Facebook Connect

West Point’s Joe Bianca Named to HISA Next Generation Advisory Committee / Wednesday, April 17, 2024

April 15, 2024 (Lexington, KY) – The Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) today announced the members of its Next Generation Advisory Group, who were selected from a diverse pool of almost 200 applications. Starting in April, the Advisory Group will convene monthly to provide feedback to HISA’s executive team and Standing Committees on the implementation and evolution of HISA’s Racetrack Safety and Anti-Doping and Medication Control regulations.

After announcing the Advisory Group’s formation in January 2024, HISA selected 16 members who represent a broad range of views and experience from across the American horse racing community. Included among them are horsemen, veterinarians, jockeys, and horseplayers, as well as representatives from horsemen’s groups, racing offices, and racing syndicates. Members will serve 18-36-month terms to stagger changes in the composition of the group.

“Thank you to everyone who applied for the Next Generation Advisory Group,” said HISA CEO Lisa Lazarus. “HISA remains dedicated to preserving our sport for generations to come, and the sheer number of applicants alone has been an incredible sign of support for a successful future. We are thrilled to have such diverse perspectives, vast experience and impressive qualifications across our industry advisory groups.”

The following individuals have been selected to serve as members of the inaugural Next Generation Advisory Group:

Waqas Ahmed is Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission (KHRC). He transitioned into the horse racing sector after earning an MBA from the University of Kentucky. His journey at the KHRC from Operations Analyst to Director of Pari-Mutuel Wagering and Compliance enabled him to lead operational and technological improvements across Kentucky racetracks and wagering services before taking on his current role.

Keith Asmussen is a graded stake-winning jockey competing in the Midwestern racing circuit. He is the eldest son of Hall of Fame trainer Steve Asmussen and a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.

Joe Bianca is an ownership advisor for West Point Thoroughbreds and co-hosts the Rail Talk podcast with Jon Green of DJ Stables. Before joining West Point, Bianca spent seven years as a writer, editor, and podcast host at Thoroughbred Daily News.

Marc Broady is the Executive Director of the Maryland Thoroughbred Racetrack Operating Authority. An attorney born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, he previously served as Policy Advisor and Senior Counsel to the late Congressman Elijah Cummings and his Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Eric DeCoster is the Assistant Racing Secretary at Prairie Meadows and a Racing Official at Oaklawn Park. A December 2023 graduate of the University of Arizona’s Race Track Industry Program, he has spent time in multiple sectors of the Thoroughbred racing industry, having interned with the New York Racing Association, Inc., Wanamaker’s, and Handal Racing.

Devon Dougherty is an assistant trainer for Christophe Clement. Raised in Philadelphia, she began her career at Parx Racing. Dougherty completed the Godolphin Flying Start Program before joining Clement’s team.

Dr. Tatiana Fraguela is a racetrack veterinarian based at Churchill Downs and Oaklawn Park. She previously interned at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Saratoga after graduating from veterinary school.

Tyler Gaffalione is a jockey hailing from Florida who has won almost 2,300 races. Named the Eclipse Award winner for Outstanding Apprentice in 2015, he has more than 100 graded stakes wins, including the Kentucky Oaks, Preakness Stakes, and two Breeders’ Cup races.

Jeffrey A. Matty, Jr. is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association at Parx Racetrack. A native of Bensalem, Pennsylvania, he is also a Thoroughbred owner of a Mid-Atlantic-based racing stable.

Katie Miranda is the co-owner of HorseOlogy and owner of the White Lilac 2-year-old consignment in Ocala, Florida. With an M.S. in Animal Science, she has a diverse equine background, including time spent as a trainer, exercise rider, and veterinary technician.

Tyler Peeples is a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast who previously worked for D. Wayne Lukas and Steve Asmussen Racing Stables. He stays active in the sport as a handicapper and through ownership partnerships. Peeples currently works as a Sales Executive for Aetna, a CVS Health Company.

Courtney Reid is the Senior Director of Racing and Industry Relations for Breeders’ Cup Limited. Based in California, her journey to Breeders’ Cup Limited in 2019 was shaped by invaluable experiences at the National Steeplechase Association, the New York Racing Association, and the Virginia Racing Commission. Courtney is dedicated to upholding integrity, safety, and innovation within the sport of horse racing.

Lindsay Schultz is a trainer based at Oaklawn Park, Keeneland, and Monmouth Park. A graduate of the University of Louisville and Godolphin Flying Start, she worked for Tom Proctor and Shug McGaughey before launching her training career.

Brianne Sharp is the Marketing and Research Coordinator for Godolphin, a role she has served for the past 12 years. Originally from Arkansas, she is a graduate of the Godolphin Flying Start Program and Kentucky Equine Management Internship. Sharp is a member of the board of directors for Horse Country, Inc.

Nick Tammaro is the track announcer and handicapper at Sam Houston Race Park, a morning line oddsmaker, and has been a racing analyst for TwinSpires, as well as a content creator for In the Money Media. He is an accomplished handicapping contest player who has twice finished in the top 15 of the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge. He is a horseplayer, a fan, and an advocate for the sport.

Najja Thompson is the Executive Director of New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Thompson also serves as President of the Turf Publicists of America and is on the board of directors of NYRA, New York’s Backstretch Employee Service Team, The New York Racetrack Chaplaincy, and the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce.

About the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority

When the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act was signed into federal law, it charged the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Authority (HISA) with drafting and enforcing uniform safety and integrity rules in Thoroughbred racing in the U.S. Overseen by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HISA is implementing, for the first time, a national, uniform set of rules applicable to every Thoroughbred racing participant and racetrack facility. HISA is comprised of two programs: the Racetrack Safety Program, which went into effect on July 1, 2022, and the Anti-Doping and Medication Control (ADMC) Program, which went into effect on May 22, 2023.

The Racetrack Safety Program includes operational safety rules and national racetrack accreditation standards that seek to enhance equine welfare and minimize equine and jockey injury. The Program expands veterinary oversight, imposes surface maintenance and testing requirements, enhances jockey safety, regulates riding crop use and implements voided claim rules, among other important measures.

The ADMC Program includes a centralized testing and results management process and applies uniform penalties for violations efficiently and consistently across the United States. These rules and enforcement mechanisms are administered by an independent agency, the Horseracing Integrity and Welfare Unit (HIWU), established by Drug Free Sport International (DFS). HIWU oversees testing, educates stakeholders on the Program, accredits laboratories, investigates potential ADMC violations and prosecutes any such violations.

How Much Does It Cost to Own A Racehorse With West Point Thoroughbreds?

Get the FREE report!