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Committee approves new regulations for Kentucky Sire Stakes
Friday, May 24, 2013 - by Tom LaMarra, USTA Web Newsroom Correspondent

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Lexington, KY --- The Kentucky Standardbred Advisory Committee on Thursday (May 23) approved parameters for new regulations designed to increase participation in the Kentucky Sire Stakes program.

The Kentucky General Assembly earlier this year passed legislation introduced by Sen. Damon Thayer that provides flexibility in the breeding program for Standardbreds in light of a dearth of stallions in the state. The committee opted for a six-month residency requirement for mares that could be bred to out-of-state stallions and still qualify for the Kentucky Sire Stakes program.

Thayer said on Friday (May 24) he urged the six-month residency requirement to “justify the economic impact” of having more mares in Kentucky. He cited a trickle-down effect on boarding farms, veterinarians, and others that benefit from the breeding business.

The regulation also calls for divisional financial incentives for owners of stallions that stand in Kentucky.

The regulation now must pass the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission and go through two legislative committees: the Administrative Regulation Review Subcommittee and the Interim Joint Committee on Licensing and Occupations. Thayer said the legislative review could be completed by October or November.

“The goal is to have the new rule in effect for the 2014 breeding season,” Thayer said. “Allowing mares to be bred to stallions out of state and be eligible (for the Kentucky program) is not ideal, but individuals convinced me that at this time it’s the only way for the program to be competitive. There aren’t enough stallions in the state.”

The Standardbred industry derives about $2 million a year from the Kentucky Breeders’ Incentive Fund. The money is used for Kentucky Sire Stakes for 2- and 3-year-olds.

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