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Equestrian Industry Statistics and Information

A recent study commissioned by the American Horse Council Federation provides an exciting snapshot of the vibrant and diverse horse industry. The study entitled "The Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States" provides compelling details and describes overall trends that are shaping the industry today. Highlights of the study include: Equestrian Industry Statistics
With approximately $39 billion in direct economic impact, the horse industry's importance to the overall health of the American economy cannot be denied. When indirect spending is included the amount jumps to a staggering $102 billion dollars contributed to the American economy.
The economic impact is surprisingly well-balanced between various aspects of the industry with approximately $32 billion generated from the recreation segment, $29 billion from the showing segment, $26 billion from the racing segment and $14.7 billion from other industry segments.
Equestrian Industry Information Approximately 1.4 million full-time equivalent jobs are created by the industry.
The study shows that horse ownership appeals to many different types of people and is not limited to the rich. The almost two million American horse owners are drawn from a wide range of backgrounds and demographics, with 28% of horse owners earning over $100,000 annually and 34% of horse owners having an annual household income of less than $50,000.
Owners, families, and volunteers make up the lion's share of contributors, with employees representing only 15% of participants.

Economic Impact


  • The horse industry is estimated to contribute nearly $40 billion annually to the Gross Domestic Product of the United States economy.When indirect spending is included this number jumps to approximately $63 billion.
  • Revenue generation is well balanced with the important categories of racing, showing and recreation each contributing between $10 and $12 billion.
  • When broken out by type of horse, thoroughbreds in racing have the largest economic impact, stimulating economic activity of over $20 billion annually.
Galloping Across Every State
  • Though there are horses in every state, California , Texas and Florida lead the way in both horse ownership and economic impact.
  • Texas, with nearly a million horses (978,822), leads the nation with the most horses of any state. California comes in second with 698,345 horses and significantly more race tracks than the Lone Star state. For this reason California leads all states in horse related job creation and economic impact.
  • The least amount of horses are found in Rhode Island (3,509), Hawaii (8,037) and Delaware (11,083).
  • Though racing is often the most publicized of horse related activities, there are nearly four times as many horses involved in recreational pursuits (844,531 vs. 3,906,923). Nearly 3 million horses (2,718,954) take part in showing annually.
  • Including owners, employees, family members and volunteers there are approximately 4,659,719 people involved in the horse industry every year. This number does not include the many individuals under the age of 18 who also play important roles. For example, approximately 23% of the U.S. Equestrian Federation's total membership consists of junior members.
Horse Owner Demographics
  • One of the most powerful conclusions of this survey is that there is no such thing as an average American horse owner. Horse owners come from all economic backgrounds, own all types of horses for various purposes and live in a variety of places -- from tiny towns to large cities.
  • The economic diversity of the American horse owner disproves the commonly held belief that significant wealth is a prerequisite for horse ownership. The largest group of horse owners (45%) are drawn from the middle class with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000. Only 9% of the population earns greater than $150,000 yearly and a full 11% of horse owners have an annual income of less than $25,000.
  • Horses are also found in all types of communities from rural to urban. The majority of horses (57%) are concentrated in communities with less than 20,000 people. Cities also have a significant number of animals with 26% of horses residing in areas with population densities of over 50,000.
  • The study has found that horse ownership appeals to people of all ages. The most horse owners (41%) are between the ages of 45 and 59. The 30-44 age bracket is the next most significant group with 35% of horses. The youngest demographic (18-29) is also coming on strong and owns 16% of all horses in America .
The Impact of Breeding
  • Breeding is of particular importance in the racing industry with approximately 428,000 horses involved in or transitioning into or out of the breeding process every year. This breeding alone creates a direct economic impact of $2.2 billion and stimulates the creation of almost 40,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
  • Breeding is also of vital importance in the showing segment. The approximately 704,000 horses involved produce a direct economic impact of $2.3 billion and create 34,000 full-time equivalent jobs.
Job Creation
  • It is estimated that over 700,000 people participate in the horse industry as employees.
  • The racing industry creates the most jobs with full-time equivalent employment of more than 146,000 people. Recreation contributes 128,324 FTE jobs, showing another 99,051 and other categories were responsible for the remaining 79,612 FTE jobs directly attributed to the horse industry.
  • When direct and indirect spending are included it is estimated that the horse industry creates approximately 1.43 million FTE jobs.

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