The Kentucky Equine Education Project received another vote of confidence June 4 when the board of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association/Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders contributed $100,000 to KEEP, which was launched in early May.
During a May 26 town hall meeting attended by about 600 people, KEEP unveiled its membership structure and said it plans to raise $1.5 million by the end of this year. The $100,000 donated by the KTA/KTOB qualifies as a benefactor membership.
"Bringing together all equine breeds in an effort to educate and promote Kentucky's signature industry is a worthwhile cause, and long overdue," KTA president John Ward Jr. said in a prepared statement. "In addition to our financial support we are ready and willing to assist in any way we can."
KEEP, designed to educate the public and state legislators on the importance of the horse industry to the Kentucky economy, hopes to fund the largest political action committee in the state, organization chairman Brereton Jones said. Plans call for KEEP to have a strong influence on the state legislature by the 2006 session.
"On behalf of KEEP, I want to thank KTA/KTOB for their generous support." Jones said in a statement. "They understand the major significance of this project, and we look forward to working closely with them to guarantee its success."
The board of directors, as well as committees, will be finalized by July 1, according to plans.