Chip Bennett knows the Real Impact changes to the purse structure will have on our community. Chip insures over 200 farms in our community... Real People will lose Real Jobs which will have a Real Impact on all of our local businesses.
Chip Bennett is in the commercial and personal insurance business and he understands the impact the
racing industry has on Jefferson County. He moved here in 1973, became involved with the farm insurance business in 1990 and estimates he insures 200 farms in Jefferson County. “These horse, dairy and agriculture farms are the backbone of our economy and they depend on racing to prosper,” says Chip.
With over 40 years in the community and over 24 years in agricultural, commercial and personal insurance he understands how the horse racing industry impacts our economy. “Eliminate any part of horse racing purses and you will have a negative impact on the farmers that raise quality grain, hay and straw,” says Chip. Other industries insured by the Bennett Agency that would be negatively impacted are veterinarian businesses, supply stores and many other businesses that market to horsemen.
Chip believes, “the losses won't stop with hay, grain and straw and that's not good for anyone in Jefferson County. Continue to cut racing funds and you will see a loss in population, real estate and taxes. If racing was to be totally eliminated in Jefferson County, it would be quite a shock. It would be about 20% of our business.”
Mr. Bennett doesn't believe cutting back on racing funds is good for our community. Jefferson County, the largest agricultural county in West Virginia, has beautiful farms, particularly the horse farms. Instead of cut backs, he would like to see more promotion done for thoroughbred racing. He would like to see more people visit our community to participate in racing. Thoroughbred horse racing is an elevated form of entertainment that Mr. Bennett says, “we are glad to have in our community.”