Racing Safety Hearing Begins In Washington

A hearing on safety in the thoroughbred racing industry began Thursday on Capitol Hill.

The session, conducted by a House subcommittee, was requested by Kentucky Congressman Ed Whitfield following the catastrophic breakdown of the filly Eight Belles in last month’s Kentucky Derby.

Whitfield says the industry needs a central governing body to oversee safety other issues such as the use of performance enhancing and painkilling drugs.

“I  read an article recently and the author said that the question used to be who had the best horse, but many people today say who has the best veterinarian.    I don’t think that is good for the industry in the long term, ” Whitfield said.

Among those who testified before the panel was Arthur Hancock, president of Stone Farm in Paris, Kentucky.

Rick Dutrow, the trainer of Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner  Big Brown, was scheduled to appear but said he couldn’t make the trip because of illness.