Senator calls for American-wide racing controls

Tom Udall
Tom Udall

A United States senator has renewed his call for nationwide standards to control racing, after a damning investigationof the industry reported in The New York Times.

The report, entitled “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys” explores the circumstances around the horse toll within the racing industry.

The Times said industry practices continued to put animals and riders at risk. It said its investigation showed an industry still mired in a culture of drugs and lax regulation, with a fatal breakdown rate that remained far worse than in most of the world.

Senator Tom Udall, of New Mexico, said the Times investigation painted a  disturbing picture of the industry, especially so in his home state.

The sport, he said, had reached an alarming level of corruption and exploitation.

“The consequence of inconsistent state-level regulation is an epidemic of animal doping that has led to countless euthanizations of helpless horses and the injury and death of their riders,” Udall said.

“The Times’ expose has shined a glaring light on the need for national standards in a sport that reaps gambling profits, but has lacked proper oversight for decades.

“I urge our leaders in Congress to advance the bipartisan legislation Congressman Ed Whitfield and I have introduced in both chambers to renew the sport of horseracing and set minimum, nationwide standards for medication and doping.”

Udall said the proposed Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act would kick cheaters out of the sport.

“The horseracing industry has promised voluntary reforms for decades but, as we’ve painfully observed, our legislation is the only viable way to address doping problems plaguing the sport.

“Now is the time to end the unscrupulous practices of those trainers and track veterinarians in horseracing who abuse these magnificent animals and endanger jockeys for gambling profits.”

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