Horse industry supporters across the state are urged to “Join the Herd!”

LEXINGTON, KY — The Kentucky Equine Education Project has scheduled KEEP Day in Frankfort during the 2017 legislative session for Wednesday, February 22, making it easy for those involved in the industry to meet with their state legislators to discuss the importance of horses to their districts’ economy.

“Twenty-eight new legislators were elected in the Kentucky State House of Representatives in the November elections, ushering in a change in leadership for the first time in nearly 100 years,” said Joe Clabes, KEEP’s executive director. “With important topics like tax reform expected to be considered in 2017, we need to educate new and returning members on the important role horses play in Kentucky’s economy and there are no better messengers than their own constituents.”

Horses of all breeds form a $4 billion industry in the commonwealth, supporting an estimated 100,000 direct and indirect jobs, spanning all 120 counties. Kentucky is home to 35,000 operations with at least one horse, totaling 242,400 equines (including mules and donkeys) and $23.4 billion in value when including related assets, according to a University of Kentucky Department of Agriculture survey.

KEEP’s top priority for 2017 remains the push for equine sales-tax equity, achieving the same exemption from 6% sales tax on feed, equipment and supplies that other livestock producers receive.

Clabes added, “We urge all supporters of Kentucky’s horse industry to ‘Join the Herd’ in Frankfort on February 22. There has never been a better opportunity to build relationships with our representatives in Frankfort to present a unified voice for the advancement of our horse economy.”

Those wanting to meet with their State Senator and/or Representative as part of KEEP Day can go to and confirm their attendance by simply filling in their name and address. Their specific Senator and Representative will be automatically notified. Legislators will set up appointments for constituents by either email or going through KEEP in order to accommodate multiple members from their districts. Those interested in attending can also call KEEP at (859) 259-0007, and KEEP staff will help arrange appointments with legislators. The KEEP team will be in contact with all registrants prior to February 20 to provide additional information.

The first twenty attendees to register will receive a special gift. Upon their arrival in Frankfort on February 22, they’ll be given a 12 X 19” print signed by Courier-Journal photographer Michael Clevenger of his 2015 Eclipse Award-winning photo of American Pharoah clinching the Triple Crown at the Belmont Stake, with jockey Victor Espinoza looking back at the field far in his wake.


The Kentucky Equine Education Project is a grassroots organization created in 2004 to preserve, promote and protect Kentucky’s signature horse industry. Support for KEEP’s activity comes directly from the horse industry and its supporters. To learn more about how you can become a member or make a contribution, please visit