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Lawmakers to Promote KY Horse Industry

The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) has recognized their  appreciation to Governor Ernie Fletcher and Kentucky¹s state legislators for recognizing the value of Kentucky's horse industry by passing a breeder incentive program for all breeds and removing a tax provision that encouraged non-resident horse owners to move their horses out of Kentucky to be trained. 

The legislation, which now goes to Governor Fletcher for his signature before becoming law, shifts the current taxes paid on stud fees for stallions standing in Kentucky into an equine-specific fund to encourage breeding and foaling horses in Kentucky. These monies will be split amongThoroughbreds, Standardbreds and other breeds that have been under pressure from other states that offer lucrative incentive programs.

The second piece of legislation removes the provision that encouraged non-resident owners to move their horses upon purchase to other states instead of boarding and training them in Kentucky. The provisions were drafted by Sen. Damon Thayer and included in Governor Fletcher's tax   modernization plan.

"Horses mean jobs and economic prosperity to our state." said Claria Horn Shadwick, KEEP executive director. "This cornerstone of KEEP's educational message, that horses are a vital part of our state's economy is taking hold both across Kentucky and in Frankfort, thanks to the hard work of our 94 Team Leaders and 5,000 plus members.

Going into this session, KEEP had three primary legislative initiatives. Getting two of the three passed is a recognition of the tremendous value of the industry to our state.

"This legislation is an important first step in addressing the issue   facing our horse industry, but much work remains. Kentucky's horse farmers still pay tax on feed, fencing, and farm equipment, while other livestock are exempt from sales tax. Further, Kentucky's racing industry continues to face challenges from states like New York, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, where larger purses in those states are luring horses away from Kentucky tracks," Horn Shadwick continued.

KEEP was created to unite and promote the horse industry. Currently, conservative estimates put its economic impact at $4 billion with tens of thousands of jobs resulting. As part of its long-term effort, KEEP will branch out into a public education campaign for school children and continue to emphasize membership growth and grassroots initiatives.

"Working with our leaders in Frankfort, as well as our diverse and united industry, we can ensure that Kentucky remains the Horse Capital of the World," said Horn Shadwick.

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