02/14/2007 12:00AM

Auction disclosure bill tabled

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A bill that would have required consignors of auction horses to disclose more information about ownership and medication was tabled on Wednesday for the remainder of 2007 under a compromise between the bill's supporters and opponents.

The bill, which was being pushed by California winemaker and horse owner Jess Jackson, had become a source of friction in Central Kentucky, pitting advocates of more disclosure at horse sales against sales companies and consignors. The legislation was first introduced late last week and had its first hearing in front of the House Committee on Licensing and Occupation on Wednesday morning.

Nick Nicholson, the president of Keeneland Association, which sells more horses than any other sales company in the world, said that the sales company pushed for the legislation to be tabled because industry participants had not had enough time to study the particulars of the bill's language and potential impacts.

"The language of the bill just became available this weekend," Nicholson said. "This is a complex subject, and it needed the benefit of perspective and collaboration from a wider group of people in the industry than those that had been involved in writing the bill."

The bill would have required consignors to specifically identify all owners of a horse at the time that the horse entered the sales ring, as well as disclose medications that had been given to the horse. Current auction-house rules do not require the disclosure of either.