Bill Promotes Greater Participation in NJ Standardbred Breeding Program
(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman John Burzichelli sponsored to boost New Jersey’s horse industry by promoting greater participation in the New Jersey Standardbred breeding program was approved 40-0 by the Senate on Thursday, giving it final legislative approval.
The bill (A-3246) was approved by the Assembly in November 2014.
Under current law, horses eligible to race under the Standardbred Development Program administered by the Sire Stakes Program board of trustees must be:
· Any foal otherwise eligible to race under the Sire Stakes Program;
· Any foal produced by a standardbred stallion and a standardbred mare that are registered with the United States Trotting Association, provided that the mare stands at a New Jersey breeding farm for at least 150 consecutive calendar days between the date of conception and the date of birth and the foal is born in New Jersey.
Burzichelli (D-Gloucester/Cumberland/Salem) said the bill eliminates the requirement for the standing period to be between the date of conception and the date of birth.
Instead, he said the bill requires that the mare reside at a New Jersey breeding farm for at least 150 consecutive calendar days, inclusive of foaling.
“The gestation period for a mare is 11 months and it is very difficult under the present requirement to make boarding arrangements and commitments with a farm nearly a year in advance,” Burzichelli said. “As long as the foal is born in New Jersey and the mare resides in the state for 150 consecutive days while foaling before or after the birth, the foal should be considered eligible to race.”
The bill would take effect immediately
“The revision will provide for greater participation in the New Jersey Standardbred breeding program, enhancing demand for agricultural products and services required by the equine industry,” Burzichelli said. “In the end, this is about supporting a key industry for our state’s economy and creating jobs.”
The bill now goes to the governor.