Elisabeth Jensen to retire as KEEP’s Executive Vice President

Lexington, KY. Monday, September 12, 2022 – Elisabeth Jensen, Executive Vice President of the Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), announced that she will retire from her position at the end of the year.

Case Clay, Chairman of KEEP’s Board of Directors, commented on Jensen’s announcement, “Elisabeth has been an incredible asset to the horse industry and we are grateful to have had her at the helm during some of the industry’s most serious challenges. Without her leadership at KEEP, the industry would not be on the solid footing that it is today. There are many challenges and tasks ahead and that is why we are grateful that Elisabeth has agreed to join the KEEP Board of Directors. Her continued input will be immensely valuable to the organization.”

Clay continued, “It will be a challenge to replace Elisabeth in all that she has done for the horse industry, but the Board knows that whoever holds the position next will benefit incredibly by having the opportunity to build on the solid foundation of KEEP and all of the success for which Elisabeth is responsible.”

During Jensen’s tenure overseeing the daily operations of the organization, KEEP reached many milestones and greatly advanced the goal of preserving and promoting the horse industry’s role as Kentucky’s signature industry.

Jensen’s leadership, beginning in 2018, saw the organization expand to address new issues facing the industry. With labor shortages constantly hampering many of the equine businesses around the Commonwealth, KEEP became a vocal advocate in Frankfort and Washington for both expanding the number of visas available to the industry for immigrant labor, as well as building the infrastructure for creating a home-grown workforce.

In partnership with the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center, KEEP created the Equine Talent Pipeline initiative, which has promoted career opportunities in the horse industry to students, targeted second-chance populations for job opportunities, created a horseman’s apprenticeship recognized by the Kentucky and federal Departments of Labor, and worked with KET to create an In-Demand video and resource website on horse industry jobs.

Several threats to the horse industry arose related to tax rates and exemptions that protect Kentucky’s competitive edge when it comes to the national and global horse industry. KEEP was able to fend off these attempts and, as a result, Kentucky’s horse industry has seen consistent growth over this time.

On issues related to land-use policy, Jensen led KEEP’s advocacy to ensure that land-use decisions are made locally to protect the irreplaceable farmland across Central Kentucky.

The greatest challenge for KEEP and the horse industry came under Jensen’s leadership in 2021 when the Kentucky Legislature debated the continued operation of historical horse racing. Jensen united the entire industry and worked closely with the legislature to secure the passage of legislation that maintained historical horse racing as a revenue stream for the industry, resulting in increased purses, greater field sizes, and more equine businesses relocating to Kentucky.

Elisabeth Jensen commented, “A major career and lifestyle change brought me to Kentucky to work in the horse industry for over 20 years. It has been a dream to come to work every day in an industry I love and it has been an honor to be an advocate for the horse in Kentucky and across the US. I look forward to the opportunity to focus more time and energy on my and my husband’s cattle farm and being more involved in family businesses.”

The KEEP Board of Directors is currently performing a search to hire Jensen’s replacement and Jensen will serve on the KEEP Board following her retirement. Resumes can be sent to info@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 to Host Horse Industry Advocacy Event

Lexington, Ky. (Wednesday, August 31, 2022) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) announced that it will host a horse industry advocacy event at Midway University on September 6, from 5-7 p.m.

All participants in Kentucky’s signature horse industry are invited to attend to learn about legislative issues that can impact their equine business, how to engage in the legislative process, and how to best communicate with lawmakers.

In addition to representatives from KEEP and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association, speakers will include Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer, Senate Minority Caucus Chair Reggie Thomas, and Representative Matt Koch.

Candidates for contested open legislative seats are also invited to provide them with an opportunity to meet with horse industry participants and to learn about the industry and its $6.5 billion annual economic impact on the Commonwealth.

Individuals interested in attending the event should contact Brittany Bell (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 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.