Horse Racing in Kansas

(Dawn) Good morning everybody, welcome to AGam in Kansas. We’re doing the Horsing Around segment. I am Dawn Dawson with Better Horses Radio Show and we’ve got a great guest with us today. We have Jeff Rutland, the famous Rutland Horse Ranch, down by Independence. And you know if you hear the Rutland name you know it involves horse racing. And still going strong with the horse business down there, the horse racing thing. But we’ve got some things we need to let Kansans know about and try to get everybody involved with. What’s happening here with the horse racing industry? Tell us about it. (Jeff) That’s right Dawn. We’ve got quite an industry in Kansas, a long history of horse racing, over 100 years. And in the past 10 years our race tracks started to close and our horse racing industry has slowly moved out of state into other states that have a horse racing program. We’ve still got that structure, the foundation for one. We’re trying to bring it back. We feel we’ve had an economist from the University of Kansas do a study and he says we can bring back over $250 million dollars a year into the economy and we can bring in 4,000 jobs or more. So, it’s a huge industry. It doesn’t take any government funding. Let’s just say, let’s open the race track doors and allow the racing industry to go again. (Dawn) So we need to get everybody involved. How do we do that? Because we want this to happen. You know, yesterday at Equifest here you brought a little girl over to our radio show and she had written a presentation about Secretariat. And it was amazing, it was absolutely amazing. Her story was wonderful. And I guess, she kind of caught my ear when she started off with the “x-factor” and the large heart, because I’ve actually researched that and understand that a little bit. So that was cool. But our children, what we really realized yesterday, is our children love horses. We all love horses. And you know, they’re heroes. And so we’d love to see these champions and these heroes being raised right here in Kansas and that’s not happening is it? (Jeff) That’s true. That’s true. We look to these equine athletes as big time athletes. And the children grow up watching TV, watching athletes go. It’s very important that we get the young group back involved again. As I said, we’ve got a bill at the Legislature right now that can open the doors of the race track again. What it is, racing is basically funded through the parimutual gambling on the horse racing. The casino industry has cannibalized our parimutual dollars, so we have to attach to the slot machines, the gaming industry, to bring back the money into horse racing. So, we’ve got a bill that would level the playing field for the race tracks. Right now the race tracks have to pay 40 percent to the state. The casinos have to pay 22 percent. So, we’re asking everyone to contact the Legislature, say I really support the horse industry, I hope and expect you to support the horse industry, You can go to www.raceforkansas.com and you can punch in there and find your Legislator and please give him an email and a phone call. (Dawn) Thanks everybody and be sure to go to that website raceforkansas.com, check it out and you’ll be able to get right where you need to go to get the word out. So, we sure appreciate you guys tuning in and thanks Jeff Rutland for being on with us today on AGam in Kansas.

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