Pennsylvania’s landmark Race Horse Development Fund has invested millions into local economic development, farm expansion and job creation. Created in 2004 as part of Pennsylvania’s Race Horse Development and Gaming Act, the fund has created 23,000 jobs and generates $1.6 billion annually in economic activity. Horse owners and trainers reinvest approximately 89 percent, or $210 million, into their local communities. Farms have directly benefited, investing $22 million in land, improvements and equipment, and are home to about $40 million in racehorses.
The numbers prove Pennsylvania’s Race Horse Development Fund is an incredible economic development success that has served as a model for other states. Behind the numbers, there are countless stories of hard-working people who have invested their future in Pennsylvania. Faces of PA Horse Racing will introduce you to a few of those people.
Bob Brandt, Owner and Businessman
Quality is Key
Bob Brandt was destined to be in the equine business. His path was paved long before he settled on a career. The mill Brandt now owns and runs dates back five generations.
Brandt fondly recalls being a young boy fostering his passion for horses. Little did he know that a passion for horses and a family business would lead him to a partnership with Kentucky Equine Research (KER) and the development of high-quality equine feed.
The relationship with KER has been one of the keys to Brandt’s success on and off the racetrack. He knew creating a healthy feed for racehorses would be beneficial not only to the mill but to the Pennsylvania racehorse community.
Brandt is a quiet man with a vision. He’s found his niche in the equine feed business but understands the economic impact he’s having across the state. It’s more than making and distributing the product — it’s about jobs, communities, dedication and the hard work of everyone involved.
“When the Race Horse Development Fund was established, I was able to renovate the mill and update its machinery,” he said. “In my case, the fund allowed the average feed mill company the chance to compete with the large companies without the fear of failing. The incentive from the fund gave me hope that the best was yet to come. Thanks, in part, to the fund and the renovations, Brandt’s Mill was able to establish new relationships throughout the tri-state area.”
Since the Race Horse Development Fund was created, Brandt completed renovations at the mill, continued training horses at his farm in Annville, and developed into a leader in the equine feed business because of the relationship with KER and the research they are able to provide.
On any given day, Brandt can be found in his mill in Lebanon County, making sure his products are safe and high-quality, not only for his horses but for everyone who trusts and respects this fifth generation businessman.