We received the following letter from a concerned horse owner in Pennsylvania with permission to publish. We are asking our readers to read, share, and weigh in on it. The industry has to band together to survive.
My name is Katie DeCanzio and I am writing with urgency asking for help by bringing attention to a crisis we are currently experiencing in Pennsylvania regarding the horse racing industry. As a result of Gov. Tom Wolf’s lockdown orders in response to Covid-19 our industry is on the verge of collapse. Horse racing in Pennsylvania generates revenues solely through gaming activities. Horse racing creates 23,000 jobs and billions of dollars of economic activity within our state.
Unlike other businesses horse racing cannot simply shut its doors as a result of a lockdown order. There are nearly 17,000 horses stabled across Pennsylvania which require care. While we are deemed an essential business and incurring significant expenses resulting from the care of our horses, we are not deemed essential when it comes to generating revenue. I
t’s also important to point out that horse racing plays an intricate part of the agricultural supply chain across Pennsylvania. Thousands have already lost their jobs and thousands more are at risk of losing their livelihoods every day the shutdown continues. Businesses and farms alike that support the racing industry are on the verge of going under as well.
There is a simple solution to this problem, just let the horses run. National safety guidelines have been established and have already been enacted in several states. Not only would we save jobs but also an entire industry by following suit. The state would also see the benefit of raising millions in new tax revenues during a time when massive deficits are being created as a result of the pandemic.
Time is running out for an entire industry. In response to this crisis we have created a petition requesting Gov. Tom Wolf to reopen horse racing in Pennsylvania as soon as possible. Again, I am asking with the greatest degree of urgency for your help in sharing our petition and story.
Here is a link to the petition: