A bill that would provide a tax break for Kentucky's horse industry advanced Feb. 10, when the Kentucky House Agriculture Committee unanimously approved HB 112.
Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders executive director David Switzer announced June 10 that he will retire from the organization Aug. 1 after 21 years at the helm.
Kentucky horsemen expected backlash from Churchill Downs' decision to charge the maximum takeout rates allowed by state law, but they hope positives follow from increased purses that improve the racing product.
The measure provides that horses running in allowance optional claiming races for a claim price of at least $25,000 will be eligible for money added to purses from the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
David Switzer, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, is among five graduates of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture who were inducted into the inaugural Hall of Distinguished Alumni.
Churchill Downs could apply for live racing dates in September 2013, opening the door to what could be controversial discussions over the future makeup of the Kentucky Thoroughbred racing circuit.
Turfway Park has announced the elimination of all stakes, including Kentucky Cup Day of Champions, from the schedule for its 16-day fall meet that begins Sept. 6 and concludes Sept. 30.
Melissa Nolan is the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' new marketing and communications coordinator.
Lexington Catholic High School is gearing up to unveil a new program called the Equine Academy in the fall of 2012.
An advisory panel to the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has given final approval to regulatory changes that include permitting an owner to void the claim of a horse that tested positive.
The Kentucky General Assembly probably will consider legislation in 2012 that taxes bets made by Kentucky residents through advance deposit wagering systems to bolster the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
A report on Kentucky's Thoroughbred breeding industry and related state programs that support it financially shows continued strength in quality despite decreases in funding and competition from gaming states.
The Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the Kentucky Equine Education Project, and the Kentucky Horse Council announced Oct. 6 that horses have been added to the "Kentucky Proud" program.
David Switzer, executive director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders' Association, is the latest industry leader to support changes in medication policies.
After being on the national back burner for the last three years, the illegal immigration issue has resurfaced again in Kentucky in the form of a bill that breezed through the Senate in early January.
Several Thoroughbred industry officials met in Frankfort, Ky., Jan. 14 to discuss a 2011 legislative plan for increasing purses and breed development funds.
Kentucky Horse Racing Commission officials acknowledged concerns about aspects of the proposed out-of-competition testing of racehorses and pledged Aug. 25 to consider the input before the regulations are approved.
A Thoroughbred leadership group called Vision 20/20 has been formed by the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders in order to strengthen the industry.
The lingering economic recession has forced banks to become very conservative lenders. In this climate, Thoroughbred horsemen nationwide are struggling with credit lines drying up and loans being called in. Read Feature
A hot topic when the Kentucky General Assembly convened Jan. 5, expanded gaming and racetrack video lottery terminals generated much talk but no action during the first week of the legislative session.
In an effort to promote the local Thoroughbred industry, a recently formed company called Horse Capital Productions will launch a Web site Jan. 15 to serve as a bridge between farms and tour companies in the Bluegrass.
When Republican Jimmy Higdon soundly defeated Democrat Jodie Haydon in the special state Senate election Dec. 8, it signaled challenging times ahead for Kentucky's horse industry.
During a presentation to members of the horse industry at the Kentucky Horse Park Oct. 20, Kentucky Senate President David Williams and Sen. Damon Thayer, both Republicans, proposed constitutional amendments regarding the future of the state's horse industry.
Five months after horse industry officials lobbied for funds from the United States Department of Agriculture's Emergency Conservation Program to assist with property damage to dozens of Central Kentucky Thoroughbred farms due to a January ice storm, the USDA delivered some negative news.
The Kentucky House Appropriations and Revenue Committee June 18 sent racetrack gaming legislation to the full House of Representatives for consideration.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association and its executive director have been dismissed from the federal antitrust lawsuit brought by Churchill Downs Inc. against multiple horsemen's groups.
Democratic Kentucky Rep. Greg Stumbo was sworn in Jan. 7 as the state's speaker of the House, giving some in the Thoroughbred industry hope that alternative gaming may soon exist in the Bluegrass State.
- By Ryan Conley
An agreement has reportedly fallen apart for signal distribution of the upcoming Churchill Downs fall meet to advance deposit wagering entities, according to horsemen representatives involved in the negotiations.
Churchill Downs Inc. has amended its lawsuit against Florida horsemen and the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group to include certain Kentucky horsemen associations and officers, an action in which all defendants are charged with violating federal antitrust laws.
The head of a Kentucky horsemen's association said his group withheld approval for the Churchill Downs signal to go out to a pair of offshore rebate shops for the undercards of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) and Kentucky Oaks (gr. I), and is aggravated that the track is blaming horsemen for a decline in handle on the two programs.
It's difficult to gauge the immediate effect of the ongoing dispute with Kentucky horsemen on the Churchill Downs' spring meet, as handle on racing from the opening weekend at the Louisville track was down only slightly from 2007, according to one data source.
Consider this chilling scenario: Customers of several advance deposit wagering companies - and possibly some large off-shore rebate shops - won't be able to place wagers on the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) through those entities.
Seven new organizations representing owners and trainers in states including Kentucky, Florida, and Maryland have joined the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, with a mutual goal of reforming the industry's wagering revenue distribution system in order to sustain live racing in North America.
In an attempt to recruit people to support the proposed constitutional amendment for expanded gaming, the Kentucky Equine Education Project urged its members to attend a Feb. 26 committee meeting hearing for the bill, as well as a horse trailer caravan "rally" the same day in Frankfort.
Craig Carter, a 26-year veteran in diagnostic veterinary medicine, is the new director of the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center.
- By Esther Marr
The Lexington-Fayette County Planning Commission held a final public hearing before making a decision on the details of the 2006 comprehensive plan. In its current form, the plan excludes the expansion of the Urban Service Area, as well as the "urban reserve" concept.
In general, reaction in the Thoroughbred industry has been positive to a Kentucky bill that is designed to protect horse buyers from being defrauded.
Three Kentucky horse industry groups have agreed to finance an economic impact study to help determine how a new state breeders incentive fun should be crafted.
Kentucky Governor Ernie Fletcher Thursday appointed a panel to study workers' compensation coverage for jockeys and exercise riders, which he said is a legislative priority for 2006.
A proposal to create a breeders' incentive fund for Kentucky and a modification on the tax of yearlings and 2-year-olds is one step closer to reality after the State senate unanimously approved Gov. Ernie Fletcher's tax bill 37-0 Feb. 28.
- By Victor Ryan
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association notified its membership of its agenda for the upcoming Kentucky legislative session during a Jan. 23 meeting at the Keeneland sales pavilion.
"In the final analysis, we do not understand this disease," said Dr. Bruce Webb, an entomologist at the University of Kentucky who has been a leading researcher into the problem of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome.
- By Tom LaMarra
Racing industry officials in Kentucky are taking a wait-and-see approach in the wake of the election of Republican Congressman Ernie Fletcher as governor, but a few said Fletcher's representation of the horse industry in Washington, D.C. bodes well for Kentucky.
- By Tom LaMarra
With an economic impact pegged at about $3.4 billion, the equine industry has been called the most important in Kentucky. Some legislators would like to keep it healthy--even help it grow--but they've acknowledged they don't have all the answers.
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association (KTA) is working in conjunction with the University of Kentucky, horsemen, and veterinarians to develop a computer program that would help the equine industry detect health problems like mare reproductive loss syndrome more rapidly.
Mid-gestation abortions have generated concern in Central Kentucky, but according to officials, the 50 fetuses received in the last five months by Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center in Lexington do not represent a significant increase over past years.
No one in Kentucky knows exactly how many horses or farms make up what is now the state's number one agricultural industry, but the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, in partnership with some of the state's equine leaders, hopes to change that.
Elementary-age students are being introduced to the Thoroughbred through "Kids Connection to Thoroughbreds," a program in Fayette County public schools.
- By Tom LaMarra
Kentucky horsemen were urged Feb. 27 to participate in a grass-roots campaign to contact legislators and urge them to support legislation that would authorize electronic gaming devices at the state's eight racetracks. The bill was introduced in the House of Representatives Feb. 26.
- By Tom LaMarra
The chances of alternative gaming at Kentucky racetracks will lie in the hands of lawmakers, but as of mid-January, racetrack officials and horsemen's groups were said to be close to agreement on revenue splits, a crucial component of any legislation that may be introduced.
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