Fox 34

Lubbock Horse Racing Lawsuit Dismissed, Attorneys Will Appeal

April 21, 2022

(KCBD) – A lawsuit out of Lubbock, claiming Congress “handed over” power to a private group in the interest of federally regulating horse racing, has been officially been dismissed.

Federal Judge Wesley Hendrix dismissed the lawsuit on Tuesday, April 19, stating those tasked with defending the federal horseracing authority did not file an answer or summary-judgement motion and all parties agreed to the dismissal.

The National Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association, later joined by the State of Texas and the Texas Racing Commission, were listed as plaintiffs in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit was initially filed in February, targeting the “Horse Racing Integrity and Safety Act,” or HISA, which gave a private citizen panel of industry members and experts the ability to set nationwide regulations on the industry, while answering to the Federal Trade Commission.

Claims in the lawsuit stated Congress delegated the constitutional power of regulating interstate commerce to a group of private citizens, and the FTC doesn’t have enough oversight. In February, attorneys representing the lawsuit described the issue as “a small group of rich elites” setting the rules and “taking the place of government.”

Attorneys defending HISA argued congress has not delegated the kind of powers the plaintiffs claim, and the authority is “a perfectly constitutional, and very necessary group.” Counselors stated horse racing is too large for states to individually regulate, and it’s in the best interest of the sport – the horses, and the jockeys – for an expert panel to create uniform review.

Attorneys representing the lawsuit have told KCBD they are planning to appeal.