In October 1896, Charles R. "Riley" Grannan of Paris, Ky., known for fixing horse races, was denied admission to a track in New York due to his unsavory reputation.
Grannan unsuccessfully sued the track and the New York Racing Commission, but his lawsuit gave rise to the practice of equine regulatory law.
Equine regulatory law is the wide-ranging legal aspects of the horse industry that includes state and federal statutes and regulations controlling thoroughbred and harness racing.
The subject is the focus of a new book by attorney Bob Heleringer, a former state legislator and racing official from Louisville.
It is garnering attention in the horse industry for its thorough legal information, history and readability.
Former Gov. Brereton Jones, who owns and operates Airdrie Stud farm near Midway, said, "Bob Heleringer is an impressive guy who has written an impressive book for our racing industry."
State Sen. Robin Webb, a Democrat from Grayson who represents horse trainers, said Heleringer's work is "a handy tool for anyone who works with horses."
The 972-page book, Equine Regulatory Law, is a labor of love for Heleringer.
He got the idea for it in 1999, when he took a job as instructor of equine regulatory law in the University of Louisville's equine studies program.
Heleringer quickly discovered that there was no known legal textbook on equine law.
"I thought I would write one. I got serious about in 2006 and started it," he said.
In writing the book, Heleringer spent hundreds of hours of research in Keeneland's library in Lexington, the University of Louisville Law Library and the Jockey Club library in New York City.
He also said dozens of people, including Lexington businessman Jim Host and veteran journalist Billy Reed, assisted in his research.
The book deals with horse racing law across the country and the people involved in it. Thirty-three states have racing laws, Heleringer said.
Kentucky law is a model for his book, said Heleringer, who noted that Kentucky's appellate courts have never reversed a final decision of the state's racing commission.
The book contains a glossary to explain some basic legal terms. But Heleringer, who was known in the state legislature for his sharp humor, said he wrote it so it could be easily understood by anyone interested in the horse industry.
Webb said there is enough material in equine regulatory law to allow Heleringer to write a second volume on the subject.
But Heleringer said his next book will focus on horse racing in World War II.
Information about obtaining Heleringer's new book, which sells for $89.95, can be found at Equineregulatorylaw.com.
It is dedicated to four horse racing personalities, including race-fixer Grannan, who died broke at age 39 of pneumonia in 1908.
Grannan probably never grasped the ramifications on the horse industry of his legal action.
He was buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery in Paris, in the heart of horse country.
Jack Brammer: (859) 231-1302. Twitter: @BGPolitics. Blog: Bluegrasspolitics.bloginky.com.