The American Horse Council (AHC) has issued the following statement in support of the recent action by the California Horse Racing Board to address illegal horse racing.
“The AHC applauds the California Horse Racing Board for adopting a new regulation that bans licensees from participating in illegal, unsanctioned horse racing,” said Julie Broadway, President of AHC. Our organization has been educating state law enforcement and regulators on the dangers of illegal, unsanctioned horse racing for many years since the scope of the issue was brought to our attention. It is encouraging to see progress and we hope other states will act.”
The California Code of Regulations listed a proposed amendment of Rule 1902, Conduct Detrimental to Horse Racing:
No licensee shall engage in any conduct prohibited by this Division nor shall any licensee engage in any conduct which by its nature is detrimental to the best interests of horse racing, including but not limited to:
- Participation in, or presence at, any non-recognized race meeting where racing occurred
- Recognized race meeting is defined pursuant to subsection (u) of Rule 1420
- Racing is defined pursuant to subsection (s) of Rule 1402
“The harm caused to horses at these illegal races is significant,” continued Broadway. “There are numerous documented reports of horses being injured and dying at these races due to injections of illegal and inappropriate substances, abuse, and exhaustion. In addition to the crime of animal cruelty, further harm occurs in the form of disease transmission. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has found that clusters of equine infectious anemia and equine piroplasmosis in racehorses are often associated with unsanctioned racing. These diseases are easily transmitted and can infect working and pleasure horses across the entire United States.
“What is of equal concern are the serious consequences for the health and well-being of humans. Patrons and jockeys are at risk in these unsafe environments because these venues are magnets for additional criminal activity.”
“The AHC will continue to urge states to move more aggressively to shut these tracks down,” Broadway concluded.
The American Horse Council is an advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C., that represents individual members, small businesses, and more than 130 equine organizations before Congress and the federal regulatory agencies. AHC member organizations include breed registries, national and state equine associations, state horse councils, recreational associations, and organizations representing racetracks, equestrians, horse shows, veterinarians, farriers, rodeos, and other equine-related stakeholders.
Contact: Megan Arszman
American Horse Council