Let’s Bring Kansas Horses Back Home

By Cameron and Jenny Roth

This is a filly my wife and I purchased on April 28, 2017. She’s a two year old Thoroughbred named Roll On Indy who was bred and born in Kentucky, raised in Florida and is en route to a Chicago racetrack. Excluding the stallion fee, the previous owners had approximately $35,000 worth of inputs into this filly before selling her to us. These inputs include the costs of hay, grain, veterinary expenses, farrier services and training bills.

After SB 66 was passed during the 2007 Kansas legislative session that allowed for slot machines at The Woodlands (with a percentage going to Eureka Downs as well), we like many others anticipated a lucrative breeding program and purse structure for official “Kansas-bred horses.” My wife and I purchased five pregnant mares and planned to foal them on our Kansas farm. Unfortunately, the PREVIOUS owner of The Woodlands closed the track citing an unfair tax burden which left us with no place to run our Kansas-bred horses. The tax burden he referenced was the 22% tax rate on State owned casinos and a 40% tax rate on slot machines at The Woodlands.

In response, we moved all of our mares to Oklahoma so they could foal there and be part of the lucrative “Oklahoma-bred” program. For economic discussion, there were 870 Thoroughbred mares bred in Oklahoma last year. For simplicity, if all of the mares successfully foal, you now have 870 foals with approximate inputs of $35,000 each before they make it to the racetrack as a two year old. That totals $30,450,000 in expenses referenced above. This doesn’t included outlay for our personal trucks, horse trailers, construction of barns etc… This number also doesn’t include approximately 1000 Quarter Horse foals registered for racing in Oklahoma. That’s another $35,000,000 totaling $65,450,000.

It’s time to assist Kansans in bringing their horses back home. We aren’t talking about casinos with out of state operators. We are Kansas residents and business owners running horse operations with the majority of dollars leaking to other states. We have an investor and Kansas native, Phil Ruffin who’s willing to invest approximately $100,000,000 without asking anything from the State of Kansas other than the same 22% tax rate on slot machines that the casinos enjoy. Exceptions have been legislatively made to assist in building a new SE Kansas casino and now it’s time to take care of we mom and pop horse operations who collectively spend way too much money in other states!

Cameron and Jenny Roth

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