CHRB Explains What You Need to Know about HISA

May 12, 2022 

The 2020 Horse Racing Integrity Act (HISA) created a federal entity referred to as “the Authority” to regulate horse racing nationwide by establishing the Racetrack Safety Program and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control Program, as well as enforceable rules and regulations in both these areas. 

What you need to know now: 

Rules and regulations for the Racetrack Safety Program go into effect July 1, 2022. The rules are categorized into (1) the 2100 series, which entail best practices, the adherence to which the Authority will adopt over time; and (2) the 2200 series, which are distinct rules and regulations that will go into effect on July 1 and will be enforced thereafter. The 2200 series include rules regarding electro-shockwave therapy, riding crop usage and penalties for violation, jockey drug testing, safety vest & helmet specifications, shoeing, and others. 

Who is impacted: 

At this time, the Authority’s rules will only apply to thoroughbreds and will not apply to other breeds, which will continue to operate under California’s current regulatory structure. Mixed-breed races will be governed by current California rules. Thoroughbreds competing in mixed races will register with the Authority and follow its rules, except those that apply to the race itself (e.g. shoeing, crop usage, etc.). 

Resources available to you: 

CHRB has created a HISA tab on our website that will provide details and guidance. The website has links to the Authority’s website, updates from the Authority, the rules, and regulations themselves, and information as to how they will impact racing in California. The website will eventually include instruction with respect to how to register with the Authority, both for human participants and their equine athletes. We are also committed to addressing any individual stakeholders and licensee questions on the application and impact of HISA through our Public Inquiry email in-box: information@chrb.ca.gov

What is coming next: 

Rules and regulations for the Anti-doping and Medication Control Program are expected to be effective January 1, 2023, and will be enforced by Drug Free Sport International. 

The good news: 

California stakeholders and licensees will not experience major changes on July 1, as you have already done much of the work over the last few years and, in fact, most of the regulations are based upon current California protocols, as we lead the country in reform. All of your hard work is paying dividends in that other states will experience major, disruptive changes to bring them up to California standards. 

Make no mistake, there will be hiccups and difficulties, but California racing and the CHRB will work them out together. Our intention is not to “trap” or play “gotcha” with those we regulate but rather to be transparent and help licensees through this process by providing accurate information and guidance that protects licensees from unintentionally running afoul of the new rules. You can expect more updates in the near future. For the most current information, please click on the HISA tab on the CHRB website, www.chrb.ca.gov.

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