By Tom LaMarra - Gaming in West Virginia and other states has kept racetracks open, put money in horsemen's pockets, and encouraged breed development. Whether it has done anything to spark long-term interest in and stability for horse racing is dubious at best.
Kentucky Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Beshear said Jan. 16 he supports a plan for casino gambling that could generate hundreds of millions in tax revenue to help fund education and road construction.
In an unprecedented move, the Kentucky League of Cities bestowed its annual "Big Hitter for Kentucky Cities" award on a pair of recipients: Rep. Rob Wilkey of Scottsville and Sen. Damon Thayer of Georgetown.
Tax relief for the horse industry, not racetrack gaming, will be the focus of the Kentucky Equine Education Project during the 2007 General Assembly session, according to the chairman of the organization.
Richard W. Wilcke has been named the director of the University of Louisville Equine Industry Program. Wilcke, a faculty member since 1995, succeeds Robert Lawrence, who recently retired after 18 years as head of the program.
In a state that derives an important part of its identity from horses, it's surprising the number of horses that reside in Kentucky isn't known. In a collaborative effort, the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service, the University of Kentucky Equine Initiative, the Kentucky Horse Council, and the Kentucky Equine Education Project plan to change that this fall with a statewide count of Kentucky's horse population.
Shaking off defeat of the casino bill in the recent legislative session, the Kentucky Equine Education Project showed a fresh outlook for the remainder of 2006 in a public meeting May 9 at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) board of directors has announced an annual $1,000 scholarship program for five in-state undergraduate students working toward a career in the equine industry.
A Kentucky House committee approved legislation March 15 to authorize a constitutional amendment on casino gambling, but the substitute measure--believed to have little or no chance of passage in the full House--makes no mention of racetracks or dedicated revenue for state programs, the lynchpins of legislation proposed by the Kentucky Equine Education Project.
By Ray Paulick - Kentucky politicians need to understand the educational and lobbying efforts undertaken by the Kentucky Equine Education Project are not a one-and-out deal. The horse industry, which for too long was nonexistent in Kentucky politics, quickly became the state's No. 1 lobbying force. And that's exactly what Kentucky's top industry should be.
Differences of opinion regarding the continuously changing bill for Kentucky casino gaming caused its consideration to be postponed Wednesday by the House Committee on Licensing and Occupations until the week of March 13.
An organization representing county judge/executives throughout Kentucky has endorsed racetrack casino legislation offered by the Kentucky Equine Education Project and currently in the House Licensing and Occupations Committee.
Two Democrats who received financial support from members of the state's horse industry were elected Feb. 14 to seats in the Kentucky Senate and House of Representatives, but officials indicated the result is just a small step on a long road to lining up supporters in the state capital.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project has given its support for legislation that would make it unlawful for anyone to represent both buyer and seller in a transaction involving horses without written permission of both parties.
The Kentucky Quarter Horse Racing Association and the Kentucky Paso Fino Horse Association have endorsed the Kentucky Equine Education Project's proposal for a constitutional amendment on racetrack casinos.
More than nine in 10 Kentucky voters (92 %) believe they should be given an opportunity to vote on a constitutional amendment allowing for casino gaming even if they are opposed to expanded gambling, according to the finding of a recent survey of 801 Kentucky voters conducted on behalf of KEEP˜the Kentucky Equine Education Project.
By Ray Paulick - This year's 60-day session of Kentucky's general assembly will be the first time KEEP--established in May 2004--has pushed for the "Keep It in Kentucky" constitutional amendment, so named because it is estimated that Kentuckians who crossed into Indiana and Illinois last year spent $671 million on casino gaming.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced Nov. 29 that it has provided funding to 147 equine programs around the state in the past 10 months. To date, $100,343 has been reinvested in Kentucky's horse economy in 67 counties.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project began lobbying in earnest for its racetrack casino plan with a letter to more than 3,200 community officials outlining how the state's share--a projected $437.5 million a year--from gaming would be spent under proposed legislation.
A Kentucky Horse Racing Authority subcommittee has recommended a Thoroughbred breed incentive program that would have national and in-state components. The proposal caps awards at $10,000 per race and offers no incentives for claiming races.
WinStar Farm co-owner Bill Casner, speaking to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Manager's Club Nov. 1, spelled out his support for a breeders' incentive program that would reward Kentucky-bred horses for winning races solely at tracks in the state.
As the deadline to establish regulations for a $12-million Thoroughbred breed incentive program in Kentucky fast approaches, a debate over the scope of the fund--and whether there could be political fallout--continues.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project announced its support Sept. 16 for a referendum to amend the state constitution to allow for casino gambling at licensed racetracks. But details of the plan won't be in the form of legislation until Jan. 1, 2006, and officials admitted the final document will be subject to revision.
The Kentucky Equine Education Project will unveil what it calls a "bold legislative initiative aimed at increasing the state's revenue for critical services without a broad-based tax increase" Sept. 16 on the steps of the State Capitol in Frankfort.
With a fall awareness campaign and the 2006 General Assembly session looming, the board of directors of the Kentucky Equine Education Project voted Sept. 7 on its ultimate position on expanded gambling in the state.
The board of directors of the Kentucky Equine Education Project has opted to endorse an in-state Thoroughbred breed development program that could eventually offer awards to horses that race out of state or in other countries.
By Ray Paulick - It is up to leaders within Kentucky's Thoroughbred industry to devise a program to distribute money for its incentive program, and an industry-imposed deadline of July 1 to finish the job is fast approaching.
Members of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club overwhelmingly favor a state breeders' incentive program that would reward breeders of Kentucky-bred and Kentucky-foaled horses that win anywhere in the world.