Category: Equine

Governor Signs Dancer Legislation Allowing Employees To Live On Horse Farms

January 7, 2021

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Home is where the horse is— at least that’s the case in New Jersey after Gov. Phil Murphy signed Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill permitting full-time, year-round farm employees to reside on premises where horses are boarded. 

“Groomers, trainers and other full-time farm employees often need extended access to the horses they care for,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “Permitting them to live on the premises will allow them to fully perform their duties and take better care of these animals.”

The legislation (A2768/S1245) amends the Right to Farm Act to allow housing for equine-related farm employees as long as it is in a separate area or level from the horses, has its own ventilation system and meets all uniform construction code standards, including fire ratings. The Right to Farm Act protects responsible commercial farms from public and private nuisance actions and unduly restrictive municipal regulations.  

“Taking care of a horse is one of the most demanding and worthwhile jobs one could do,” said Dancer. “The horse industry is important to New Jersey’s economy, providing over 13,000 jobs, as well as to our environment with more than 7,200 horse farms providing 176,000 acres of green pasture land and open space.” 

New Jersey has more horses per capita than any other state in the nation. Horses are so important to the state’s economy, history and culture that they are designated the state animal. 


Dancer’s Bill Allowing Employees To Live On Horse Farms Advances

October 22, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s bill to allow housing for employees at facilities that board horses passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee Thursday.

The bill (A2768) would amend the Right to Farm Act to allow housing for equine-related farm employees as long as the newly constructed housing is in a separate area or level from the horses and meets all Uniform Construction Code standards, including fire ratings.

The bill also makes providing this housing an act that falls under Right to Farm protections.

“Farm employees often need more access to the horses they care for,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “They will be able to take better care of these animals if they can live on the same farm.”

Dancer’s bill will require the state agriculture development committee to adopt rules and regulations to implement the bill. The committee would adopt an agricultural management practice that permits the housing of equine-related farm employees in the same building where the horses are boarded either in a separate area or level from the horses.

“Taking care of a horse is one of the most demanding and worthwhile jobs one could do,” said Dancer. “The horse industry is important to New Jersey’s economy, and we must keep this industry thriving.”

Health And Safety Protocols For Horse Racing In NJ

May 30, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–Governor Phil Murphy and Superintendent of the State Police Colonel Patrick Callahan today announced an Administrative Order authorizing horse racetracks to reopen on June 1st with no spectators, and with health and safety protocols in place. The Order will take effect immediately.

“Horse racing is an important part of our state economy and a beloved pastime in New Jersey.” said Governor Murphy. “I am happy to announce that after close consultation with our office, racetracks in our state will be able to reopen in the coming days.”

Racetracks will be able to open on June 1st, for racing without spectators. The AO also requires racetracks to adhere to a number of social distancing requirements that are laid out in the order. Under the order, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Racing Commission, or her designee, will have the authority to inspect racetracks to ensure that all required policies are being followed.

A copy of the Administrative Order can be found here.


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Dancer bill excluding horse-boarding services from sales tax goes to governor’s desk

January 13, 2020

TRENTON, N.J. – Both the Senate and Assembly passed legislation (A1045) today, sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, to exempt horse boarding, maintenance and related services from the state sales tax.

“There has been ongoing confusion in the industry about tax responsibilities, and as a result, stables have closed up shop and abandoned the state,” said Dancer (R-Ocean), who has been pushing the measure since November 2013.

Horse boarding, maintenance and servicing businesses are required to register as a seller with the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury. Under current law, they are being taxed as “space for storage.” The bill relieves these businesses and services from sales tax obligations.

“Our neighboring states do not charge sales tax on horse boarding services. By leveling the playing field, New Jersey’s equine horse industry will no longer be at a competitive disadvantage,” Dancer continued.  “Establishing clear sales tax guidelines will save New Jersey jobs and businesses. Horses are farm livestock, not ‘storage units’ in a warehouse and are stabled, not stored. I thank the Legislature for advancing this important bill.”

The Rutgers Equine Science Center estimates the horse industry contributes more than $1 billion to the economy in a state with more than $4 billion in equine-related assets.

The bill now goes to Gov. Phil Murphy for consideration.

Dancer bill excluding horse-boarding services from sales tax advances

January 7, 2020

TRENTON, N.J. – Today the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee advanced legislation (A1045) sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer that would exempt horse boarding, maintenance and related services from the state sales tax.

“There has been ongoing confusion in the industry about tax responsibilities, and as a result, stables have closed up shop and abandoned the state,” said Dancer (R-Ocean), who has been pushing the measure since November 2013.

Horse boarding, maintenance and servicing businesses are required to register as a seller with the Division of Taxation in the Department of Treasury. Under current law, they are being taxed as “space for storage.” The bill relieves these businesses and services from sales tax obligations.

“Horse-related business plays an important role in our state’s economy,” Dancer continued.  “Establishing clear sales tax guidelines will save New Jersey jobs and businesses. Horses are farm livestock, not ‘storage units’ in a warehouse and are stabled, not stored.”

The Rutgers Equine Science Center estimates the horse industry contributes more than $1 billion to the economy in a state with more than $4 billion in equine-related assets.

The bill will now go to the Senate President for consideration. It passed the Assembly in June 2018.

Update: Bill A-4800 Special Licence Plate for State Animal the Horse Passes Committee

November 17, 2019 Updated November 19, 2019

Update: I have revived a communication from Assemblyman Ron Dancer that Bill A-4800 passed the Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee and will advance to the next process. See below:

“I am a co-sponsor of A4800 and am pleased to inform you that the bill passed Assembly Transportation and Independent Authorities Committee on November 18, 2019. “

Ron Dancer
Assemblyman
12th Legislative District

TRENTON, NJ–Assembly Transportation and Committee will hear the Bill A-4800 on Monday November 18, 2019 for creation of a special licence plate for NJ’s State Animal the horse. The bill originally introduced on December 10, 2018 is sponsored by: Assemblyman Kevin J. Rooney, Assemblyman John J. Burzichelli, Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Daniel R. Benson, Co sponsored by Assemblymen Thompson and Dancer

Holiday Fun at the Horse Farm

By: Dennis Symons, Jr.

November 16, 2019

UPPER FREEHOLD TOWNSHIP, NJ–The Standardbred Retirement Foundation held their “Holiday Fun at the Horse Farm” event Sunday. There was plenty to see and do for all, including a baby and mother horse where mom was tagged for slaughter and rescued. Horses were being shown in the riding rink outside as well as in the barn. A charity auction, outdoor fire place with marshmallows on a stick with hot cocoa, wine tasting, holiday shopping, free tack items, and the “Horse Plop Bingo” kept everyone busy.

Also at the event was several dogs saved from India and Baku City, Azerbaijan (Former Soviet Republic) by Zani’s Furry Friends ZFF, inc. The non-profit rescues animals internationally and finds homes for the animals. To adopt a furry friend see this link.

Horses are available for adoption from the Standardbred Retirement Foundation, 42 Arneytown-Hornerstown Rd, Cream Ridge, NJ 08514