AUSTIN - State Representative Sid Miller (R-Stephenville) announced today that the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock held a public hearing on his legislation creating a Texas Equine Incentive Fund, House Bill 1881. This legislation would work to promote and retain Texas’ large equine industry. The bill later passed favorably out of the committee.

“House Bill 1881 creates a program that not only benefits horse breeders and owners, but also the Texas economy,” Miller said. “As chair of the Agriculture and Livestock Committee, I held several hearings on this issue and realized the huge impact this market has to the Texas economy.”

Once an $11 billion industry, Texas has lost an estimated $6 billion over the past five years. House Bill 1881 will work to re-grow the Texas equine industry and help fuel the Texas economy. Kentucky, among others, began similar programs and have seen success.

“Since other states began these programs, Texas has been unable to retain our horse breeders; the pay outs from the other states’ programs are just too high,” Miller said. “This program will work to keep them here.”

The Equine Incentive Fund will have oversight from the Texas Department of Agriculture and will work as a point-based system awarding Texas horses competing in Texas events.  The fund is industry generated and comes from breeding fees on horse owners.  No state funds will be used. Additionally, the program includes an opt-out provision for those who do not wish to participate. 

“The equine industry in Texas has long provided us with a history rich in our cowboy culture and housed a sense of pride throughout our state,” Miller said “And I am happy to do what I can to keep this valuable industry and the dollars it generates in Texas where it belongs.”