SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The Agriculture and New York State Horse Breeding Development Fund announces the New York Sire Stakes County Fair Series will now carry guaranteed minimum purses of $2,000 per division and that a new fair venue has been added to the schedule this year.

The new guaranteed purse was approved by the Fund’s Board of Trustees as part of the conditions for 2020 and better acknowledges the costs of competing for connections of horses in the series. Purses will be calculated in the same way based on the number of entrants, but any purses that do not reach $2,000, with declaration fees included, will be supplemented by the Fund to reach the guarantee.

“Horsemen and women travel thousands of miles each summer to support this racing series and put on a great show at our County Fairs. This added investment in the program recognizes their dedication and reaffirms the Fund’s commitment to the ongoing health and quality of County Fair racing in New York,” said M. Kelly Young, executive director of the Fund.

“In addition, we are pleased to partner with SUNY Morrisville and the Madison County Fair to offer a new racing opportunity to fans and horsemen. We look forward to the nexus between education and fair racing and can’t wait to see the results. We are expecting another exciting season at County Fairs around the state, strengthened by owners and trainers who purchase and raise New York-breds.”

This is the first time in recent memory that harness racing will occur under the banner of the Madison County Fair. Stalls used during the annual SUNY Morrisville yearling sale will be made available for competitors and the school’s training track will receive upgrades to make it ready for County Fair-level competition. Planning for the event is currently underway.

The Fund has released the tentative schedule for the New York Sire Stakes County Fair Series. This year’s season gets underway July 2 at the Orange County Fair at Goshen Historic Track. The series will visit 21 county fairs throughout the summer, culminating in the County Fair Finals on Labor Day, Sept. 7, at Batavia Downs, with each championship worth $10,000. The full schedule of race dates can be viewed here.

Select County Fair Series race dates will also include Racing Under Saddle (RUS) exhibitions. RUS is a hybrid between harness and Thoroughbred racing where riders race atop Standardbreds at a trot. RUS-NY was formed in 2014 to increase interest in the sport and showcase the versatility of the Standardbred breed.

Visit the New York Sire Stakes website at for more information.

About the Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund:
The Agriculture & NYS Horse Breeding Development Fund is a public benefit corporation established in 1965 by the Laverne Law (Laws of New York, Chapter 567 of the Laws of 1965). The mission of the fund is to promote agriculture through 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 races, Excelsior/State Fair Series races, and County Fair Races.

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