With representatives of the Kentucky Equine Education Project on hand, a new incentive program for all breeds was signed into law by Gov. Ernie Fletcher March 18.The new law, HB 272, 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. The fund will be split among Thoroughbreds, Standardbreds and other breeds like Quarter Horses, American Saddlebreds and Walking Horses which have been under pressure from other states that offer lucrative incentive programs. With the guidance of the Kentucky Racing Authority each breed group will develop its own distribution plan for the funds to their respective group.
A second bill that KEEP promoted during the legislative session, which 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, will also soon be signed into law. Both provisions were drafted by Sen. Damon Thayer and included in Fletcher's tax modernization plan.
"This is a great day for Kentucky's signature industry," said Claria Horn Shadwick, KEEP executive director. "Horses mean jobs and economic prosperity for our state. We thank our state leaders for recognizing the value of this industry and working with us to promote and grow it."
KEEP was created in 2004 to unite and promote the horse industry.