Legislation could open starting gate to Paint horse breed in Kentucky


By Stu Johnson WEKU News

Paint Horse. Photographer unknown.
Paint Horse. Photographer unknown.

There’s an effort underway to bring the paint horse breed into the racing mix in Kentucky. Legislation to clear the way for paints to participate in sprint horse racing is making its way through the Kentucky General Assembly.

Rich Wilke is with the American Quarter Horse Association. “This is the kind of racing that never goes more than a half a mile. A thousand yards is the most they ever go, so that would be quarter horses predominantly, but also paints and appaloosas. They are the other major sprint breeds,” said Wilke.

Keeneland officials are considering establishing a sprint track in the Corbin area. Wilke says surveys show there are some 75,000 paint horses within a 100 mile radius of Corbin. Wilke says the legislation would bring with it an economic boost.

“Where ever there’s any kind of competition, there’s always an incentive to breed better horses, so if we have paint racing in Kentucky, there’s no question that that would stimulate paint breeding,” added Wilke.

Wilke says lower profile thoroughbreds with what he calls ‘cheap speed’ are sometimes bred with paints. “They have speed, but nobody really cares that much, so they can cross legally with paints and so I think they’ll be a big demand for that and it will be an economic boost,” said Wilke.

The bill has passed out of a House committee. See story »


This is of course a terrible idea, no matter how you look at it. We need fewer horses bred not more. And the AQHA does not require live cover only. Who is going to “keep the book” on these horses? The AQHA? What a stellar history they have.

I am surprised (but not too surprised) the Thoroughbred industry in Kentucky is even considering supporting anything like this.

This has been tried and failed elsewhere. The industry can’t keep enough Thoroughbreds fit enough (or long enough) to fill race cards because of the horse destroying drugging and abuse, so they are going for what they see as a “cheap imitation”.

I have been to horse racing in Texas where they have cards like this, and punters get bored pretty darn quickly with these sprint races.

And from what I have witnessed firsthand, the indifferent way breeders and trainers treat these “lesser” horses is even more gut wrenching than the abuses meted out to the grand old Thoroughbred. But this is par for the course for horse racing in the good ol’ USA right?

Kentucky is one of the very worst States for a domestic animal to live and work in, with some of the weakest animal protection laws in the country. So how is anyone who gives a damn about these horses going to protect them? Perhaps that is seen as yet another bonus to these sick jokers.

Kentucky, tell the AQHA to take a hike and get out of town with this idea. —Editor.

5 thoughts on “Legislation could open starting gate to Paint horse breed in Kentucky”

  1. I agree, and hope that Kentucky will not allow this to occur.
    No more overbreeding of horses… it just fuels the slaughter pipeline.
    The Paint Horse Association needs to be responsible for the foals they register. As it is now, Quarter and Paint horses make up 70%of the slaughter horses , typical ages 3-10. Just disgusting…and a smear on the reputation of these Breed Associations,


  2. Its greed and more greed driving this breeding of paints just to make a few bucks. If they get away with this the auctions will be filled with paints of every color that either didn’t make it on the track or the brood mares the breeders want to dump. What a mess.


  3. Please this can’t happen! These truly American and special horses will be more abused than they are now. It was one thing when Native Americans matched raced their horses for pure sport. Their horses were revered. What a travesty this would be. We have Quarterhorses dumped by the thousands at slaughter and kill buyer sales. We can’t rescue them fast enough and they end up in appalling condition hauled by the thousand to the northern and southern slaughterhouses. We should never allow anymore short-sighted racing opportunities. For the horses this is certain peril. Without live cover breeding requirements these poor babies will be bred like bacteria in a microbiology lab. The rescue field is overtaxed, underfunded and overwhelmed. I don’t for one minute believe that this legislation imposes adoption, retirement and placement requirements as one of its tenets. So a loud and resounding NO is all I can say to this thoughtless, ridiculous proposal.


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