Aug 25, 2009 Doug Campbell Uncategorized
A new equine business initiative could bring $184 million to Central New York over the next five years, with Cazenovia College as its home.
College President Mark Tierno formally pronounced the establishment of the New York State Center for Equine Business Development at Cazenovia College at a press conference Tuesday morning.
“Equine related businesses now account for 2.36 billion dollars of New York State’s annual economic activity,” he said. “Nearly a 100-percent increase in the last 18 years.”
The center will work in many different ways to improve equestrian industry in the area.
“The center will also serve as a model — a resource — which will strengthen and sustain this sector of the states economy by tapping the knowledge of Cazenovia College’s equine experts and a network of national and international advisors including colleagues from our neighbors, Cornell University and Morrisville State College,” Tierno said.
Besides serving as a model, he said, the center will foster job and entrepreneurial growth throughout the state.
“It will also seek to identify ways people can improve the functionality of their businesses while highlighting the ways that state and local governments can improve the environment that promotes a sustainable, growing equine industry,” Tierno said.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, NYS Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) and Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament Founder John Madden also spoke at the event.
“We have some of the greatest racing in the country, in the world, and yet the industry has not had the focus that it needs,” Schumer said.
Schumer said that New York’s equine industry could flourish like it has in Kentucky, a state with a strong focus on equestrian industry and an economy fueled by horse racing.
“We’re doing it today under the leadership of Cazenovia College and [President Mark Tierno,]” he said. “People from around the country and around the world come here to race at our events.”
Schumer said the program would receive federal support.
“We are now going to focus and get federal help to make this happen in a whole variety of ways,” he said.
John Madden, founder of the Syracuse Invitational Sporthorse Tournament, spoke about the potential for growth in the state.
“We’re all going to have to pull together to make this work,” Madden said.
Madden said that Kentucky had one advantage over Central New York: in thoroughbred racing, horses need to be born in January.
“Well, we don’t need to just breed thoroughbred racehorses here,” Madden said. “We don’t need to just develop race horses here. The sport horse industry and the pleasure horse industry accounts for about 2/3rds of all that money that we talked about.”
Madden named several reasons that Central New York is ideal for a developing industry.
“We have an advantage in Central New York in every single other aspect of the development of those horses,” he said. “We have the space for it, we have a great agrarian background in the people who work here, a great work ethic, we have a much better climate for raising horses, the environs, the nature, the water and everything is better for us.”
Madden also mentioned the proximity of Central New York to a population of high wealth, an advantage that Lexington, Ky. doesn’t have.
The crowd of over 100 community members at the Aug. 25 press conference included town and village officials from across the county, equine students and other community stakeholders.
For more on the college’s equestrian program and equine education center, visit Cazenovia.edu. For more information about the Syracuse Sporthorse Tournament, visit syracuseinvitational.com.