On August 1 in Saratoga Springs, HISA and the Guild will be announcing the details of a national initiative to support jockey mental wellness. The historic initiative will be the first of its kind and will strive to advance the wellbeing of current and future riders across the country.

HISA to Participate in The Jockey Club Round Table in Saratoga

On August 3 in Saratoga Springs, HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus and HIWU Executive Director Ben Mosier will participate in The Jockey Club’s annual Round Table Conference on Matters Pertaining to Racing. They will join trainers Jena Antonucci and Ron Moquett on a panel about HISA and look forward to speaking with horsemen and updating the industry on the early progress of the ADMC Program and the road ahead. A livestream of the Conference will be available on The Jockey Club’s website and Facebook page. A recording will also be available afterwards on The Jockey Club’s website.

Updated Layout Coming to the HISA Portal

HISA recently announced that upgrades to the layout of the HISA Portal will be launching next Monday, July 24, to make the Portal easier to use on mobile phones and tablets. While the updates aimed at improving user experience will be minimal, step-by-step guides will be published to the HISA website to help users navigate the changes. HISA always welcomes industry feedback, including on the Portal, at feedback@hisaus.org and offers 24/7 assistance via our help desk at 1-877-513-2919.

HIWU Update

From the desk of Ben Mosier, Executive Director, Horseracing Integrity & Welfare Unit:

The HIWU team is honored by the opportunity to administer HISA’s ADMC Program throughout the country and recognizes the enormous responsibility that accompanies the implementation of horseracing’s first national anti-doping program. No matter the horse or the racetrack, HIWU is committed to running the Program consistently, fairly, and transparently for the benefit of all participants and the industry as a whole. For the latest educational materials on the ADMC Program and public disclosures regarding violations, be sure to visit hiwu.org regularly.

Thank you all again for all you do to ensure that we’re moving forward together. 

Lisa Lazarus
CEO
HISA