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Horse Breeding Fund Gives $35,000 to Harness Museum

ReadMedia (press release) - Albany,NY,USA

AG & NYS Horse Breeding Fund Gives $35,000 to Harness Museum

Grant Monies to Support Equine Educational Programs for School Children

ALBANY, NY (07/28/2008; 1353)(readMedia)-- Peter Goold, executive director of the Agriculture & New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund (the Fund) today announced the Fund has provided $35,000 in funding for the Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, NY. The Museum will use the funding to help provide equine education programs to school children.

"We are happy to provide this grant to the Harness Racing Museum," Goold said. "Its equine education program provides a fun, quality learning experience for children. Fostering young people's interest in the equine industry is essential to perpetuating the standardbred breeding and racing industries in New York State and the Museum's educational programs are a vital aspect of this endeavour."

The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law. The mission of the Fund is to promote agriculture through advocating the breeding of standardbred horses and the conduct of equine research within the State. To carry out its legislative mission, the Fund administers the New York Sire Stakes Racing Program and provides grants to county agriculture societies and select equine education and research programs.

New York has a $1.4 billion equine industry, which protects nearly one million acres of farmland and provides more than 12,500 jobs annually. Specifically, the harness and standardbred breeding industries in New York contribute approximately $125 million to the state's economy each year and provide an estimated 1500 jobs. Ensuring that young New Yorkers continue to have interest in our state's equine indusrty is crucial to ensuring the industry's viablitity in future years.

Harness Racing Museum president, Elbridge T. Gerry Jr., in acknowledging the grant, remarked, "We are deeply grateful for the enthusiastic endorsement of our educational programming by the Fund's trustees. Our efforts on behalf of the sport of harness racing, to engage the interest of people of all ages, especially the youth of New York State, will be greatly enhanced by this significant funding support."

The Harness Racing Museum is an invaulable resource in helping to perpetuate the Fund's mission.

Each year approximately 5,000 children benefit from the Harness Racing Museum's equine education programs. The programs are certified by the New York State Education Department and meet learning model standards.

Programs are tailored by grade level and class needs. Programs include:

The recently introduced program "Own Your Own Standardbred Horse" is popular with older students. Encompassing three NYS learning standards, Social Studies, English and Mathematics, students in grades five through ten learn how to determine a budget, purchase a horse at auction, form a syndicate, retain a trainer, pay expenses, and reap the rewards of owning a Standardbred horse.

"Through the Eyes of Currier and Ives," an art program for children grades one through six. The program brings the children back in time to the 1800's where they study the work of the famous printmakers, especially lithographs featuring trotting horses, and learn about life in the 19th century.

"Why we are Friends," a social studies program about horses for children grades k-2. Through comparison studies, students learn the basic needs and wants of horses and explore the similarities and differences to human families.

"Hambletonian's Birthday," a local history program for children grads three through five. Students learn about the legendary horse while dressing up as historical figures and participating in a play. The program explores social, historical and cultural aspects of American History.

"The History of Transportation," a program for children grades two through six. This hands-on program teaches children about the invention of the wheel, early transportation and how the horse has played a role in travel.

"The Holiday Program," a winter celebration for children grades pre-k through three. Held from November through January, this program teaches children about winter life in the 19th century. Here the children experience a real-life open-horse sleigh and craft making.

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