On March 5, 2014, Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY), co-chairs of the Congressional Horse Caucus, hosted the first Caucus meeting of 2014.
The Congressional Horse Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of the House of Representatives formed to educate Congress and their staffs about the importance of the horse industry in the economic, agricultural, sporting, gaming and recreational life of the nation.
"I was honored to host the first meeting of the Congressional Horse Caucus of the 113th Congress with my Co-Chair, Congressman Paul Tonko of New York,” said Congressman Barr. "It was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the enormous impact the American equine industry has on our economy and provide more information about the industry directly to Members of Congress and their staff. I look forward to future Horse Caucus activities promoting the American horse industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs directly associated with it, as well as the $102 billion it contributes to the U.S. economy."
“Congressman Barr and I laid the foundation for an active year for the Congressional Horse Caucus,” said Congressman Tonko. “The equine industry is an important component of robust economic growth in the Capital Region of New York and across the nation, and I look forward to partnering with those looking to advance this sector of our economy. In places like Saratoga Springs, the equine industry supports countless small businesses and provides an economic ripple effect that is felt across the entire region.”
Stuart Janney III, vice chairman The Jockey Club and the owner of last year’s Kentucky Derby Winner Orb, was the special guest of the Horse Caucus. Janney shared his experiences from a lifetime involved in horseracing and answered Members’ questions about how Congress could best address some of the challenges facing the industry.
During the meeting, several issues important to the industry were discussed, including immigration reform and the Race Horse Cost Recovery Act, which would renew a provision that expired at the end of 2013 and place all racehorses on a three-year depreciation schedule as well as other issues.
Barr continued, "I am confident this meeting has created positive momentum for the equine industry on Capitol Hill and greatly appreciate all of the support and leadership provided by the American Horse Council in advancing equine-friendly policies on Capitol Hill."
“We thought this was a productive Horse Caucus meeting and we appreciate Congressmen Barr’s and Tonko’s leadership of the Caucus,” said American Horse Council President Jay Hickey. “There was a very good turn out and we thank all the Members and staff who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the meeting.”
The AHC hopes all members of the horse community will contact their Representatives and urge them to join the Congressional Horse Caucus.
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As the national association representing all segments of the horse industry in Washington, D.C., the American Horse Council works daily to represent equine interests and opportunities. The AHC promotes and protects the industry by communicating with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of all horse related interests each and every day. The AHC is member supported by individuals and organizations representing virtually every facet of the horse world from owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registries and horsemen's associations to horse shows, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse councils.