NEWS: nytb

Leading equine nutrition consultant Steve Jackson to take the podium at NYTB seminar Dec. 8

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

By Sarah Mace

Dr. Stephen G. Jackson, a leading equine nutrition consultant and the president and owner of Bluegrass Equine Nutrition in Versailles, KY, will be the featured speaker at New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Inc. (NYTB) Breeding Industry Educational Series Seminar “Focus on Nutrition: Feeding to Raise an Athlete.” The seminar-style meeting will take place on Saturday, December 8 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion in Saratoga Springs.

The New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund Corporation is the sponsor of this free event. Attendees should RSVP to the NYTB office by December 3 at (518) 587-0777 or

A native of Lubbock, Texas, Dr. Jackson earned his Bachelor of Science in Animal Science at Texas A&M University, before going on to complete a Ph.D. in Equine Nutrition and Exercise Physiology from the University of Kentucky. He taught for 12 years at the University of Kentucky while focusing his research on Equine Growth and Development, Exercise Physiology and Nutrition of the Equine Athlete.

Moving to the public sector, Dr. Jackson served as the vice president of Kentucky Equine Research in Versailles from 1990-96, before assuming his current position as president and owner of Bluegrass Equine Nutrition, also in Versailles.

Dr. Jackson acts as consultant for horse farms in the areas of horse nutrition and management and feed manufacturers in the formulation of horse feeds. He has lectured and consulted throughout the U.S and in over 50 countries across the globe.

Dr. Jackson’s clients are a veritable who’s who of leading farms in the United States, Japan, England, Ireland, Brazil and Australia. His Kentucky clients include Darley, Lanes End, Three Chimneys Farm, Pin Oak Stud, Taylor Made Farm, Sienna Farm, Juddmonte Farm and Denali Stud. In California he has consulted Harris Ranches, Tommy Town Farm, Ballena Vista Farm and Megali Stud. Internationally his clients include Darley (England, Ireland and Japan), North Hills Management in Japan, Stud TNT in Brazil and Coolmore (Ireland and Australia).

Owner of Jackson Purchase Farm in Versailles Kentucky, Dr. Jackson also breds for the commercial market and race track.


Longtime NYRA trainer, former NYTHA president Rick Violette, Jr. passes away at 65

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

(Courtesy NYRA Media Center)

It is with heavy hearts that we at NYTB must pass along the news that longtime New York horseman Rick Violette passed away this morning, Sunday, October 21, following a long illness. He will be sorely missed by New York’s racing and breeding communities. We reproduce NYRA’s statement on Rick’s passing in full below, which includes a comment from NYTB Executive Director Jeff Cannizzo. Also, click here to read the statement from NYTHA.

From NYRA Communications:

ELMONT, N.Y. – Longtime New York Racing Association (NYRA) horseman and former president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (NYTHA) Richard Violette, Jr. passed away this morning in Florida following a lengthy illness. He was 65.

Violette was born January 30, 1953 in Worchester, Massachusetts and showed hunters and jumpers as a teenager. After his graduation from Lowell University, Violette turned his attention to the racetrack and, at age 24, began training thoroughbreds full-time. He saddled his first starter on June 25, 1977 at Suffolk Downs in East Boston, Massachusetts. His first win came less than two months later with Catch the Action on August 18 at Rockingham in New Hampshire.

Following his training start, Violette worked as an assistant to Emile Allain at Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada, before moving to New York as David Whiteley’s assistant trainer. He resumed his own stable in 1983.

“Rick Violette embodied New York racing, and his commitment to the men and women who are the backbone of our sport was unparalleled,” said NYRA CEO and President Chris Kay. “As the longtime President of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, Rick was a powerful advocate in Albany for the interests of horsemen and women across New York. Knowing how hard he worked, and the determination he showed throughout his life, it was particularly fitting to see the success Rick enjoyed over the past year with multiple Grade 1 winner Diversify. On behalf of the New York Racing Association, we offer our condolences to Rick’s family, friends and colleagues. He will be missed.”

Violette was an ardent advocate for New York horse racing, having served more than 25 years on the NYTHA board, including nine as its president from 2008-2017. He was a member of NYRA’s Board of Directors during his tenure as NYTHA president. He was also the former president of the national Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association (THA). Violette was named director emeritus of the THA in 2018.

Rick letting Samraat enjoy a nice roll (Courtesy NYRA Media Center/Susie Raisher)

“Rick was a champion, plain and simple. His work, largely unnoticed and often unrecognized, made the lives of the backstretch workers better. He was their promoter and defender – creating and solidifying programs that have real impact on people’s lives – health care, college scholarships, rider safety, substance abuse counseling. These programs would not exist without Rick’s foresight and perseverance,” said NYTHA President Joe Appelbaum. “For twenty-five years, Rick fought like a lion for the horsemen and our workers; gaining us a voice in the conversation with his tireless effort and tenacious spirit. Visiting the backstretch at Saratoga, not seeing him standing at the main track gap with his binoculars slung over his shoulder is unimaginable. What a sad day for horse racing.”

Violette’s support of the New York breeding program was no more evident than in the litany of talented New York-breds he sent postward over the years, including multiple graded stakes winners Read the Footnotes, Samraat, and two-time New York-bred champion Upstart.

“I had the privilege to work with Rick for over a decade through many ups and downs in New York racing. His perseverance will never be matched,” said Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders. “Rick did so much tirelessly on behalf of his fellow horsemen. He stuck to his morals and always kept to his beliefs. I had the utmost respect for him and learned much from his actions. As I told him this summer, I’m glad we had the chance to see how good a horseman he truly was this year with Diversify. His support will be missed by all of New York.”

Most recently, Violette campaigned Lauren and Ralph M. Evans’ New York-bred Diversify to victory in the 2017 Grade 1 Jockey Club Gold Cup, as well as the Grade 2 Suburban and Grade 1 Whitney this summer. Through three seasons of racing, Diversify has garnered nearly $2 million in earnings with 10 wins from 16 starts. Additional Grade 1 winners for Violette include Kentucky-bred Dream Rush and the Florida-bred Man From Wicklow, who Violette also owned.

Through his nearly four-decade-long career, Violette recorded 870 wins and total purse earnings of $44,521,759. His final winner was Byself in an allowance optional claiming race on Sunday, October 14 at Belmont Park.

Violette found perhaps his greatest passion, however, advocating for issues affecting horsemen and backstretch workers and the advancement of thoroughbred aftercare.

At NYTHA, Violette oversaw the expansion of a number of social initiatives, including its college scholarship program and racehorse aftercare. In addition, he championed and secured funding for Backstretch Education, which offers ESL courses, a language lab and the Groom Development Program.

Violette was co-chair of the Backstretch Employee Service Team Board of Directors (B.E.S.T), a non-profit based at Belmont Park that provides free health and social services to the backstretch communities at all NYRA tracks.

He was a founding member of the Board of the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and co-created the TAKE THE LEAD Thoroughbred Retirement Program. In 2012, he co-founded TAKE2 Second Career Thoroughbred Program with a focus on providing an avenue for the retraining of retired racehorses for the show horse world. He served as the organization’s president until his death.

Leonard Green brings impressive credentials, wealth of experience to NYTB October seminar

Tuesday, September 18th, 2018

Courtesy The Green Group

By Sarah Mace

The featured speaker at the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Inc. Sunday, October 14 meeting “How to Develop a Strategy for Success: Equine Business Consultation” will be Leonard C. Green, CPA, MBA. Green has extensive credentials, three decades of experience in the thoroughbred industry and a long list of accomplishments which should make for a highly informative discussion about succeeding in today’s challenging equine business environment.

Given the open format of the seminar-style meeting, Green has also asked NYTB to solicit questions from attendees in advance about any topics they would like to see discussed. Questions may be emailed to

A New Jersey Certified Public Accountant, Leonard Green is a graduate of the Harvard Business School Owner / President Management Program. He holds a master’s degree in Taxation, with Honors, from New York University and an undergraduate degree in Accounting from Rutgers University. For 17 years Green has taught entrepreneurship and family business courses at Babson College.

Green has been involved in the thoroughbred industry as owner, breeder and consultant for more than 30 years. He is the managing partner of DJ Stable, LLC, a successful racing operation which has won 2,300 races at 13 different racetracks and has bred and/or owned 80 stakes winners, including grade 1 winners Songandaprayer, Do It With Style, and Hoppertunity. DJ Stable bred or owned champions Larkwhistle, November Snow and Rhum and has earned eight individual leading owner’s titles at four different race tracks including Monmouth Park and The Meadowlands. The operation is responsible for the sales of approximately $35,000,000 worth of horses, including five horses for $400,000 and up, and 24 horses for over $250,000 and up.

Green is also Founder and Chairman of New Jersey-based accounting and equine advisory firm The Green Group, which specializes in the thoroughbred industry and has over 400 accounting clients in the thoroughbred and standardbred industries nationwide, including partnerships, syndications, owners, trainers and breeders. The Green Group has successfully handled over 100 IRS matters within the horse industry and he has done valuation work both for clients and in connection with legal disputes.

In addition to his classroom duties at Babson, Green has been a featured speaker at the annual Kentucky Legal Conference (UKCLE) in Lexington which is annually attended by almost 200 legal, insurance and business professionals, a regular speaker at Monmouth Park, the New Jersey State Bar Association and a number of Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association (TOBA) sessions. He has also been featured on CNBC “Business to Business” for stories focusing on making money in the horse breeding and racing industries. A monthly columnist on the horse business for the shuttered Thoroughbred Times, in 2017 Green released a top selling business book, The Entrepreneur’s Playbook.

NYTB board member Joan Taylor, DVM, who is also the chair of the organization’s Educational Committee, said,

The NYTB Educational Committee is thrilled to offer the opportunity for New York thoroughbred breeders to benefit from Len Green’s extensive equine, business, and accountant expertise at our upcoming seminar. Thirty years breeding, owning, racing and selling thoroughbreds have shaped his unique perspective on how to surmount the often difficult business and financial challenges we face in our industry.

Taylor also urges attendees to take advantage to Green’s offer for them to submit questions in advance about topics relevant to them. “Submit questions in advance that you would like Len to address” Taylor said. “This is a tough business, but here’s your chance to get sound, free business advice from the ultimate pro!”

The seminar, which is scheduled to take place the day before Fasig-Tipton’s Saratoga Fall Sale and includes the 2018 Annual NYTB Membership Meeting, will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion.

The entire event is sponsored by the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund Corporation and will be immediately followed by a complimentary guest cocktail hour and barbeque for all RSVP’d guests in attendance. Those who wish to attend must RSVP to the NYTB office by October 11 at (518) 587-0777 or Click here for seminar flyer.



Join NYTB for October Events: Annual Member Meeting, Seminar & BBQ; Empire Showcase Day

Monday, September 17th, 2018

2018 NYTB Annual Membership Meeting, October Seminar & BBQ

On Sunday, October 14, in advance of the Saratoga Fall Sale on October 15, NYTB will host, “How to Develop a Strategy for Success: Equine Business Consultation with Leonard C. Green, CPA.”

Leonard C. Green, CPA is the founder of Equine Advisory Firm, The Green Group, and the managing partner of DJ Stable, LLC. This is a seminar-style meeting which includes the 2018 Annual NYTB Membership Meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales Pavilion.

Our speaker has invited attendees to submit questions they would like to see addressed at the seminar in advance. We encourage all interested attendees to submit their questions by emailing them to

The event is sponsored by the New York State Thoroughbred Breeding & Development Fund Corporation. The seminar will be immediately followed by a complimentary guest cocktail hour and barbeque for all RSVP’d guests in attendance.

Those who wish to attend must RSVP to the NYTB office by October 11 at (518) 587-0777 or

Click here for seminar flyer

Empire Showcase Day in the West Wing Room at Belmont Park

On Empire Showcase Day at Belmont Park, Saturday, October 20, join NYTB for a full card of New York-bred racing, featuring eight stakes races, along with a buffet lunch in the West Wing Room located directly above the finish line overlooking the track. *Jackets and ties are required for men in The West Wing Room/ no jeans for this venue.*

NYTB is offering a private charter bus departing from Saratoga Springs at 8:00 a.m. and arriving at Belmont Park at approximately 12:00 noon. The bus will leave Belmont Park after the conclusion of the day’s races. You must reserve your space by October 4 or an additional 25% late fee will apply.

Bus & Lunch:
$95 NYTB Members
$125 Non-members
You MUST RSVP by October 4, 2018: (518) 587-0777

Click here for event flyer.

Annual NYTB Nielsen & Malloy Winkler scholarships presented Friday at Saratoga

Friday, July 27th, 2018

(Photos: Adam Coglianese)

By Sarah Mace

The New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. (NYTB) presented its two annual scholarships, the Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. and Debby Malloy Winkler Scholarships, in the Saratoga winner’s circle after the fourth race on Friday, July 27.

Established by Mrs. Joanne Nielsen to honor her late husband Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. and by Mrs. Vivien Malloy to honor her late daughter Debby Malloy Winkler, these $5,000 scholarships recognize a full-time student enrolled in an equine-related course of study at an accredited college or university in New York State. The scholarships are intended to foster the education and development of individuals who show the promise of making make a positive contribution to the thoroughbred industry in New York and beyond.

Receiving the 2018 Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. Scholarship was Lauren DeGennaro, who recently completed her third year at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. Mrs. Nielsen and Jeffrey Cannizzo, Executive Director of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders, made the presentation.

Valedictorian of the Class of 2009 at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury, CT, DeGennaro went on to graduate cum laude from Boston College in 2013 as a Biochemistry major with a minor in Theology, DeGennaro expects to complete her graduate work at Cornell in 2019.

DeGennaro is active in community service, working as a student clinician at the Southside Cornell Healthy Pet Clinics, which serve clients twice below the federal poverty line, and as a volunteer at Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center in Naugatuck, CT. While at Cornell DeGennaro has also worked as a student research assistant and veterinary assistant.

“I am so grateful to the NY Thoroughbred Breeder’s, Inc. for awarding me the Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. Scholarship,” DeGennaro said. “Equine theriogenology (i.e. reproduction) is an aspect of equine medicine that I have become very interested in, especially from my clinical rotations at Cornell and from what I have seen and learned during my various externships. This scholarship a wonderful gift that will definitely help me achieve my professional goals to become a competent and compassionate equine practitioner.


Selected to receive this year’s Debby Malloy Winkler Scholarship was Rudy Weitze, who will be a junior next year at Cobleskill College.  Mrs. Vivien Malloy made the presentation.

A native of Kingston, New York, Weitze is an Agricultural Business major at Cobleskill with an interest in agricultural marketing, in particular stallion promotion. An active participant in the Agricultural Business Club as its Vice President, Weitze has also worked at Racebrook Stables in Esopus for four years. He hopes to establish his own breeding operation in New York and is interested some day in running for State Senate, where he would “work for the advancement of the thoroughbred industry.”

“I’m very grateful to be receiving this scholarship from the Debby Malloy Winkler family and the New York Thoroughbred Breeders Inc.,” said Weitze. “This award will allow me to continue my education and achieve my end goal of becoming a thoroughbred breeder in New York.”

Weitze also has his mind on recruiting new racing fans. “Thoroughbred racing truly means the world to me. If you bring someone to the racetrack for a day, you can make them a fan for life. This scholarship not only opens up doors for myself, but for those around me. I hope to become a leader who will work for the greater good of the industry and set new standards of excellence in thoroughbred breeding.”



Previous recipients of the Gerald A. Nielsen, Sr. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship:

2012 Jacqueline Pino (read more)
2013 Allison Tuchrello (read more)
2014 Kaitlyn Douglas (read more)
2015 Tate Morris (read more)
2016 Cassandra Cromer (read more)
2017 Rachel L. Hilliard (read more)

Previous recipients of the Debby Malloy Winkler. New York Thoroughbred Breeders, Inc. Scholarship:

2014 Nicolina Foti (read more)
2015 Courtney O’Connell (read more)
2016 Natasha Tarnawa (read more)
2017 Ella Mariah Pittman (read more)


Multiple Graded Stakes Winner and NY Horse of the Year Say Florida Sandy Dead at 24

Friday, July 13th, 2018

Photo: Old Friends

(Old Friends press release – edited)

GEORGETOWN, KY – JULY 13, 2018 – Say Florida Sandy, a multiple graded stakes winner and one of the greatest New York-breds of all time, has died.

The 24-year-old stallion, who was retired with Old Friends, the Thoroughbred Retirement Farm in Georgetown, KY, passed from an apparent heart attack on July 11, but a full necropsy is pending.

Michael Blowen, founder and president of Old Friends, made the announcement today.

Bred by Sanford Bacon, the son of Personal Flag out of the Sweet Candy mare Lolli Lucka Lolli was a star of the New York racing circuit for much of his seven-year career. He won several New York-bred championships, including three New York Champion Sprinter titles and New York Horse of the Year honors for 2000 and 2001.

Raced by Bacon before being lost for $70,000 in a claiming race in 1997, Sandy had several owners and conditioners, but won the lion-share of his races for trainer Juan Serey and owner John Rotella.

In all, the dark bay stallion won 17 stakes during his 98-race career, including the Grade 2 True North at Belmont Park, the Grade 3 Gravesend at Aqueduct in 1998 and 2000, and the Grade 3 Philadelphia Breeders’ Cup Handicap. He retired from racing in 2003 with a record of 33 wins and earnings of $2,085,408.

Say Florida Sandy entered stud in 2004 at Buckridge Farm in Kinderhook, N.Y. where he stood for 10 years. As a sire he is best represented by stakes winner Say Toba Sandy, who won the Finger Lakes Juvenile Fillies Stakes in 2007.

Say Florida Sandy was pensioned by his syndicate and retired to Old Friends in 2014.

“It’s been a privilege to retire one of the top New York-breds of all time,” said Old Friends’s Blowen. “Sandy was a very sensitive stallion, so he was placed at Hurstland Farm in Midway, KY under the watchful eye of owner Alfred Nuckols, who took the greatest care of him,” Blowen added.

“We are grateful to breeder Sanford Bacon and to Walter Downey, who managed Sandy’s syndicate, for allowing us to care for their champion.”

Details set for NYTB’s 2018 Saratoga events

Tuesday, July 10th, 2018

By Sarah Mace

Details and RSVP dates are on the books for NYTB’s annual Saratoga events.

NYTB’s annual cocktail party at the Fasig-Tipton NY-Bred Preferred Yearling Sale will take place on Saturday, August 11 and Sunday, August 12 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Fasig-Tipton Sales grounds in Saratoga Springs

Guests will enjoy culinary selections and complimentary cocktails in the Upstairs Buyers’ Lounge and Balcony. Tickets include both Saturday and Sunday nights.

$75 NYTB members
$100 non-members

You MUST RSVP by August 6 at (518) 587-0777
or a late fee will apply.

Click here for printable invitation.
Click here for printable reply card.


On Friday, August 24, 2018, Saratoga New York Showcase Day, NYTB will host an event in the At The Rail Pavilion trackside on the Clubhouse turn. The all-New York-bred race card features six stakes races.

Included is a buffet-style lunch, admission, soda, coffee & tea, and Post Parade program.

$100 NYTB Members
$125 non-members

Click here for event flyer.
This is a sell-out event!
Guests MUST RSVP by August 1
by calling (518) 587-0777.


Owners’ group dedicates plaque in honor of Glenn DiSanto at the Oklahoma training track

Thursday, June 14th, 2018

(Photo courtesy John Veitch)

By Sarah Mace

A group of owners and friends of late New York trainer and breeder Glenn DiSanto honored his memory on June 9 by dedicating a plaque for him at the Oklahoma training track at Saratoga Racecourse. The plaque is affixed to the outside rail.

Speaking for the group, DiSanto’s friend John Veitch reported, “A few of [Glenn’s] former owners thought a memento would be appropriate. A plaque was decided upon, and NYRA was generous in covering all costs and work involved. The owners contributed the equivalent cost of the plaque to B.E.S.T. in September 2017.”

B.E.S.T. is an acronym for the Backstretch Employee Service Team, a nonprofit organization which provides free health and social services to the backstretch communities at the Aqueduct, Belmont and Saratoga Racetracks.

A native of Carmel, New York, DiSanto graduated from the horse management program at the State University of New York at Cobleskill. He started in the equine business with show horses at West Creek Farm in Sharon Springs, where he began his involvement with the state breeding program. He then purchased Summit View Farm in Greenwich in 1984 as a base for his breeding and boarding business.

DiSanto, who succumbed to cancer on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at the age of 62, trained on the New York Racing Association circuit for more than three decades, saddling his first winner in 1991 when Hildaskova captured a maiden claimer at Aqueduct Racetrack. His last winner was in 2015 with Lotza Heat at Belmont Park.

DiSanto, who was one of the pioneers in the use of the Oklahoma Training Track during the offseason at Saratoga Race Course, was also well known for his advocacy for retired thoroughbred horses.

“He was a big supporter who did a lot for us,” said Lisa Molloy, an executive director at Rerun Thoroughbred Adoption. “He was one of the best horsemen around,” she added. “He never lost his temper with anything. He always knew what he was doing, and the animals just loved him.”

Virtually everyone who came in contact with DiSanto recalls his upbeat demeanor and warm personality. Most echo the sentiments of NYRA steward Braulio Baeza, Jr., who said at the time of DiSanto’s passing, “Glenn was one of the nicest people and one of the few on the backstretch who would help you with whatever you needed in any way he could.”

Michael Veitch, celebrated racing columnist for the Saratogian, began his obituary for DiSanto as follows: “The warmest smile in New York racing will be missing from the Oklahoma Training Track backstretch this coming season.” Later in the column, Veitch referred to “the honest soul that lived within Glenn” and described him as “a blessing to his family and to those around him at the barn.”


From NYTB Executive Director Jeff Cannizzo: Save the Date & Make Your Voice Heard

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

To All Participants in the New York State Breeding and Racing Program:

In the coming weeks the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund (the Fund) will host two public forums for the breeding and racing industries, one in Saratoga Springs and one at Belmont Park. The aim is to elicit feedback from a broad spectrum of program participants about New York awards incentives and program rules.

Over the years, one constant for the Fund board has been engaging in dialogue with stakeholders. It is not unusual either for program participants’ feedback to spark spirited discussion at board meetings. That said, stakeholders do not, as a rule, reach out to the Fund Board to talk about what aspects of the program they support or think are working well. Generally, the people who speak out are advocating for various program tweaks. Moreover, the Fund has come to realize that most input comes from a relatively small group of voices.

The upshot is that, in order to serve all its stakeholders, the Fund board – on which I am the NYTB appointee – decided to create opportunities this spring for a greater number of interested parties to voice their opinions.

At this upcoming pair of town hall-style meetings, the Fund hopes to hear from a wide range of program participants. Issues likely to be covered include the structuring and percentages of the categories of awards (breeder, stallion owner, owner), the status of New York’s stallion roster and rules covering mare residency and breed-back. You can see a preview of some prospective topics by taking the Fund’s brief online survey.

The first public forum will take place on May 12 at the Fasig-Tipton Humphrey S. Finney Pavilion in Saratoga Springs. The second will be on June 2 at Belmont Park. Both meetings will begin at 10:00 a.m. and light refreshments will be provided.

Click here for program flyer.

I would like to assure program participants, that no program changes are in the works. These forums and the Fund survey are simply part of a fact-finding mission so that the Fund board can get a clearer idea of the needs, opinions and suggestions of a broad cross-section of constituents. That said, the incentive program affects the lives and businesses of all, so I believe all participants should listen to what fellow stakeholders are thinking and make their views known.

I strongly urge you take the survey and to attend one or both meetings to listen and make your voice heard. I hope for a good turnout at both events and look forward to a lively and informative exchange of ideas.

Sincerely yours,
Jeff Cannizzo

Equine industry thriving in New York: grows by $1.1 billion, adds 10,000 jobs

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

(Joint press release from NYTHA, NYTB & NYS Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund)

Horses are big business in New York. The American Horse Council Economic Impact Study, published earlier this month, shows that the state’s Equine Industry has grown by $1.1 billion and added nearly 10,000 jobs since the New York Horse Racing and Agriculture Industry Alliance’s New York State Equine Industry Economic Impact Study of 2012. There are more than 154,000 horses stabled in New York.

The Equine Industry is the second largest agribusiness in New York, providing the state with $5.3 billion in economic impact, a 26% increase in the last five years and an eye-opening 121% growth rate since a study conducted in 2005. Employment opportunities in the industry have expanded by 28% since 2012, with horses generating 42,400 full-time jobs for New Yorkers. The horse industry also does its part for the preservation of green space. Approximately 1.3 million acres are currently used for horse-related purposes, and the equine industry is active in every one of New York’s 62 counties.

Thoroughbreds account for the largest segment of the state’s horse population, numbering more than 39,000.

“We are a labor-intensive industry,” said Joe Appelbaum, president of the New York Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, which represents more than 4,000 Thoroughbred owners and trainers. “That is particularly true of the racing industry, which boasts 80 jobs for every 100 racehorses. Horses are an invaluable asset for New York, and a thriving Equine Industry is vital to the state’s economy.”

State Senator John Bonacic, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Racing, Gaming and Wagering said, “The thriving equine industry in New York generates billions in economic impact and thousands of jobs for everyday New Yorkers, due in part the work of the Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association, New York Thoroughbred Breeders and the New York Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund. As Chairman of the Senate’s Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee, I have worked hard to ensure that New York’s racing industry remains strong, and will continue to work with all the industry’s stakeholders to ensure its sustained vitality.”

New York State Assembly Racing & Wagering Committee Chair J. Gary Pretlow remarked, “As a result of the substantial economic impact provided by our equine industry, New York has garnered the reputation as one of the leading horse racing states in the country.  My colleagues and I look forward to continue working with the industry leaders in further enhancing its applauded contributions.”

The racing sector of the Equine Industry is particularly robust, with a $3.08-billion total impact on the New York economy and $1.73 million in direct value while supporting 19,704 jobs. The numbers take into account direct expenditures (e.g. breeding, maintenance, training, insurance, veterinarians, jockey fees, transportation, etc.) plus indirect/induced economic expenditures (e.g. totalizer companies and other wagering technology, infrastructure, broadcasting, television, food and beverage concessions, track maintenance and security).

New York is one of the largest horseracing hubs in the United States, as highlighted by the AHC Study, with 11 racetracks throughout the state as well as hundreds of breeding farms and training facilities. Saratoga Race Course, one of the pre-eminent and oldest tracks in the country, attracts more than 1 million visits a year. In total, New York hosts 1,294 race days annually, offering purses of $289 million and generating $3.4 billion in handle.

“Once a confidence level was reached by Thoroughbred breeders and owners regarding our purses and incentive awards, our State-bred program positioned itself ahead of the rest of the national landscape,” said New York Thoroughbred Breeders Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo. “New York-breds are in demand in the marketplace, farms have reopened across the state and people are investing again in New York. This renaissance is creating hundreds of jobs and injecting needed revenue into communities across our state of New York.”

Cannizzo added, “Because incentive awards and lucrative purses have increased competition in the sales ring for top-tier New York-breds, breeders are putting extra resources and effort into breeding better horses. The quality of horses continues to improve in the sales ring and on the racetrack. In 2017, 16 New York-breds scored wins in 19 graded stakes, with three of those victories coming at the Grade 1 level across the globe.”

Tracy Egan, Executive Director of the NYS Thoroughbred Breeding and Development Fund, noted that the AHC findings line up with the improving picture for the state’s breeding industry.

“In 2017, breeders helped put 1,705 Thoroughbred foals on the ground in New York,” Egan said. “Those foals represent a 4.7% year-to-year increase in the foal crop, and a nearly 40% increase since 2011. Significantly, the increase in the number of foals occurs as the industry nationwide experiences a decline in foal crops. And the quality of New York-breds is now firmly established as year after year they win Graded and Group Stakes around the world. Currrently, New York-bred Audible confirms the trend will be a lasting one as he is one of the favorites for the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May.”

Appelbaum concluded. “The AHC Economic Impact Study clearly demonstrates that the investment made in Thoroughbred racing and breeding through our share of VLT revenue has borne fruit. We thank Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator John Bonacic, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow and all of our representatives for their support, which has helped to make our industry strong.”

Click here for the complete New York Break-Out Report from the AHC Equine Industry Economic Impact Study.

Click here for the highlights from the New York Break-Out Report.