Stay Order Releases Steam in HISA-Jockeys' Guild Uproar


Photo: Hodges Photography / Lou Hodges Jr.
Racing at Louisiana Downs

On the evening of Aug. 3, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals granted an administrative stay of enforcement of a preliminary injunction entered against the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority late last week.

The preliminary injunction was granted July 26 against HISA, the Federal Trade Commission, and others by the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana. Plaintiffs in the underlying case are the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, the Jockeys' Guild, and several individuals.

Entry of the stay means, for now, the injunction has no force or effect in any racing jurisdiction.

The Fifth Circuit stay will reduce from a boil to a simmer a dispute as to the preliminary injunction's meaning. By its own terms, the geographic scope of the injunction is limited to the states of Louisiana and West Virginia, "and as to all plaintiffs in this proceeding."

After HISA continued enforcing its rules to Jockeys' Guild members riding outside the geographic scope of the injunction, plaintiffs called foul, arguing the jockeys are covered as plaintiffs in the proceeding and filed motions for contempt of court and for enforcement of the injunction. Those matters are now on hold pending further ruling by the Fifth Circuit.

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The duration of the administrative stay is undetermined. It is not a stay based on the merits of the case; rather, the stay is temporary pending further consideration of the motion to stay. An appeal of the preliminary injunction filed by HISA and others is also pending in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.