LEXINGTON, Ky. (Friday, August 21, 2020) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project released the following statement in support of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s proposed regulations currently under review:
“As the Kentucky Legislature’s Interim Joint Committee on Licensing, Occupations, and Administrative Regulations makes their final review of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s (KHRC) proposed regulations for the gradual phasing out of the use of Lasix, restrictions on the off-label use of bisphosphonates, and aligning withdrawal schedule to RMTC standard, the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) and its board of directors strongly urge legislators to support these regulations.
KEEP has been at the forefront in advocating for new regulations that ensure the health and safety of horses and jockeys, as well as protecting the future of the sport. In April of 2019, KEEP’s board issued a statement in support of banning Lasix, in addition to other suggested industry reforms. In December of 2019, KEEP’s board voted to support the regulations that legislators are now reviewing.
Kentucky’s horse industry finds itself at a crossroads. Thanks to the success of historical horse racing and a strengthened racing circuit in the state, the industry has seen growth across the Commonwealth and now leads all other states in nearly every metric. During the pandemic, horse racing nationally has seen an increase in interest and viewership with the resumption of racing. However, the industry has also seen strong, organized opposition in association with an increase in public awareness and attention to health and safety issues over the last few years.
It is important to implement these regulations now, while committing the KHRC, legislators and the industry to ongoing and data-driven re-assessments once they are in practice and their impact can be evaluated. The KHRC can propose updates to the regulations in order to achieve their overarching goals, if needed.
In order to secure the future of the industry and its more than $3.4 billion economic impact on the state, it is vital that the KHRC’s carefully considered proposed regulations be supported by the Kentucky Legislature.”
The Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, is a not-for-profit grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature multi-breed horse industry. KEEP is committed to ensuring Kentucky remains the horse capital of the world, including educating Kentuckians and elected officials of the importance of the horse industry to the state. KEEP was the driving force in the establishment of the Kentucky Breeders Incentive Fund, which has paid out more than $177 million to Kentucky breeders since its inception in 2006, and pari-mutuel wagering on historical horse racing, which has been responsible for more than $50 million to purses and more than $24 million to the Kentucky Thoroughbred Development Fund.
KEEP works to strengthen the horse economy in Kentucky through our statewide network of citizen advocates. To learn more about how you can become a member or support our work, please visit www.horseswork.com.