HBPA – July 26, 2022 – National HBPA CEO Eric Hamelback’s comment on U.S. District Court Judge Doughty issuing a temporary injunction halting enforcement of the Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act in Louisiana and West Virginia:

Many will see today as a win or a loss, but rest assured the efforts by the National HBPA and its affiliates are to ensure the best interests of horsemen and women throughout the country are upheld, and not dictated by a select few.

Today’s ruling shows the HISA regulations are not in the best interest of thoroughbred racing’s participants and, as Judge Doughty noted, will cause harm to the participants. He further acknowledged the Plaintiffs established that the HISA rules go beyond the statutory authority given to HISA and the Federal Trade Commission. Equally important and gratifying is that Judge Doughty determined that the Plaintiffs established a likelihood of success on the merits for their claims. This rendered opinion is only further proof the framework of HISA must be re-evaluated and not put into effect in its current state.

The members of the National HBPA sincerely thank Louisiana Attorney General Landry, along with the State of West Virginia, Louisiana State Racing Commission, Louisiana Horsemen’s Benevolent & Protective Association, Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Jockeys’ Guild Inc., West Virginia Racing Commission, Bernard K. Chatters, Edward J. Fenasci, Larry Findley Sr., Warren J. Harang III and Gerard Melancon. Those entities and individuals proved these regulations have caused harm by rolling them out without proper education, being unclear, inconsistent and violating due process.

While this injunction application is only for the two states, with the Jockeys’ Guild mentioned as plaintiffs, this does provide an application outside of Louisiana and West Virginia. I would strongly encourage HISA to evaluate this court’s decision and consider a voluntary stand down in every state in order to save further litigation and chaos that most certainly will come from other jurisdictions.

Order granting injunction

Memorandum ruling on preliminary injunction

Louisiana Attorney General’s press release on Judge Doughty’s ruling

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Edward J. DeBartolo (at that time, the owner of Balmoral, Thistledown and Louisiana Downs) built Remington Park in Oklahoma City as a $100 million showcase for Thoroughbred racing. The inaugural race meet during the fall of 1988 was an opportunity for Oklahoma Thoroughbred horsemen to race in their home state and for horsemen from throughout the region to enjoy Oklahoma’s hospitality.

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