NY Breed Incentive Legislation Signed

New law will boost eligibility for breeding award funds.

Legislation making it more attractive to breed horses in New York has been signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The new law changes how the state defines a stallion standing in New York for the purposes of eligibility for breeding award funds. It cuts in half, to one year, the current two-year requirement that a stallion must be leased in New York to meet eligibility requirements of the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund.

The legislation, signed Aug. 1 by the governor, is effective immediately.

Current state law defines a New York stallion as one standing in New York at the time he was bred to the dam of a New York-bred. To be registered with the fund, the law states, a stallion must be owned by a resident of New York and standing an entire stud season in the state or owned by a resident of another state and leased by a New York resident for at least two years. The law had also allowed participation in the fund if a stallion was owned jointly by a resident of New York and another state and leased in New York for at least two years. The new statute drops that time period to at least one year.

The bill’s authors said the law is meant to end what they called a disincentive to breed in New York.

"This reduces the waiting time for the look-back period for how long a horse has to stand in New York," said Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, chairman of the assembly racing committee who sponsored the legislation along with Sen. Roy McDonald, a Saratoga County Republican. The lawmakers say the new law will increase the quantity and quality of New York breds.

"The desire is to produce more New York-breds for all of the awards programs we have in the industry for New York-bred horses," Pretlow said.

A breeders group said the two-year requirement reflected a decades' old thinking before stallions were moved to different states for breeding. “The pre existing law reflected a different time period for the stallion business. Today, stallions are much more transitional, often moving to states where the mare population is growing,'' said Jeffrey Cannizzo, executive director of the New York Thorougbred Breeders Inc.

"New York’s mare population is now on an upward trajectory. This is attractive to stallion owners. The new law provides flexibility for stallion owners to move their stallions with less risk.  Essentially, this will improve quality of the stallion population and provide breeders with more options for their mares.  Furthermore, farms owners and the various industry service providers will reap the benefits of a prosperous breeding industry and new stallions will create further jobs in New York,'' he added.