Kentuckians among board members named for Horseracing Integrity work

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ/Press Release) – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority’s nominating committee announced Wednesday members of its board of directors and standing committees.

The process was led by Nancy Cox, University of Kentucky vice president for land-grant engagement and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, and Leonard Coleman, former president of the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs.

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The 2020 Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act created the Authority as the independent governing structure charged with proposing and enforcing health-and-safety standards subject to consideration and adoption by the Federal Trade Commission over Thoroughbred racing in the United States.

The independent nominating committee reviewed more than 160 nominations, evaluating nominees from within and outside of the industry. In addition to ensuring a diversity of professional backgrounds, the committee took into consideration geographic, racial and gender diversity.

Under the authority and oversight of the Federal Trade Commission, the Authority board and standing committee members are responsible for developing, implementing and enforcing a series of uniform anti-doping, medication control, racetrack safety and operational rules to enhance equine safety and protect the integrity of the sport.

The nine-person board includes five members from outside of the Thoroughbred industry and four industry representatives. The two chairs of the Authority’s standing committees serve on the board of directors, and the board is expected to select the board chair at its first meeting. The board of directors includes:

  • Steve Beshear, Kentucky (independent director)
  • Leonard Coleman, Florida (independent director)
  • Ellen McClain, New York (independent director)
  • Charles Scheeler, Maryland (independent director)
  • Adolpho Birch, chair of the Anti-Doping and Medication Control standing committee, Tennessee (independent director)
  • Joseph De Francis, Maryland (industry director)
  • Susan Stover, chair of the Racetrack Safety standing committee, California (industry director)
  • Bill Thomason, Kentucky (industry director)
  • DG Van Clief, Virginia (industry director)

“Over the past several months, the nominating committee carefully reviewed each nominee with a deep and enduring understanding of the important responsibility entrusted to them in selecting the inaugural board and standing committees of this essential entity charged with standardizing safety in the industry,” said UK’s Cox. “Thanks to the time and effort of the committee, we have a diverse board and standing committees with broad expertise who will bring the thoughtfulness and skill needed in implementing the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.”

“The official formation of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority is the critical next step in safeguarding this cherished sport. I’m grateful to University of Kentucky Vice President Nancy Cox, and the other members of the nominating committee for their diligence in selecting respected individuals to serve on thoroughbred racing’s independent governing body,” said U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-KY, who introduced the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the Senate. “With uniform, national standards for medication-use and track safety, we can address the challenges facing horse racing and preserve one of Kentucky’s signature industries for generations to come. Along with all horse racing fans, I look forward to the Authority’s work to protect horses and jockeys and to give every competitor a fair shot at the winner’s circle.”

“Today, the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority Nominating Committee put forward an impressive slate of individuals that will lead the Thoroughbred racing industry forward,” said Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, who represents Kentucky’s Sixth District and has been active in promoting the legislation for years. “This group of regionally and professionally diverse individuals will guide the implementation of uniform standards of safety and competition. I want to thank each member for volunteering their time and talents to serving this vital industry. The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act is a historic reform that will strengthen Kentucky’s signature industry for generations to come.”

Anti-Doping and Medication Control Standing Committee  

The committee is comprised of four independent members and three industry members:

  • Adolpho Birch, chair (Tennessee, independent director)
  • Jeff Novitzky, Nevada (independent member)
  • Kathleen Stroia, Florida (independent member)
  • Jerry Yon, Florida (independent member)
  • Jeff Blea, California (industry member)
  • Mary Scollay, Kentucky (industry member)
  • Scott Stanley, Kentucky (industry member)

Racetrack Safety Standing Committee 

The committee is comprised of four independent members and three industry members:

  • Susan Stover, chair (California, industry director)
  • Lisa Fortier, New York (independent member)
  • Peter Hester, Kentucky (independent member)
  • Paul Lunn, North Carolina (independent member)
  • Carl Mattacola, North Carolina (independent member)
  • Glen Kozak, New York (industry member)
  • John Velazquez, New York (industry member)

“The overwhelming response to the call for nominees is a clear example of the industry’s interest in and commitment to addressing the safety needs in this sport,” said Leonard Coleman, co-chair of the nominating committee and incoming board member. “The members of the Authority’s two standing committees bring extraordinary knowledge to the process of developing uniform standards in anti-doping and medication control and racetrack safety—a critical need for the horseracing industry.”

Members of the board of directors and standing committees underwent a comprehensive screening process, and the members of the board of directors and any independent member of a standing committee are subject to HISA’s strict conflict of interest restrictions to ensure the Authority’s independence and integrity.

“On behalf of the Authority, we want to thank the lawmakers who sponsored and supported this legislation in Congress, as well as the members of the nominating committee for their time, effort and professionalism,” said Cox.