The CHC supports the creation of a Horse Park in the state of Connecticut. The Horse industry within the state is large and profitable enough to support such a site, and when not being utilized, it may be used for other exciting venues. This would not only be a benefit to the state and the town in which it is located, but also would encourage more growth within the horse industry, as it could be the premier site for New England Equine events. The CHC has been working diligently with other groups over the last several years to further this issue. Ultimately, we believe that a Horse Park is a viable option, and we would like to see one built here in Connecticut.
The CHC supports a repeal of the law allowing taxation of horses in the state of Connecticut. We believe that the current law is arbitrary and discriminatory. A horse is defined as livestock, and other livestock groups are not taxed on the individual animal as horses are, and pets are not taxed on their value either. Additionally, the majority of other states do not have a state property tax on individually owned equids.
CHC supports the preservation of trails for equestrian use. We are against the paving of trails through Greenways as has happened in the past in the state. Rather, we would prefer to see a natural surface on trails or as a compromise, the use of Stone Dust or other such surfaces where paving must be done. Wherever possible, we will work with other trail users or special interest groups to preserve and maintain trails, and to ensure that all our trails are protected from destruction or restriction of access. We feel that horses can coexist with other trail user groups.
CHC believes that prevention and planning are in the best interests of both horse owners and the general public. We actively supported legislation in 2007 that directs municipalities in CT to consider horses and livestock in their disaster plans. We have also created educational and training programs for both horse owners and first responders in order to facilitate safety and awareness.
In recent years, horse farms have been under pressure from increased zoning issues. CHC has actively participated in public hearings and meetings of zoning boards to represent the interests of horse and farm owners. Often, disagreements arise though misunderstandings on the part of both horse owners and town officials. CHC believes that following best management practices will often alleviate many problems. To that end, we offer educational materials to both horse owners and zoning board members to assist in resolving conflicts.