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."