New York Sire Stakes Program
To be able to support the breeding program in the state of New York, the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State inaugurated the New York Sire Stakes program in 1961. Being the first program of its kind in North America, other states followed the example of the New York Sire Stakes, encouraging local breeding of quality horses. The program led to the establishment of the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund in 1965, which is responsible for the research done within the state of New York in regard to equine programs and breeding facilities of Standard Bred horses.
The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund also promotes racing and hosts a variety of horse racing events exclusively for New York bred horses, such as the New York Sire Stakes races, Late Closers Series, County Fair Races and State Fair Races. The New York Sire Stakes racing events focus on two-year-old and three-year-old horses, giving them the opportunity to compete according to their capabilities and to rise through the three stage program. The top horses in their respective divisions are then given the opportunity to take part in a $150 000 purse championship that takes place at the end of the season. To make it to the final round, horses are allocated points for the first five positions, and the horses that have accumulated the most points will be eligible for the final championship. The winning horse receives fifty points, second gets twenty five, twelve points for third position, eight points for forth, and five points for fifth position.
For horses to be eligible for the New York Sire Stakes program, and to participate in the horse racing events, there is a certain criteria for horses to fill before being registered with the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. Yearlings must be sired by a stallion that is from the New York state and that has been registered. Even if a mare was bred within the New York state, the sire must also be from New York for the yearling to be eligible for registration. Also, the first foal from the mare, within a specific time period, will be eligible.
Stallions have to be registered for the breeding year with the Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund. The stallions must be owned by a New York state resident. Once registered, the stallion has to stand stud for an entire breeding season and may not be moved from the specified farm during this period, with exception of medical emergencies or permission granted from the Fund. Any leased stallions must be filed together with registration.
The New York Sire Stakes is dedicated to the breeding programs within the state, and lends assistance to other agricultural societies and research projects. Members of the Agriculture and New York State Breeding Development Fund were also key in legislation for Video Lottery Terminals at the racetracks, allowing the fund to increase harness racing purses and added support to the industry. The New York Sire Stakes program is active in all the sectors of the industry, continuously promoting the sport and the horses that are bred within the program.