The new alliance formed to educate Kentucky residents on the importance of the horse industry to the state's economy continues to raise funds and already has changed its name.
The Kentucky Equine Education Alliance was officially announced the week of May 5. On May 15, the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority was told the KEEA is now the KEEP: Kentucky Equine Education Partnership.
KEEP chairman Brereton Jones, owner of Airdrie Stud and a former Kentucky governor, said the name lends itself to keeping horses in Kentucky. The organization's goal is to enact a grassroots education campaign that ultimately will give the horse industry more clout.
Almost $400,000 has been raised to support KEEP, which Jones said isn't designed to be a short-term organization. "I see it being important 20 years from now," he said.
KEEP continues to look for an executive director and support staff. It plans to have a chairperson in each of Kentucky's 120 counties.
KHRA chairman Bill Street said the authority, which was created to regulate and promote the horse industry, wants to play a role. "As we move forward, we might think how we can work together...I think we'll be that much more effective in the end."