Home » 9 stewards are among 15 named to hear federal doping cases

9 stewards are among 15 named to hear federal doping cases

Nine current and former stewards were among the 15 people appointed to hear medication cases brought to the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority and Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit, according to a Friday media release from the two groups.

Barbara Borden of Kentucky and Eric Smith of Indiana, the top stewards in their states, are part of the internal-adjudication panel, which will deal with controlled-medication, rule-violation cases under HISA’s anti-doping and medication-control program.

Patricia Bowman, also of Indiana, was also named to the panel as were fellow stewards John Herbuveaux and Kim Sawyer of California and Lori Dinoto from Ohio. Former stewards Eddie Arroyo of Illinois, Connie Estes from Texas and Duncan Patterson of Delaware were also chosen.

Former Pennsylvania commissioner and sales agent Rick Abbott and Arabian Horse Association vice president Lisa Blackstone also accepted appointments as did attorneys Hilary Forde, Diane Pitts, Erika Riedl and Edward Weiss.

Panel members were appointed by mutual agreement of HISA and HIWU for four-year terms. They will serve as independent contractors to both entities.

A joint statement from HISA and HIWU on Friday said the 15 people were chosen “for their deep, equine regulatory experience. … All members of the (panel) will receive training on HISA’s adjudication processes under the anti-doping and medication-control program before they can hear cases and must complete continuing education on an annual basis to maintain their eligibility to serve.”

Some members, including active stewards, will not be allowed to hear cases based in their home states.

“We are excited by the group we have assembled to hear controlled-medication, rule-violation cases, which we expect to be the most common types of cases under the (anti-doping) program,” HIWU executive director Ben Mosier said. “With their extensive and diverse experiences in equine regulation, we are confident that they will act fairly and consistently during the adjudication process.”

“The internal-adjudication panel will play a significant role in the enforcement of the (anti-doping) program given HISA’s distinction between medication overages and doping violations for the first time in our sport,” HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus said. “As such, I’m thrilled by the depth of knowledge and expertise each individual who has agreed to serve on the panel will bring to our adjudication processes, benefitting the entire racing community.”

Anti-doping regulations still have to be approved by the Federal Trade Commission before HISA and HIWU will be allowed to go forward with their regulations. Lazarus said Thursday she expected FTC approval Monday, the date the rules were scheduled to take effect.

According to the news release Friday, these are the members of the internal-adjudication panel with states in parentheses for those who must sit out cases based there:

Rick Abbott (Pennsylvania) spent 40 years as a Thoroughbred sales agent and was a member of the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission from 1996 to 2009. He chairs the appeal and review Committee of the National Steeplechase Association.

Eddie Arroyo (Illinois) is a former jockey who served 32 years as the senior state steward for the Illinois Racing Board. He spent five years as the assistant to the chairman and president of Arlington Park and was also general manager of Sportsman’s Park for five years. Arroyo is on the board of directors for the Racing Officials Accreditation Program and a recipient of the Pete Pederson Award.

Lisa Blackstone serves as vice president of the Arabian Horse Association, chair of the U.S. Equestrian Federation ethics committee and co-chair of the USEF hearing committee. The hearing committee presides over horse-show rules infractions, including drug violations and horse welfare issues. Blackstone is a founding member of the equine-law section of the State Bar of Georgia.

Barbara Borden (Kentucky) was first licensed as a Kentucky steward in 1993 and was appointed chief steward for the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission in April 2012, a position she currently holds. She participates on the license-review, rules and regulations, and safety and integrity committees of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission. Borden, who began her racing career working with horses at various tracks around the country, has held various racing-official positions, including licensing administrator, detention-barn assistant, horse identifier and administrator for the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.

Patricia Bowman (Indiana) is a 2017 graduate of Godolphin Flying Start and brings 15 years of experience in the racing industry. She has worked in various capacities on the backstretch and in racing offices and is a state steward with the Indiana Horse Racing Commission.

Lori Dinoto (Ohio) trained, owned and bred Thoroughbreds for 20 years before becoming a racing official in 2014. She works as a steward at Mahoning Valley and at Thistledown.

Connie Estes (New Mexico) has served in various roles in Texas racing, including licensing clerk, steward, director of licensing, interim executive director and deputy director of operations at the Texas Racing Commission. As deputy director, she oversaw all track staff, including veterinarians, stewards, licensing agents, auditors and investigators. Estes has worked for the New Mexico Racing Commission as a state steward and for the Breeders’ Cup as a safety steward.

Hilary Forde, director of HF Consult Sports Law, specializes in equine and sports law and has more than 12 years of experience working in anti-doping control and medication matters in equine sports. A native of Ireland, she serves as a tribunal clerk for the International Federation for Equestrian Sports in addition to other sports law consultancy roles for various international sports governing bodies.

John Herbuveaux (California) has been a steward for the California Horse Racing Board since 1983 and is a recipient of the Pete Pedersen Award.

Duncan Patterson (Delaware) has been involved in racing for more than 50 years as a trainer, amateur steeplechase jockey, owner and steward for the National Steeplechase Association. He has been a racing commissioner since 1988. Patterson is the chairman of the Delaware Thoroughbred Racing Commission, chairman of the drug-testing standards and practices committee for the Association of Racing Commissioners International and is a member of the stewards advisory committee for the NSA.

Diane Pitts practiced corporate, partnership and securities law before becoming involved in the governance of equestrian sports through the U.S. Eventing Association and the U.S. Equestrian Federation. She is on the board of directors for the latter organization. In 2022, Pitts was re-elected to a second term as a member of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports tribunal, which has jurisdiction to hear claims in matters such as equine doping, equine abuse, safeguarding and harassment.

Erika Riedl has vast experience in sports law, integrity and governance matters. From 2012 to 2020 she was a clerk for the International Federation for Equestrian Sports tribunal, where she oversaw more than 250 cases, including those concerning human and equine anti-doping. Riedl has acted as an arbitrator and panel member of various sporting disciplinary bodies and is an accredited mediator.

Kim Sawyer (California) has been licensed in the racing industry since 1968, holding a range of roles including jockey, trainer, outrider, receiving barn tester and racing official. She has been accredited as a steward since 1999 and employed by the California Horse Racing Board since 2005. She received the Pete Pederson Award in 2019.

Eric Smith (Indiana) is a Racing Officials Accreditation Program flat-racing steward. He is the senior state steward for the Indiana Horse Racing Commission and has worked in Illinois, Virginia, West Virginia and New Mexico as well as for the ARCI.

Edward Weiss (California) is an arbitrator, mediator and hearing officer with 35 years of legal and litigation experience. He has been a litigator in private practice, an assistant U.S. attorney and a lead lawyer for Ticketmaster.