Updated on 04/24/2012 6:56PM

Congressional subcommittee to hold hearing on health and welfare in racing industry


A subcommittee of the House of Representative’s Committee on Energy and Commerce has scheduled a hearing for April 30 to examine health and welfare issues surrounding the racing industry, according to a notice from the committee.

The hearing, called by the Subcommittee on Health, will be held in a high school auditorium in Kennett Square, Pa., about 25 miles from Philadelphia. The chairman of the subcommittee is Rep. Joe Pitts, a Republican who represents Lancaster, Chester, and Berks counties in the House.

Late on Tuesday, the subcommittee released a list of the attendees that were invited to speak. The list included Gary Stevens, the retired Hall of Fame jockey; Arthur Hancock, owner of Stone Farm, who has been a high-profile critic of medication; George Strawbridge, a Pennsylvania owner who also has been critical of medication; and Gretchen Jackson, co-owner of the late Barbaro.

Those four will appear on the first panel, the list said. A second panel will include trainer Ken McPeek; New Jersey trainer Glenn Thompson, who last year self-published a book alleging the widespread abuse of medication by rival trainers; Dr. Kathryn Papp, a Pennsylvania veterinarian; Gregory Ferraro, a professor at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, which conducts the California Horse Racing Board’s post-mortem program for horses that suffer catastrophic injuries; and Dr. Cornelius Uboh, director of West Chester Univeristy’s Equine Toxicology and Research Center, which conducts drug testing for several racing jurisdictions.

The hearing will take place five days prior to the Kentucky Derby and in the wake of a lengthy examination of the safety record of the racing industry five weeks ago in an article in the New York Times. The article was highly critical of both the alleged widespread use of drugs in racing and what it characterized as lax state regulation of the sport.