A video released by the New York Horse Racing and Agriculture Industry Alliance detailing the benefits of horse racing in the Empire State was recently screened at the USTA District 8A annual membership meeting. In addition to viewing the eleven minute video, members present at the meeting received a information pack detailing the economic impact horse racing has on New York State, with the horse racing industry generating up to 40,000 jobs.
When the New York Horse Racing and Agriculture Industry Alliance was formed at the beginning of 2012 it was with the purpose of securing support and protection for racing and agriculture in the event of amendments to the constitution of New York State to permit full-scale casinos to operate. At the time the group noted that it was the first time in history that representatives of breeders, horsemen, farmers, and the agricultural industry had formed an alliance. The alliance includes the Empire State Harness Horsemen’s Alliance, Harness Horse Association of Central New York, Finger Lakes Horsemen Benevolent Protective Association, Harness Horse Breeders of New York State, New York Farm Bureau, Monticello Harness Horsemen’s Association, New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc., Saratoga Harness Horseperson’s Association, New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Standardbred Owners Association of NY, and Western NY Harness Horsemen’s Association.
Back in February 2012, Dean Norton, President of the New York Farm Bureau noted that while studying new ways of stimulating the economy in New York State, it is important for authorities to weigh decisions in the light of preserving and protecting industries that already generate tens of thousands of jobs. Therefore, any move toward allowing full-scale casino gambling must include provisions to support the existing horse racing industry.
A report released in October 2012 entitled New York’s Equine Industry: Vital to State’s Economy noted that the equine industry has a $4.2 billion effect onthe economy of New York State, with ‘equine commerce’ resulting in $187 million in state and local taxes. There are more than 150,000 horses in New York and the thousands of horse farms, riding stables and trainings centers in the state preserve up to 1.3 million acres of open space.