Congress members call for transparency on Churchill Downs horse deaths

Sixteen members of Congress are urging the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) based in Kentucky to be transparent in their investigation into a series of horse deaths at Churchill Downs. In a bipartisan letter addressed to HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus, the lawmakers request that necropsy results and a comprehensive report on the deceased horses be made public.

The letter also calls for a careful review of medical records and the implementation of preventive measures to address potential links to preexisting conditions and explore breeding techniques, equine medicine, and training practices contributing to the deaths. Since the letter was signed, another horse has died at Churchill Downs, making it the ninth since April 27.

The legislators express concern over the toll on animal welfare and request updates on investigations, safety measures, and possible reforms. HISA has acknowledged the letter and pledged to release findings publicly upon completion. The organization aims to prioritize horse and rider safety.

HISA, enacted into law under former President Donald Trump, is responsible for improving the safety of horse racing through racetrack safety measures and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control program. The legislators commend the implementation of these measures and call for further action.

Here are the 15 other cosigners of the letter:

  • Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill.;
  • Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa.;
  • Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla.;
  • Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill.;
  • Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Texas;
  • Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.;
  • Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr., D-N.J.;
  • Rep. Troy Carter, D-La.;
  • Rep. André Carson, D-Ind.;
  • Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo.;;
  • Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.;
  • Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev.;
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Texas;
  • Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, D-Md.
  • Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn.

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