Kentucky likely to benefit from trade accord which resumes live equine exports to China

12/04/2017 04:35 PM

LEXINGTON – Kentucky’s equine industry has received a boost thanks to a recently signed trade accord with China which allows the export of live horses to that country from the United States for the first time in two years.

Quarles praised the agreement, which was signed last month in Beijing, on Monday at Keeneland along with leaders of the state’s equine industry.

The trade accord came about as a result of a collaboration of the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), the Kentucky Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders (KTOB), the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA), Keeneland Association, and U.S. Livestock Genetics Export.

Quarles believes that the accord will lead to huge economic benefits for the commonwealth in the area of agriculture.

“It’s estimated that the Chinese are buying twenty to thirty million dollars of horses imported each year and we think that Kentucky stands to benefit tremendously, as we already are responsible for two out of three horses that are exported out of the United States each year,” Quarles said. “We believe that China was the last untapped market that had a trade barrier. Anytime that Kentucky has opened up market access to another country, it’s going to benefit our farm community.”

Keeneland President and CEO Bill Thomason says the core mission of Keeneland is to promote and building the thoroughbred industry round the world and the agreement with China does just that.

“We know that within 30 miles of where we’re standing right now, most of the significant thoroughbreds in America are bred, so, that’s the core of Keeneland’s mission,” Thomason said. “We support the growth and development of the thoroughbred industry, so we look for these markets.”

The biggest thing that the agreement does, according to Kentucky Thoroughbred Association Director Chauncey Morris, is provide another valuable market for members his organization to sell their products to.

“There’s been a real growth in thoroughbred racing in China and so the thoroughbred market for racehorses is valued at approximately 30 million dollars,” Morris said.

Quarles added that 30 yearlings, born in Kentucky, are currently on their way to China.


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