Federal Supervision (FTC) of Horseracing Is a Lie

Because I have serious questions regarding death reporting now that the “Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority” (HISA) is in place (see Florida), in addition to placing several fruitless calls to HISA, I submitted a FOIA to the ostensible supervising federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission. Here is how I opened it:

“Good afternoon. As the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority falls under the authority of the FTC, and as HISA as part of its charter collects data on racehorse injuries and deaths at U.S. Thoroughbred tracks, I respectfully request data on racehorses who died or were euthanized at U.S. tracks in calendar year 2022.”

Pretty reasonable, huh? Their initial response read, in part:

“[W]e have searched our records on March 30, 2023. Our search of the FTC’s records did not identify any record that would respond to your request. If you believe that you have additional information that may help locate responsive records…please submit a new FOIA request with further details.”

To which I responded:

“Good afternoon. It’s unclear to me why the FTC, which oversees HISA, can’t just ask HISA for that information. I do know for a fact that HISA has been collecting the information – horses who died or were euthanized at U.S. racetracks – I’ve requested.”

Their final response follows. As you will see, the assertion that the horseracing industry is now under some sort of game-changing federal supervision is a lie. It is as it ever was: the fox guarding the hen house.

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  1. Oh, good! My favorite topic: How (the laughably-titled) HISA pretends to “save”/reform/revolutionize/regulate this horse-killing gambling game by being even LESS transparent than all the other industry trade groups who came before them.
    The absurdly-named HISA does serve one important function we ought to be thankful for: They charge$$$ their “members” (the meatgrinder tracks) for the privilege of their secrecy. And this kind of quasi-governmental selective silence doesn’t come cheap:)

  2. The fact remains that they can’t fill the race card with dead horses.

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