04/26/2017 3:00PM

Krone appointed to Humane Society council on racing

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Barbara D. Livingston
Julie Krone was inducted to the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2000.

Julie Krone, the first woman to be inducted into racing’s Hall of Fame, has been appointed to a council at the Humane Society of the United States focusing on racing, the Humane Society announced Tuesday.

The announcement of the appointment came on the same day that Frank Stronach, the owner-breeder who owns the racing company The Stronach Group, announced his support for federal legislation that the Humane Society and several influential racing and breeding organizations have endorsed. The federal legislation would appoint a private, non-profit company, the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, as the overseer of the sport’s medication and drug-enforcement policies.

At the HSUS, Krone will join another Hall of Fame rider, Chris McCarron, along with several racing officials, including Joe De Francis, the former owner of the Maryland Jockey Club; Jim Gagliano, president and chief operating officer of The Jockey Club; Allen Gutterman, a former racing executive; Joe Gorajec, former executive director of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission; and Staci Hancock, a founding member of a group opposed to the use of raceday medication.

The Humane Society racing council was formed last year, in large part to lobby for the passage of the federal legislation. In the release announcing Krone’s appointment, the Humane Society said the council “has been directing most of its time and resources in advancing federal anti-doping legislation,” in reference to the bill introduced last year.

“I hope my years of experience as a jockey will allow me to help drive changes needed in the industry that will better protect its athletes and allow the industry to prosper,” Krone said in a statement. Krone is married to Daily Racing Form executive columnist Jay Hovdey.

While several racing organizations have endorsed the bill, the legislation is controversial among a number of other racing constituencies. In particular, horsemen have said that the legislation is designed to put in place a ban on the raceday use of the diuretic furosemide, which is legal to administer in the United States and Canada on raceday to mitigate bleeding in the lungs. Horsemen contend the use of the drug is both humane and effective, while opponents maintain that raceday use of any drug places a stain on the sport.

In a statement released Wednesday in support of the legislation, Stronach specifically referenced his opposition to raceday medication (Stronach’s horses in the United States and Canada race on furosemide).

“No raceday medication is a giant step forward,” Stronach said in the statement. “I believe, in the long run, no raceday medication is better for the horses and for the industry.”

The legislation is not expected to gain traction in the next several years, in large part due to the lack of unanimity among racing’s constituencies, racing lobbyists have said.