Chris McCarron, two-time Eclipse Award winning jockey and member of the National Racing Hall of Fame, has joined the Water Hay Oats Alliance in support of federal legislation to ban race day medication. He becomes the first jockey to join the organization as a supporter calling for drug reform and uniformity.
After riding professionally for 28 years and winning virtually every major stake race in North America, including six Triple Crown and nine Breeders Cup victories, McCarron worked as color analyst on major networks and technical advisor on the movie "Seabiscuit". From 2003-2005, he served as general manager at Santa Anita. He is currently the Founder and lead instructor of the North American Racing Academy in Lexington KY., where he works to train the next generation of jockeys.
In a statement to WHOA, McCarron said: "What has taken the thoroughbred racing and breeding industries so long to get behind a concerted effort to establish uniform medication rules across state lines? As a former jockey and now an instructor of future jockeys, horsemen and horsewomen, I believe it is imperative that the efforts to establish uniform medication rules, including the penalties that should be imposed on any person(s) violating such rules, should be the most important item on any agenda related to thoroughbred horse racing. That being said, I'm in favor of The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act. How else are we to protect the horses, the jockeys, the owners, the breeders and the betting public?"
The Water Hay Oats Alliance supports The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act, H.R.2012/S.973, currently in Congress. The legislation appoints the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) with the authority to work with the industry to establish uniform drug rules and penalties for violations and to centralize drug testing in USADA designated labs. The widespread use of race day medication in American racing is destroying public confidence, defrauding the betting fan, weakening the genetic pool and, most importantly, putting life and limb of our equine athletes and their jockeys at risk.
The only qualification to join WHOA is a sincere desire to ban race day medication at U.S. tracks.
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