Kentucky Horse Industry Rally Draws Nearly 1,000

Nearly a thousand people traveled to Kentucky's state capitol in Frankfort June 17 to rally for a cause they have stood behind for years: to boost the horse racing industry by way of expanded casino gaming.

With a special session currently underway that could pass a bill that would allow video lottery terminals at Kentucky racetracks, the Kentucky Equine Education Project urged members of the horse industry to make their voices heard.

"If we wait to act a year from now (to pass this bill), there will not only be a number of our tracks closing, but there will be many thousands of jobs at the farms that will be gone," said former Kentucky Gov. Brereton Jones, chairman of KEEP and owner of Airdrie Stud near Versailles, Ky. Jones spoke from a podium on the capitol steps, as the rally crowd was too large to fit inside the rotunda.

Entire farm staffs, families with small children, businessmen and women, trainers, and jockeys, including this year's Kentucky Derby-winning rider Calvin Borel, populated the front of the capitol. Many held various signs reading: "We Love Horses," "Horses=Jobs," "Horses Bleed Kentucky Blue," and "Save Our Racing Industry."

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