Edited Press Release
Albany, NY–We Are NY Horse Racing held its first Lobby Day Thursday to educate lawmakers about the importance of horse racing to the New York State economy. Dozens of stakeholders from a variety of organizations, non-profits, and labor unions joined together to educate lawmakers about a sport that drives an industry responsible for 19,000 jobs and more than $3 billion in annual economic impact.
“The sport of horse racing has given me an opportunity to join an industry that truly supports me,” said exercise rider Francisco Eduardo Barrera Torres. “Since I started my career at Belmont Park in 2007, I've become a part of something greater. The sport has given me a great sense of pride as I've been able to provide for my family and send my child to school. I am thrilled to be a part of We Are NY Horse Racing's efforts because we must come together to protect our jobs and family-sustaining wages.”
The Lobby Day comes as We Are NY Horse Racing deployed paid advertisements on both digital and television to highlight the positive economic impacts of the sport. Since its initial launch in September, the We Are NY Horse Racing coalition has rapidly grown to now include nearly 50 member organizations. We Are NY Horse Racing is a diverse group of small businesses, labor unions, non-profits, trade organizations, and community groups working to advocate on behalf of the 19,000 women and men who are working in and around the sport.
“As a new father, this sport gives my family a sense of security because I am part of a community,” said Chris Manza, electrical foreman of IBEW Local 25. That's why this is so much more than just a job, it's a career that I can be proud of. I am incredibly lucky to work at Belmont Park, and I encourage our elected officials to come visit and see for themselves why this community is so special.”
“As a veterinarian and breeder, I am lucky to be able to care for these wonderful animals each and every day,” said Dr. Scott Ahlschwede, DVM of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. “None of us would have been here today without the horses, and it was an honor to be able to describe my role in the New York racing ecosystem to the assembled lawmakers [Thursday]. It was gratifying to see and hear their interest in a sport that plays a central role in the lives of so many New Yorkers.”
“I'm proud to stand in solidarity with We Are NY Horse Racing for this Lobby Day, so we can protect the critical economic benefits the sport provides to our State,” said Vincent Albanese, director of policy and public affairs of New York State Laborers' Organizing Fund. “I have seen firsthand how vital the sport of horse racing is in protecting the good-paying union jobs that countless union members rely on. Not only does it benefit the unionized construction industry, but it helps ensure our entire state's economy prospers by generating $3 billion in annual economic impact, 19,000 direct jobs.”
“Horse racing and breeding provide thousands of jobs and uplift small businesses, including those in the agriculture sector across the state,” said Jeff Williams, public policy director of the New York Farm Bureau. “We stand with the We Are NY Horse Racing Coalition as they hold their Lobby Day event and will continue to back their efforts.”
For additional information on We Are NY Horse Racing and its diverse membership visit nyhorseracing.com.