October 2016 Issue - page 4

Page 4
October 2016
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By Suzanne Bush
Controversy is swirling
around HB941 like flies in a
horse barn in July. The bill, now
known as Act 7, began with
such promise. A slew of reforms
to Pennsylvania’s horseracing
While Act 7 continues to cause controversy, the horses at the heart of
the industry are waiting.
Lawsuit Amplifies the
Racing Reform Problems
industry, aimed at protecting the
industry by changing the way it is
governed in the state, were signed
into law by Governor Tom Wolf
in February, 2016.
Celebrated by stakeholders
at first, the bill quickly became
an object of scorn when fatally
flawed wording in the bill’s
final version undermined its
intent. Instead of setting up
a breeder award program for
horses foaled in Pennsylvania,
the bill’s language specified that
only foals “sired in the Com-
monwealth” would be eligible
for awards.
The result has been cata-
strophic for Thoroughbred horse
breeders and farms across the
Did you know?
Pennsylvania Equestrian has won
16 national awards for editorial excellence.
(Continued on page 25)
By Suzanne Bush
In February, Governor Tom
Wolf signed HB941 into law.
Billed as an overhaul of Penn-
sylvania’s horse racing industry,
it was broadly supported by leg-
islators as well as stakeholders.
For a few days. It turns out that
the language detailing eligibil-
ity for breeders’ awards was
changed somewhere in the many
months of discussions and meet-
ings about the legislation, which
allowed payments from the fund
to go to breeders of horses bred
in Pennsylvania but foaled out
of state. Breeders’ awards have
been held up since February,
causing hardship for horse breed-
ers who depend on the payouts,
and frustration among legislators
who thought everything was
hunky dory.
Representative Martin Caus-
er (R., Cameron, McKean, Potter
Counties) has introduced HB
2303, which was scheduled for
a vote on September 27. Causer
chairs the House Agriculture and
Rural Affairs Committee, which
approved the bill on September
The bill includes a techni-
cal amendment which would
move the reform law out of
the Administrative Code of
But a Fix
(Continued on page 25)
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