Edited press release
The Gone West syndicate has donated $100,000 to the Kentucky Equine Education Project, which was formed to promote and protect the horse industry in the state.
The stallion Gone West stands at Mill Ridge Farm near Lexington. The contribution from the syndicate will be used to help promote KEEP and its mission, according to a release from KEEP.
"Our mission is to make everyone aware of just how important the equine industry is in Kentucky," KEEP chairman Brereton Jones said in the release. "Our theme has been 'Horses Work for Kentucky,' and it reassuring to know that industry leaders like those in the Gone West syndicate support our effort--in words, deeds, and with their resources. We are deeply indebted for their generosity.
"We have a powerful message to deliver to every county in the state. This gift will go a long way in taking that message to the people of Kentucky."
KEEP, created in May 2004, now has about 7,000 members. It will launch a membership drive Aug. 1 in an attempt to sign up 3,000 more members by the end of the year.
"Our grassroots efforts helped us build an effective organization in a short amount of time," KEEP executive director Jim Navolio said. "Our legislators, and other leaders across our state, are realizing how well organized our group is, and that we have united the horse industry across all breeds and disciplines. The horse industry is a $4-billion industry in Kentucky, and we want to make sure we protect and grow it."
During the membership drive, each county team leader will be asked to enlist 20 new members in their respective counties, and each KEEP member will be asked to sign up at least five new members. As an incentive, the top-six team leaders with the greatest increase in membership in their county will receive a KEEP cooler blanket. Counties will be divided into categories based on population size.