Governor Ernie Fletcher’s Communication Office
Governor Fletcher Lauds Bluegrass Stockyards for Putting Community Ahead of Personal Interests in Withdrawing Stockyards Development Near Kentucky Horse Park

Press Release Date:  Thursday, February 02, 2006  
Contact Information:  Brett Hall
Jodi Whitaker
Troy Body

FRANKFORT, Ky. – Governor Ernie Fletcher today announced the withdrawal by Iron Works Farm, LLC, of their petition to rezone and develop property near the Kentucky Horse Park for relocation of the Bluegrass Stockyards. The withdrawal came as the result of a request made to the group by Governor Fletcher.

“The owners of this property have stepped up and put community first by reconsidering their plans to build a new stockyard in light of the coming World Equestrian Games and future development planned for the Horse Park,” Governor Fletcher said.

Bluegrass Stockyards developers have agreed to look for a more suitable location within or near Fayette County, he added. 

“This is a positive for Lexington and Fayette County, and I applaud the owners of Bluegrass Stockyards for their leadership,” Governor Fletcher said.

Owners of the 120-acre tract, located at 4561 Iron Works Pike, have agreed to work with the Governor’s World Equestrian Authority and Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government to plan a development that will be consistent with the character of the Horse Park, according to Gene Barber, Scott Bucher and Eric Barber, Bluegrass Stockyards principals.

“We look forward to working with the Kentucky Horse Park, World Equestrian Authority and local leaders to make the best use of the property, which we are confident will help to keep Lexington and Fayette County as the Horse Capital of the World,” Bucher said.

He also expressed appreciation to Kentucky Horse Park Executive Director John Nicholson, Lexington Mayor Teresa Ann Isaac and local government leaders for their support in developing a new location for the Bluegrass Stockyards, currently located in downtown Lexington. 

“The Bluegrass Stockyards are to be congratulated for their cooperation with the Kentucky Horse Park to help insure the success of the World Equestrian Games,” said Mayor Isaac. “We will continue to work diligently to find another home for the Stockyards in Fayette County.”

“We are grateful to Governor Fletcher and to Iron Works Farm, LLC for this extraordinary effort to protect the best interests of two critical components of Kentucky agribusiness: horses and cattle,” said Nicholson. “We remain supportive of the effort to locate a suitable location for the new stockyards in or near Fayette County, so as to continue to grow the economic vitality of the cattle industry.”

Bluegrass Stockyards is the nation’s third largest stockyards, with a sales volume of 350,000 head of cattle in 2005 for a value of more than $200 million.  The company has 80 employees along with 200 others who work for buying firms and connected companies.  An estimated 1,300 people attend the stockyards’ weekly auction along with Internet participants who buy from locations throughout the United States.

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