Former Kentucky governor and Airdrie Stud owner Brereton Jones told the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club Jan. 4 that a common sense approach and a united front would get things accomplished in Frankfort, including the creation of breeders' rewards program.
Jones, a founding member of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), said the 4,500-member group is exploring three options of breeders' rewards in which to get behind.
The options include paying the breeder of any maiden special weight winner anywhere in the United States; a breeder is paid for any maiden or allowance win in Kentucky; or a breeder is paid for any maiden, allowance, or claiming win in Kentucky.
In addition, Jones said the group was also exploring the possibility of paying a larger chunk of money to the breeders of a Kentucky Derby (gr. I) or Kentucky Oaks (gr. I) winner.
The breeders' rewards program, Jones said, would not be limited to Thoroughbreds, but to any breed of horse in the state. "For the horse industry in the state to be successful, we have to present a united front," Jones said.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) is currently working alongside state leaders in Frankfort to develop the program.
"A common sense approach is going to make KEEP successful," Jones said.
Besides a successful breeders' rewards program, KEEP has outlined three legislative issues that would benefit the state's horse industry. The issues include removal of the statutory requirement that out-of-state residents who purchase weanlings and yearlings must remove them from the state within a certain period of time to avoid a tax; elimination of a tax on feed, fencing, and farm equipment; and a shift of money generated by a tax on stud fees from the state's general fund to a proposed breed development program.