Kentucky horses allowed back in China

11/11/2017 09:12 AM

A Chinese law banning horses from America has been lifted, and for many in Kentucky that means a lot more dollars up for grabs.

Many of the horses that are being sold this week at Keeneland will sell for the price of a really nice house in Lexington, and there are now Chinese buyers in the crowd.

“There are some groups that are affiliated with the Chinese, whether they are gong to be bring these horses back to China or not don’t know but we will find that out by the end of the sale, but the fact is they can now,” said Chauncey Morris the executive Director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association.

The Chinese government had feared an infectious equine disease, called EIA might spread to their stock, so they banned the importation of American horses until Wednesday.

“This industry is the most valuable horse industry, thoroughbred industry, in the world. We have a huge valuable investment to protect here and we work every closely in a collegiate way with our state, federal authorities and private veterinarians to make sure we do that.”

The thoroughbred and other horse associations paid for a study to demonstrate to the Chinese government that EIA is under control.

Kentucky thoroughbred imports are vitally important to the Central Kentucky economic landscape. The horse industry provides in the neighborhood of 35,000 jobs directly and another 50,000 indirectly.

“In China there are no turf courses they races on dirt, American horses are bred to race on dirt we do it quite well we have lots of speed here,” Morris said.

The Chinese spend $35 million a year on horses, that money is going to Europe, New Zealand and Australia, and Morris expects about half of that will be coming to the United States.

Reporting by Richard Essex

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