KEEP Announces New Board Leadership

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, April 5, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, announced the new leadership of KEEP’s Board of Directors.

The Board of Directors unanimously approved the promotion of Case Clay to become the Board’s Chairman. David Ingordo was unanimously approved to become the Board’s Vice Chairman. Clay and Ingordo replace Doug Cauthen and Ken Jackson, who will both continue serving on the KEEP Board. Additionally, Courtney Schneider was added to the Board of Directors.

Clay is the Chief Commercial Officer of Three Chimneys Farm. Ingordo is the owner of Ingordo Bloodstock. Schneider is the Director of Sales at Shawhan Place and is the current President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club.

Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization, commented, “I am thrilled to have Case and David taking on the leadership roles of the KEEP Board. Doug and Ken did an incredible job over the past three years, shepherding KEEP through an evolution that led to our investment in workforce development and our recent legislative successes in Frankfort. I know that Case and David will build on this success and take KEEP to even great heights.”

Clay, added, “I am very excited to continue working with the staff and the Board at KEEP and building on the momentum that we have at the moment as a result of tackling the challenges we recently faced with historical horse racing. I was encouraged to see the industry come together for the greater good in a short amount of time. I think we have opportunities ahead of us with regard to growing our relationships in Frankfort, as well as engaging and including all horse breeds and disciplines in 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 $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 Commends U.S. House of Representatives for Passage of the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, March 18, 2021) –The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement today regarding the U.S. House of Representatives passage of H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021:

“KEEP commends the U.S. House of Representatives for its the passage of H.R. 1603, the Farm Workforce Modernization Act of 2021, which addresses the labor crisis facing many agriculture operations across the country by reforming the H-2A visa process, providing a path to legal status for farm workers, and implementing a nationwide E-Verify system.

“While this bipartisan legislation does not affect H-2B visas, which are also used by the Kentucky horse industry, it does impact H-2A visas, which are critical to horse breeding operations. KEEP calls on Congress to address the vast shortages of H-2B visas in future immigration legislation to meet the needs of Kentucky’s horse industry.

“In addition to advocating in support of smart and sensible immigration reforms to address the labor shortages of Kentucky’s horse industry, KEEP has invested heavily in promoting career opportunities within the industry to Kentuckians in order to create a homegrown workforce.”

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 Applauds Kentucky Legislature for Passage of HB 229

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, March 16, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement regarding the Kentucky Legislature’s passage of HB 229:

“We applaud the Kentucky Legislature’s passage of HB 229. By broadening the definition of property destruction crime to include livestock, this legislation is a big step forward in further deterring the abuse of horses. KEEP has long been a leader in advocating for the health and welfare of Kentucky’s horses and is wholeheartedly supportive of this legislation.

“KEEP is grateful to Representative Matt Koch for his work to advance this legislation. Representative Koch is a champion for Kentucky’s horse industry and community and we appreciate his work to ensure that the horse industry’s $5.2 billion economic impact on the state continues to grow.”

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 Thanks Governor Beshear For Signing Historical Horse Racing Legislation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, February 22, 2021) –The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement today regarding Governor Beshear’s signing of Senate Bill 120:

“We thank Governor Beshear for signing Senate Bill 120 into law, which ensures the future of our equine industry while protecting thousands of local jobs. Kentuckians and the legislators who represent them have made clear that they support historical horse racing and the many benefits it brings to our communities. We are optimistic about the horse industry’s road ahead and remain committed to keeping Kentucky a world-class racing destination for many years to come.”

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 Thanks Senate for Passing Legislation to Save Historical Horse Racing, Encourages House to Move Quickly

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, February 9, 2021) –The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement today following the Senate’s passage of Senate Bill 120:

“We applaud the Senate for voting to keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and protect important jobs and investment in communities across the commonwealth. Senator John Schickel and Senate President Robert Stivers have been instrumental in moving this legislation forward, and we thank them for their efforts. Now, we are calling on our elected officials in the House to bring SB 120 to passage so that historical horse racing can continue in the commonwealth, just as it has for the last decade.

“The future of the horse industry and Kentucky’s economy is in legislators’ hands, and real jobs and livelihoods are at risk. Tens of thousands of Kentuckians rely on the equine industry to make a living and provide for their families—many of whom have already sent messages and made calls to their legislators asking them to vote yes on this critical legislation. They are your neighbors, family members, colleagues and friends. We hope that legislators will keep these individuals in mind as they discuss SB 120 in the coming days. A vote to keep historical horse racing in Kentucky is a vote for Kentucky families and the industry that supports them.”

The bill will be heard in the House Committee on Licensing, Occupations & Administrative Regulations before heading to the House floor for a vote.

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 Commends Senate Committee for Passing Historical Horse Racing Legislation, Encourages Senate Chamber to Vote Yes

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, February 4, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, commends the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee for passing Senate Bill 120 today, which will keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and protect critical jobs, investment and economic development across the state. The legislation, sponsored by Senator John Schickel and Senate President Robert Stivers, now heads to the Senate floor for a full chamber vote.

The committee heard powerful testimony today in support of the bill from Kelli Pendleton, president/CEO of the Christian County Chamber of Commerce and Tom Drury, a horse trainer and Kentucky native.

KEEP issued the following statement regarding the legislation’s passage out of committee:

“We thank the members of the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee for voting to move Senate Bill 120 forward. This is a critical step toward ensuring historical horse racing can continue in our state, just as it has for the last ten years. Now, we urge our elected officials in the Senate to act swiftly in passing this bill and sending it to their colleagues in the House.

“SB 120 is solely about maintaining the status quo and preserving the jobs and economic development opportunities that historical horse racing has consistently provided our state. We are continuing to work alongside a broad coalition of organizations and constituents from all parts of the state who understand the importance of keeping HHR in Kentucky.”

The legislation was introduced to address the Kentucky Supreme Court’s ruling against historical horse racing and will define pari-mutuel wagering to be consistent with how the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has regulated live racing for decades and historical horse racing for the last ten years. The legislation also reaffirms that only pari-mutuel wagering on simulcasts of live racing can occur at simulcast facilities. In effect, this maintains the status quo that Kentucky has known for the last decade, ensuring HHR venues can continue or resume operations that are so beneficial to our signature horse industry and statewide economy.

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 Applauds Senator Schickel and Senate President Stivers for Introducing Senate Bill 120, Legislation to Keep Historical Horse Racing in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, February 2, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, applauds Senator John Schickel and Senate President Robert Stivers for introducing Senate Bill 120 today, which will keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and ensure the future of our signature equine industry.

In response to the Supreme Court’s ruling on historical horse racing, the legislation will define pari-mutuel wagering to be consistent with how the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has regulated live racing for decades and historical horse racing for the last ten years. The legislation also reaffirms that only pari-mutuel wagering on simulcasts of live racing can occur at simulcast facilities. In effect, this maintains the status quo that Kentucky has known for the last decade, ensuring HHR venues can continue or resume operations that are so beneficial to the horse industry and statewide economy.

KEEP issued the following statement regarding the legislation:

“We applaud Sen. Schickel for championing Senate Bill 120, which will keep historical horse racing in Kentucky and protect critical jobs, economic investment and state revenue at a time when they are needed most. We also thank Senate President Stivers for his support as a co-sponsor of this important legislation. The Kentucky Supreme Court gave the General Assembly clear direction to preserve the status quo, and SB 120 gives us a path forward.

“Historical horse racing is an integral part of Kentucky’s signature equine industry and our economy as a whole and has helped position Kentucky as a worldwide leader in racing. With real jobs and investment on the line, we urge the members of the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee to promptly move this legislation forward so that the commonwealth can continue to benefit from historical horse racing, now and in the years to come.”

KEEP is joined by a broad coalition of industry, business and economic development groups in support of the bill and has been encouraging Kentuckians to contact their elected officials regarding the legislation. SB 120 is set to be heard in the Senate Licensing and Occupations Committee at 11 a.m. on Thursday, February 4.

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.

Statement from KEEP Regarding Legislation to Maintain Historical Horse Racing in Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Tuesday, January 12, 2021) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, released the following statement on the importance of legislation to maintain historical horse racing in Kentucky:

Kentucky’s signature equine industry has a simple request for state legislators in 2021: maintain the status quo and protect local jobs and investment by allowing historical horse racing to continue in Kentucky. Inaction would cost us thousands of jobs, millions in tax revenue and significant economic development opportunities at a time when they are needed most. The longer-term impact to Kentucky’s world-renowned horse racing industry, including the breeding, farming, training, tourism and other sectors it supports, is of even greater concern.

Historical horse racing is a popular form of entertainment that has been taking place in the commonwealth for a decade, while providing important jobs to Kentuckians, driving local investment and breathing new life into our signature equine industry. Much of this activity has been taking place in smaller communities throughout the commonwealth, where job creation and investment opportunities aren’t always abundant.

Historical horse racing has allowed Kentucky’s racing circuit to remain competitive with neighboring states by increasing purses and promoting higher quality racing. These benefits extend far beyond the racetrack, as a healthy racing circuit also benefits the vast network of businesses and individuals who work tirelessly in support of the horse industry, including breeders, feed and bedding suppliers, tack and equipment dealers, veterinarians, farm hands, blacksmiths, owners and trainers, among others.

A strong equine industry means a strong Kentucky and that’s something we should all support.

Unfortunately, a recent ruling by the Kentucky Supreme Court has put historical horse racing—and our entire industry—in jeopardy. Now, we need the General Assembly to act quickly and address the simple fixes outlined by the court. Legislation will soon be introduced to do just that.

During the last ten years, historical racing has helped our equine industry grow and become the very best version of itself. By taking action to protect the future of historical horse racing, our legislators are protecting critical jobs, state revenue and economic development—all of which greatly benefit their constituents and their communities. Now is not the time to dismantle the vital industries that have continued to generate revenue and sustain jobs in Kentucky during the pandemic. Without historical horse racing, our industry will suffer, as will the people who call Kentucky home.

Our efforts to keep historical horse racing in Kentucky are just that. This is not about expanding gaming or allowing any new form of gaming in the state. It’s about maintaining the status quo, protecting businesses that are already and have been operating for years and ensuring that one of our most impactful industries—one synonymous with Kentucky—can continue investing in our communities and moving Kentucky’s economy forward.

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 Applauds Congress for the Inclusion of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the FY 2021 Omnibus Spending Bill

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Monday, December 21, 2020) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP) applauds the United State Congress for its inclusion of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act in the FY 2021 omnibus spending bill that was passed by Congress tonight.

KEEP is thankful for Senator Mitch McConnell and Representative Andy Barr’s longtime leadership on this issue. Additionally, KEEP is grateful for Representatives James Comer, Brett Guthrie, Hal Rogers, and John Yarmuth’s cosponsorship of the House of Representatives’ version of the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act.

Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization, commented, “KEEP has been at the forefront of the industry in calling for uniform safety standards. This legislation is critical for Kentucky’s signature industry and we are thankful to the Commonwealth’s members of Congress who championed this issue. We look forward to working with our industry partners in the implementation of these new safety standards.”

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.

New Position Aimed at Unifying Equine Educational Opportunities Coming to Kentucky

LEXINGTON, Ky. (December 21, 2020) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, announced the hire of an equine education coordinator.

Annise Montplaisir will be the first person to hold this position and will be responsible for building awareness of the equine industry and the industry’s educational and employment opportunities. This will be accomplished through creating relationships with 4-H, FFA, and breed youth councils, among other organizations. Additionally, Montplaisir will be responsible for marketing industry programs through social media, special events, and the KEEP Equine Summit Luncheon Series. Montplaisir will also serve as an ambassador of the horse industry across the Commonwealth, creating a framework for other states in the U.S. and developing international relationships.

Montplaisir will work specifically with multiple programs and entities, including:

  • Amplify Horse Racing: a national education and recruitment resource used to leverage current educational and occupational opportunities
  • Equine Apprenticeships: a program aimed at providing “earn and learn” training in horsemanship for individuals interested in working in the horse industry
  • K-12 School Districts: facilitating emerging relationships with schools and districts across Kentucky to implement work-based learning opportunities and participate in community and industry engagement
  • Emerging Populations: working with various entities to engage with, and encourage, industry involvement from various underserved populations

This new position is the result of collaboration among the KEEP Foundation, Fasig-Tipton, Glen Hill Farm, Godolphin, The Jockey Club, and Mt. Brilliant Farm.

Montplaisir grew up near Fargo, North Dakota. She received a Bachelor of Science in management communication and international studies and a minor in Spanish from North Dakota State University. She developed a passion for horse racing and gained experience with the industry through multiple internships. She is a recent graduate of the Godolphin Flying Start program and has worked as the project manager for Together for Racing International, as well as co-hosting a bilingual horse racing show called La Trifecta.

Commenting on the new position, Montplaisir said, “Horses have always been a guiding light through my own educational journey. They’ve inspired me to dream bigger and explore adventures that once would have been unimaginable. I am thrilled to begin my role as the equine education coordinator, and to teach people that educational programs and careers in the equine industry are accessible to anyone. Through this position, I hope to promote existing programs, encourage collaboration between initiatives, and facilitate connections that will help newcomers get involved. Ultimately, I believe that education can positively impact the sustainability of the Thoroughbred industry – and the equine industry as a whole.”

Katie LaMonica, director of charitable initiatives for Godolphin USA, added, “Following a global forum on education hosted by Godolphin in Newmarket last November, a team of invested U.S. industry professionals came together to explore ways to address the current workforce problem the equine business faces. This position is the result of that collaboration and is an exciting opportunity for Kentucky’s signature industry to engage with the youth of the state. For the first time, there will be a dedicated representative marketing the industry to young people and educators across the state, connecting them to the many opportunities our industry offers and streamlining existing equine educational programs in Kentucky. Godolphin is proud to be a partner in this collective effort vested in the future of our industry.”

This hire speaks to KEEP’s investment in education and workforce development that began with the creation of the KEEP Foundation in 2014. The KEEP Foundation is supported by donors and the sale of the KEEP Foundation’s Seattle Slew specialty license plate.

In 2018, KEEP and the KEEP Foundation partnered with the Kentucky Chamber Workforce Center to launch the Equine Workforce Initiative. The equine education coordinator is an outgrowth of that program and will work closely with the KEEP Foundation and the Equine Workforce Initiative to help modernize the recruitment, training, and placement of qualified employees into the pipelines of the ever-growing equine industry.

The mission of the KEEP Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3), 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.

The KEEP Foundation seeks to fulfill this mission through:

  • Generating wider interest from the general public and creating new fans and participants for Kentucky’s horse industry.
  • Raising public awareness on the importance of all horse breeds and disciplines in all 120 counties of the “Horse Capitol of the World” through educational events and community engagement that explores the breadth and depth of Kentucky’s horse industry.
  • Attracting new people and populations to careers in the industry and reducing the barriers of entry to career paths in 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.

Changing of the Guard at KEEP

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Thursday, November 19, 2020) – The Kentucky Equine Education Project (KEEP), Kentucky’s equine economic advocate, announced additions to the KEEP Board of Directors.

Nine new individuals were added to the KEEP Board of Directors: Shannon Cobb, Michelle Fischer, Vince Gabbert, Jeff Hall, Katie LaMonica, Jamie MacLeod, James Miller, Bret Shultz and Donnie Snellings.

Cobb is the COO/CFO of The Red Mile. Fischer is the President of Darting Star, LLC. Gabbert is Vice President and COO of Keeneland. Hall is the General Manger of Ellis Park. LaMonica is the Manager of Marketing at Darley Stud Management. MacLeod is a professor at the University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center. Miller is co-owner of Saddlebred farm Hillcroft. Shultz is Director of Racing at Standardbred racing facility Oak Grove. Snellings is the Sales and Yearling Manager at Denali Stud and is the current President of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club.

New officers for the KEEP Board of Directors will be elected at the Board’s January meeting.

Elisabeth Jensen, KEEP’s Executive Vice President who oversees the daily operations of the organization, commented, “Given the hurdles the horse industry faces in the coming year, KEEP may be more necessary now than at any other point in its history. The Kentucky Supreme Court’s ruling that jeopardizes historical horse racing and its contribution to the success of Kentucky’s horse industry presents an immense challenge as we will work to convince the legislature to address the issue. The addition of these board members and the work they have already engaged in on behalf of KEEP and the horse industry is a critical part of the battle ahead.”

The Chairman of KEEP’s Board of Directors, Doug Cauthen, added, “KEEP has always maintained a Board of Directors that truly represents a cross-section of Kentucky’s all breed horse industry and provides all stakeholders with a seat at the table. These new board members further that diverse industry representation and will strengthen KEEP as it faces new challenges and fights to preserve historical horse racing.”

In December, the KEEP Board of Directors will host an industry-wide webinar to discuss the year ahead for KEEP, the advocacy issues the organization will take on, and the strategies and approaches the organization will undertake to emerge successful. More details will be included in a future announcement.

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 in Support of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission’s Proposed Regulations

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.”

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.