Kentucky Thoroughbred Association director gives a post-Derby update


 Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director Chauncey Morris anticipates his industry will ultimately be asked to justify tax breaks benefiting horse farms. He said that could happen in a special legislative session.

Morris said those in the thoroughbred business need to demonstrate the value of the equine industry and defend tax exemptions.

“This is something that every single industry is going to have to do, manufacturing, larger employers like UPS who enjoy the jet fuel exemption. We’d be right in the middle of it,” said Morris.

Coming off a Kentucky Derby with a strong field of horses, Morris said the thoroughbred Industry is in, what he calls, “a very good place now.” Since the recession of a decade ago, Morris said part of the industry rebound has come from partnership ownership of race horses.

Morris said 85% of the horses in the big race were Kentucky bred and the economic boost extends well beyond the track.

“You really can see that at play in places like Louisville and Lexington when the hotel rooms are all booked up and the restaurants are absolutely filled to the gills and people are shopping and people are spending money. Most of those people are out of town,” said Morris.

Morris said an updated economic impact study by the American Horse Council puts some 56,000 jobs directly associated with all breeds of the equine business.