Plans for an all-inclusive Massachusetts Equestrian Center were unveiled Tuesday by members of the state’s equestrian and agricultural communities, veterinary and agricultural educators and Thoroughbred racing leaders. The center, which would combine a number of equestrian activities including Thoroughbred racing, horse shows and competitions, clinics and educational courses, could become a destination for visitors from across New England and other regions.
“We’ve made great progress toward developing a comprehensive plan for an equestrian center in Massachusetts,” said Anthony Spadea Jr., president of the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “By bringing together advocates for Thoroughbred racing, equestrian activities, agricultural and veterinary education, the New England HBPA is working tirelessly to ensure that Thoroughbred racing, breeding, the associated agricultural network and all the related jobs will be restored and thrive in Massachusetts.”
A recent study conducted by the Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, commissioned by the New England HBPA, found that an equestrian center could generate millions of dollars in annual economic impact. Among the plans for the facility are a racetrack and a Thoroughbred retirement center.
“Combining Thoroughbred racing with other equestrian activities and veterinary education in a non-profit structure is a model that we believe will work not only here in Massachusetts but on a national level, helping to sustain an industry with thousands of jobs for stable workers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, jockeys, and local businesses across the state,” added Lou Raffetto, a national racing industry expert and former vice president of racing at Suffolk Downs.