WASHINGTON - As Co-Chairs of the bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus, Congressmen Andy Barr (R-KY) and Paul Tonko (D-NY) hosted the first meeting of the Caucus on March 5, 2014.

"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 thousand 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.”

During the meeting, the Caucus discussed legislation Congressman Barr introduced, H.R. 2212, 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.  

The Caucus was glad to be joined by Mr. Stuart Janney III, who shared insights and observations about horseracing and answered Members questions about how Congress could best address some of the challenges facing the industry.  An immigration policy expert from the House Judiciary Committee was also present to discuss the challenges faced by agriculture-employers and the legislative proposals that would provide these employers much-needed relief from bureaucratic red-tape. 

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."

Click here for more pictures from the Bipartisan Congressional Horse Caucus Meeting.