KEEP Statement on the Passing of Jeff Hall

Lexington, Ky. (June 4, 2022) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released this statement following the passing of Jeff Hall:

“KEEP was saddened to hear of the passing of Jeff Hall. We mourn the loss of our board member and steadfast supporter of KEEP’s mission and the work of The Race For Education. His efforts were tireless. Jeff was a true friend to everyone in the horse industry and he will be deeply missed. KEEP extends our heartfelt condolences and sympathies to Jeff’s family and friends.”

ABOUT KEEP
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 $40 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.

KEEP’s Commonwealth Racing Challenge is Out of the Gate!

Lexington, Ky. (Monday, April 4, 2022) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) announced that the Commonwealth Racing Challenge kicks off this week with the opening of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. This new initiative will encourage KEEP members to visit all of Kentucky’s racetracks during the 2022 Kentucky horse racing circuit.

KEEP members who successfully scan a unique QR code and tag KEEP in a social media post at each of the six participating Kentucky racetracks during their 2022 racing meets will be entered to win four VIP tickets the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Keeneland on November 4-5.

Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization, commented, “The Commonwealth Racing Challenge provides a new incentive for KEEP members across the state and around the country to visit six of Kentucky’s unique racetracks. Thanks to the support of Kentucky’s legislature and governor, Kentucky continues building the strongest racing circuit in the country. The Commonwealth Racing Challenge gives people an opportunity to see the depth and breadth of the circuit throughout 2022.”

Rules and regulations for the Commonwealth Racing Challenge can be found at horseswork.com/commonwealth-racing-challenge.

ABOUT KEEP
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 $40 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.

KEEP Applauds Passage of HB 607

Lexington, Ky. (Tuesday, March 29, 2022) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released this statement following the passage of HB 607:

KEEP applauds the Kentucky General Assembly for the passage of HB 607, legislation that will modernize taxation on pari-mutuel wagering.

A tremendous amount of work went into crafting this new tax policy and KEEP is grateful to the legislators who served on the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force for the time and effort they put into fully understanding the economic structure of Kentucky’s horse industry. We would also like to applaud Senate Majority Floor Leader Thayer and Representative Koenig for their leaderships as co-chairs of the task force. The resulting legislation was able to strike a delicate balance between increasing revenue for the state, while at the same time not arbitrarily raising tax rates in a way that would damage the economic success of the industry.

The entire horse industry was engaged in this process and KEEP was proud to work closely with legislators to ensure that they had access to the full picture of what economic benefits the industry has on the Commonwealth.

KEEP will continue working on behalf of Kentucky’s entire horse industry and community to advocate for policies that benefit everyone within the industry’s economic ecosystem. Growing the success of the industry’s more than 60,000 jobs and $6.5 billion economic impact on the state benefits all Kentuckians.

ABOUT KEEP
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 $40 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.

Join the Commonwealth Racing Challenge to Win Breeders’ Cup Tickets!

Secure your opportunity to win tickets to the 2022 Breeders’ Cup at Keeneland by completing the KEEP Commonwealth Racing Challenge!

Visit all of Kentucky’s participating racetracks throughout 2022 to be entered to win Breeders’ Cup tickets.

The Commonwealth Racing Challenge kicks off on Friday, April 8, with the opening of Keeneland’s Spring Meet. Learn more about the Challenge and how to enter.

KEEP Launches Citizen Advocacy Campaign in Support of HB 606

Lexington, Ky. (Tuesday, March 22, 2022) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released this statement following the the launch of a citizen advocacy campaign in support of HB 606:

KEEP applauds the Kentucky House of Representatives for advancing HB 606, legislation that would legalize sports wagering in Kentucky. As the bill moves to the Senate, KEEP has launched a citizen advocacy campaign in support of Senate passage of the legislation.

KEEP and Kentucky’s horse industry have been actively involved for the past several years in advocating sports wagering legislation that protects the role of Kentucky’s signature industry in the landscape of wagering options and provides additional revenue for the state.

HB 606 accomplishes this by allowing for sports wagering to be offered in-person at Kentucky’s racetracks. Additionally, sports wagering will be governed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, a testament to the trust that wagerers place in Kentucky’s horse industry.

Overall, this bill will benefit Kentucky’s horse industry and community by offering new revenue sources for the industry, as well as attracting new fans to the sport through the in-person experiences at Kentucky racetracks.

KEEP provides an easy tool for citizens to send messages to their Senators in support of HB 606. The tool can be accessed through this link, or by visiting www.horseswork.com/advocacy.

Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization commented, “Nearly all of Kentucky’s neighboring states have legalized sports wagering and sports wagering is already occurring illegally in Kentucky at a substantial level. It is our responsibility to regulate it for the consumers and to use it to provide additional revenue for the Commonwealth.”

ABOUT KEEP
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 $40 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.

Act Now! Support HB 606 to Legalize Sports Wagering

Act now and support the passage of HB 606 to legalize sports wagering!

KEEP and Kentucky’s horse industry have been actively involved for the past several years in advocating sports wagering legislation that protects the role of Kentucky’s signature industry in the landscape of wagering options.

HB 606 accomplishes this by allowing for sports wagering to be offered in-person at Kentucky’s racetracks. Additionally, sports wagering will be governed by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission, a testament to the trust that wagerers place in Kentucky’s horse industry.

Overall, this bill will benefit Kentucky’s horse industry and community by offering new revenue sources for the industry, as well as attracting new fans to the sport through the in-person experiences at Kentucky racetracks.

Please contact your Senators and ask them to vote in favor of HB 606.

Annual KEEP Day in Frankfort to be Held January 27

Lexington, Ky. (Monday,  January 24, 2022) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) announced that it will host its annual KEEP Day in Frankfort event on Thursday, January 27, 2022. KEEP Day in Frankfort provides KEEP grassroots members, industry leaders, breed associations, and other industry partners an opportunity to share with Kentucky lawmakers the importance of horses to their legislative districts and the state’s economy.

The event will take place from 9:00 AM – 10:45 AM in Room 113 in the Capitol Annex.

Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization, commented, “Kentucky’s horse industry and community create an annual economic impact on the state of $6.5 billion. More important, though, are the tens of thousands of jobs and thousands of businesses that contributed directly and in-directly to the state’s horse industry. These businesses and industry partners are the lifeblood of small towns across the state and it is critical that the industry flourish to support the small businesses and equine operations that are at the heart of Kentucky’s signature industry.”

Created in 2004 to preserve, promote, and protect the state’s horse industry, KEEP represents and advocates on behalf of Kentucky’s entire industry – all breeds and equine pursuits.

Jensen continued, “KEEP Day in Frankfort brings industry participants together with lawmakers to share how the policies developed in Frankfort have real impacts in the industry across the state. We look forward to showcasing all facets of the industry, including tourism and recreation, racing, non-racing breeds, and more.”

RSVP to attend KEEP Day in Frankfort by emailing brittany@horseswork.com.

ABOUT KEEP
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 $40 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.

KEEP Applauds the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, November 22, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) released the following statement following the final hearing of the Kentucky General Assembly’s Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force:

KEEP is grateful to the legislators that served on the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force for their thorough and fair-minded examination of the many facets of Kentucky’s horse industry, the industry’s economic ecosystem, how the industry impacts the state, and the potential outcomes of adjusting the current varying tax rates on the different forms of pari-mutuel wagering.

KEEP was honored to be asked to testify during one of the five public hearings held by the Task Force. Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization, provided testimony on the current state of Kentucky’s entire horse industry, all breeds and disciplines, and its economic impact on the state including tourism, equine events, educational opportunities, the ripple effects across other sectors throughout the state, and more.

KEEP applauds the Task Force for its work on its final report and is supportive of the final recommendations that will be considered by the General Assembly during the next legislative session. KEEP looks forward to working closely with the legislature as it considers the Task Force’s recommendations.

ABOUT KEEP
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.

KEEP Statement on the Passing of Senator Tom Buford

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, July 6, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released this statement following the passing of Senator Tom Buford:

“KEEP was saddened to hear of the passing of Senator Tom Buford. KEEP and Kentucky’s horse industry will remember Senator Buford as a kind and deeply caring man who was dedicated to his job of serving his Senate district. Senator Buford was a strong supporter of the horse industry in Central Kentucky and we will forever be grateful for his efforts to advance and grow the industry.”

ABOUT KEEP
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.

KEEP and The Race For Education Announce  2021 Scholarship Recipients

Lexington, Ky.  (Monday,  June 28, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project Foundation (KEEP), and The Race For Education (RFE) are proud to announce their 2021 scholarship recipients.

The KEEP Foundation board of directors approved over $35,000 in scholarships to 11 students attending 10 universities across the Commonwealth. All of the 2021 scholarship recipients are students currently enrolled with a university or college in Kentucky in an equine and/or agriculture related major.

In addition to these 11 Kentucky students, the Race For Education awarded its annual Robert J. Frankel Scholarship to 3 New York state students: Reina Ceballos, Joseph Lee and Carlos Lopez. Now in its 11th year, the Robert J. Frankel Scholarship, in honor of the late Robert (Bobby) J. Frankel, is awarded to a student whose family is employed in the Thoroughbred industry, pursuing any field of study at a college or university in California or New York state. All three Frankel Scholarship recipients, whose parents work in the barns at various tracks in New York, will be attending universities in New York.

“Kentucky is the horse capitol of the world and having the Commonwealth’s colleges and universities prepare the next generation of leadership is vital to the horse industry’s continued success. KEEP congratulates this year’s scholarship awardees and looks forward to the future impact they will have on the industry,” said Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President.

2021 Race For Education KEEP Foundation Scholarship
Ambre Azcona – University of Kentucky
Lily Crouch – University of Kentucky
ALeah Gardner – Morehead State University
Harrison Goode – University of Kentucky
Wheaton Hardwick – Kentucky Community & Technical College
Emma Ingalls – Asbury University
Emily James – Midway University
Alina Knore – Morehead State University
Elizabeth Lynch – Midway University
Kaitlyn Praisler – Morehead State University
Ava Simmons – Murray State University

ABOUT THE KEEP FOUNDATION
The mission of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), established in 2014, is to support the economic success of Kentucky’s signature industry by ensuring its continued economic viability, making the industry accessible for all who want to participate, introducing more young people to the industry and its opportunities, and educating the people of the Commonwealth about the importance of horses to the state, its economy, its heritage, and its people.

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, visit www.HorsesWork.com.

ABOUT THE RACE FOR EDUCATION
Through academic development programs, tutoring, internships, financial literacy training and scholarships; The Race For Education provides opportunities for educational success for young people with significant financial need and academic challenges.

The ultimate goal of The Race For Education is to ensure our young people become successful in life and assets to their community – www.raceforeducation.org.

KEEP Statement on the Appointment of the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, May 25, 2021) –The Kentucky Equine Education Project, Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement on the appointment of the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force:

“The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) commends the appointment of the Pari-Mutuel Wagering Taxation Task Force, the first step in ensuring an equitable tax rate for historical horse racing (HHR) that will result in increased revenue for the state and promote continued growth for Kentucky’s nation-leading horse industry.

“During the legislative session when the preservation of HHR was discussed, Kentucky’s horse industry pledged to work with the legislature to assess the tax structure of HHR, how those funds are allocated, what the impact would be on the industry and Kentucky’s economy if the tax rates are changed, and determine if any changes should be made to the existing structure.

“KEEP stands ready to work with the Task Force and be part of the conversation on HHR to ensure that entire horse industry – all breeds and disciplines – continues to see benefit from HHR through incentive funds and other state programs. Additionally, it is paramount that changes to the tax structure of HHR are not detrimental to the horse industry’s 60,000 direct and indirect jobs and its $6.5 billion impact on Kentucky’s economy. KEEP looks forward to working closely with the Task Force to accomplish these goals.

“KEEP extends its gratitude to Representative Matt Koch and Representative Ruth Ann Palumbo for their legislative efforts to establish this Task Force.”

ABOUT KEEP
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.