AHC: Horse Show Industry has Significant Economic Impact

For anyone that has participated in (or merely paid for!) a horse show, there is no doubt that these activities generate a lot of money. The American Horse Council's study, Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States, included statistics confirming the significant impact of the horse show industry.

Among horse owners, 481,238 are primarily involved in competition. That accounts for 10.33% of the total number of people who participate in equestrian activities, be they horse owners, employees, family members, or volunteers.

To take a closer look at the population of the showing segment of the horse industry, the study breaks down the number of horses by breed. More than one million Quarter Horses are used specifically for showing purposes, along with 336,992 Thoroughbreds, and another 1.3 million horses belonging to other breeds.

The owners of these horses spend and generate a lot of money to stay in the show ring. The resulting effect on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the showing industry alone is $28.8 billion--$10.8 billion in direct effects and $18 billion in indirect and induced effects.

This information can be broken down even further by specifying the effect by horse breed--Thoroughbreds used for showing have a $2.2 billion direct effect and a $6 billion total effect (including indirect and induced effects) on the GDP. Competition Quarter Horses have a $4 billion direct effect and $10.8 billion total effect. The rest of the breeds have a $4.4 billion direct effect and $11.9 billion total effect.

The revenues and expenses for an individual show can vary widely based on location, size, and number of participants. However, the study showed that the average show generates $158,724 in revenues and has $135,740 in general operating costs. There are also federal, state, and local taxes to be paid, which total an average of $604. These numbers do not include the revenues and expenses related to any show that cannot be tracked by those organizing the event.

Thousands of employees are required to keep all of the money flowing and shows running. The study converted part-time and seasonal employees to a full-time equivalent basis to accurately determine the number of jobs generated by the horse industry. The showing industry generates 99,051 full-time equivalent positions. Jobs associated with competition Thoroughbreds equal 27,107, Quarter Horses 35,067, and other breeds 36,877.

When you add the number of jobs generated directly by the industry and add indirect and induced employment, those numbers go even higher. Indirect employment represents jobs provided as a result of spending by industry providers and induced employment represents jobs provided as a result of spending by industry employees. The showing industry has a total effect on full-time equivalent employment of 380,416 jobs.

The American Horse Council's Economic Impact of the Horse Industry on the United States study contains all of these statistics and more. The comprehensive study also analyzes the racing and recreation industries, as well as breaking down all of these numbers by state for the 15 states that participated in breakout studies.

The national study and individual state studies are available for purchase from the American Horse Council at www.horsecouncil.org or by phone at 202/296-4031.

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