Ellis says Senate Bill 120 must pass

Published 4:57 pm Monday, February 8, 2021

Our 200-year tradition and stature as “The Horse Capital of the World” are now threatened. Let me explain.

The impact of Kentucky Senate Bill 120 on our state’s billion-dollar horse industry goes all throughout our agricultural economy and far beyond to other businesses and industries.

Competing race tracks in other states having pari-mutuel wagering have gained a very significant financial advantage since Kentucky‘s Supreme Court struck this opportunity down at our commonwealth’s racetracks.

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Without SB 120 – the impact on our billion-dollar horse industry would be devastating as it would ripple through and beyond areas outlined below:

• Racehorse breeding and boarding
• Track revenue
• Out-of-state horses being brought to and boarded at tracks across Kentucky during racing seasons
• Attractive purses that will remain competitive with other state tracks
• Tourism: restaurants, motels, gasoline sales
• Full-time & seasonal employment

Related Farm Issues:
• Significant farm equipment sales
• Farm feed and supply stores
• Farm fencing companies
• Pasture creation
(lime, seed, fertilizer)
• Encouragement to wildlife enhancement
• Barn/shed building

These areas, with accompanying local and state taxes come to mind quickly. Many officials – including Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles – are bringing details to the table further illustrating the critical impact SB 120 will have statewide.

Many Boyle Countians might find it surprising to learn that right here in our own “back yard,” 2015 Triple Crown Winner American Pharaoh has sired other potential Kentucky Derby candidates.

With there are many issues to consider, we are asking general assembly members statewide to vote and speak on behalf of SB 120 being passed into law.

Tom V. Ellis
First District Magistrate
Boyle County Fiscal Court