Survey Evaluating Texas Horse Industry Underway

Texas A&M University researchers are surveying horse owners and others to determine how the equine industry impacts the economy in that state.

Rebekka Dudensing, MS, PhD, assistant professor and Extension economist for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, said that a 2005 American Horse Council survey revealed that more horses resided in Texas than in any other state. That survey also estimated that the horse industry had a $3 billion impact on the Texas economy and an overall impact of $5.2 billion on that state, she said.

“But, a comprehensive economic impact study (specifically) on Texas' horse industry has not been done since 1998,” Dudensing said.

On March 1, the university announced a new survey designed to measure the number of horses in the state, how the animals are used, and how owners spend their horse-related dollars.

“The survey asks how much owners spend on feed, boarding, veterinary (care), and farrier services, and how owners participate in the industry, such as racing, ranching, showing, and breeding,” Dudensing explained.

Owners of industry-related business—such as feed store owners, veterinarians, farriers, trainers, and boarding barn operators—are also invited to participate in the poll, she added.

In a written statement, Jim Heird, PhD, executive professor and coordinator of the university's Equine Initiative, said survey results will be shared with the Texas Department of Agriculture and other policy makers, and “results will be used by industry representatives to respond to current needs of the state's horse owners and related businesses.”

Texas horse owners and owners of related businesses aged 18 years and older have until May 1 to respond to the survey. The poll can be accessed at http://bit.ly/1R61UuH.

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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