Articles: Press Release
Most Comprehensive Horse Study Ever Reveals a Nearly $40 Billion Impact
on the U.S. Economy
United States Equestrian Federation, Inc.
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Tel: (859) 258-2472
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Web site: www.usef.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2005
by the American Horse Council
The horse industry in the United States contributes $39 billion in
direct economic impact to the U.S. economy and supports 1.4 million jobs
on a full-time basis, according to a new study released today by the
American Horse Council (AHC). When indirect and induced spending are
included, the industry's economic impact reaches $102 billion. The study
also estimates the horse population in this country has reached 9.2
The study, conducted by Deloitte Consulting, LLC over the last year, was
commissioned by the American Horse Council Foundation with major funding
support from the American Quarter Horse Association, The Jockey Club,
the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited,
Keeneland Association, American Paint Horse Association, American
Association of Equine Practitioners, U.S. Trotting Association,
Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association and the U.S. Equestrian
The study, titled The Economic Impact of the Horse Industry in the
United States, is the most comprehensive research document ever compiled
on the American horse industry. (The media can access a summary of the
report at www.HorseCouncil.org/pressstudyinfo.)
The study reveals:
"This study paints a portrait of an industry that operates in every
corner of the country and contributes mightily to the American economy
and culture," said Jay Hickey, President of the AHC. "Never before has
the impact of our industry been so dramatically demonstrated."
- An industry that is both large and economically diverse, as
well as a key contributor to the overall fabric of the U.S. economy;
- Horse owners and industry suppliers, racetracks, and off-track
betting operations, horse shows and other industry segments all generate
discrete economic activity contributing to the vibrancy of the overall
- Of the total economic impacts reported, approximately $32.0
billion is generated from the recreational segment; $28.8 billion from
the showing segment and $26.1 billion is generated from the racing
"Millions of Americans have a personal commitment to the horse industry,
from the grassroots to those who compete nationally and
internationally," said David O'Connor President of the United States
Equestrian Federation and an Individual Olympic Gold Medalist. "Some are
kids riding their backyard horse for the sheer joy of it, some support
their family working for an equine business, and others are breeders and
competitors at the highest levels. Together they contribute billions to
the economic health of our country through their shared passion for the
great American icon, the horse."
"Horses have a special place in America's history and culture," said
Congressman Don Sherwood (R-Pennsylvania). "This study clearly
demonstrates the horse industry's significant role in America's
"As someone who has spent a lifetime around horses, I understand how
much they are a central piece of our nation's fabric, from rodeos and
trail riding to racing and showing," said Representative Joel Hefley
(R-Colorado). "This report demonstrates how horses of every breed
positively impact our economy and our way of life."
"This study confirms what many of us in the Congress already knew, that
the American horse industry is a vital contributor to the U.S. economy
while bringing pleasure to millions of people," said Senator Mitch
Some of the key industry statistics and economic indicators reflected in
the study include:
In conducting the study, Deloitte contacted 400,000 horse owners and
other industry participants involved in all segments of the horse
industry, including people involved in both the recreational and
commercial spheres. The report is available for a fee by contacting the
AHCF at www.HorseCouncil.org.
- Estimated number of horses in the U.S.
- Estimated number of horses by Activity
- Recreation, 3,906,923
- Showing, 2,718,954
- Racing, 844,531
- Other, 1,752,439
- Estimated number of horses by Breed
- Quarter Horse, 3,288,203
- Thoroughbred, 1,291,807
- Other Horses, 4,642,739
- Estimated number of horses in each of the 50 states.
- Texas (one million), California (700,000) and Florida
(500,000) are the leading horse states.
- 45 of 50 states have at least 20,000 horses.
- Number of people participating in the industry.
- By form of participation (e.g., owner, volunteer, etc.).
- Owners, 2 million
- Volunteers, 2 million
- By demographic breakdown (age, income, etc.).
- Direct, indirect and induced economic impacts of the industry on
U.S. and individual state economies.
- Contributions to Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Nationally, $102 billion via direct, indirect
and induced spending.
- Number of Full-Time Equivalent (FTE) jobs produced.
About American Horse Council
The AHC represents the horse industry in Washington, D.C. Organized in
1969, it has been promoting and protecting the industry by communicating
with Congress, federal agencies, the media and the industry on behalf of
all horse related interests. The AHC is member supported by individuals
and organizations representing every facet of the horse world, including
owners, breeders, veterinarians, farriers, breed registers, horsemen's
associations, race tracks, rodeos, commercial suppliers and state horse