Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Kentucky equine industry thriving
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Sept. 25, 2006) - Kentucky, long viewed as the horse capital of the world, is maintaining its hold on the top spot, according to the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority’s (KHRA) 2004-2005 Biennial Report. The report, released today by the KHRA, provides detailed information on pari-mutuel wagering, race track attendance, breeding, foaling and sales.
Governor Ernie Fletcher created the KHRA in early 2004, directing the organization to take steps to grow the state’s equine industry.
"This report reflects the positive steps we have taken to expand Kentucky’s signature industry," said Governor Fletcher. "With our new breeders’ incentive fund, we can expect more jobs and even more growth in the future."
"Governor Fletcher’s support for the commonwealth’s equine industry is constant and unparalleled," said LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet and a member of the authority. "Under his leadership and of the KHRA Kentucky now has a race-day medication rule in place to ensure fairness and integrity at race tracks and a new breeders’ incentive fund that will create and keep jobs throughout the state."
Jim Gallagher, KHRA executive director, said the report details two years of successes in the horse industry.
"We have watched steady growth in Kentucky’s thoroughbred foal crop, in race track attendance, in the size of race fields, in wagering and in the prices paid for horses at thoroughbred sales," said Gallagher.
The report noted Kentucky’s share of the U.S. thoroughbred foal crop grew more than 37 percent from 1994-2004 and the state holds 28.7 percent of the total U.S. crop. The number of thoroughbred mares bred in the state increased by 2.6 percent from 2004 to 2005.
Today’s KHRA meeting was the last for Gallagher, executive director of the agency since Sept. 27, 2004. He announced in July he would be leaving his post Oct. 1. Wilcher praised Gallagher for his leadership.
"Jim Gallagher brought us a wealth of knowledge, the highest standards of integrity and a passion for racing that has helped raise Kentucky horse racing to a new level of leadership in the racing world. We will miss him greatly," she said.
The report will be posted on the KHRA Web site, <http://www.khra.ky.gov/>