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    AHCF Announces Results of 2017 Economic Impact Study

    March 1, 2018

    The American Horse Council Foundation (AHCF) is pleased to announce the results of its anticipated 2017 Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Horse Industry. The AHCF would like to thank The Innovation Group for their work on this important study.

    The equine industry in the U.S. generates approximately $122 billion in total economic impact, an increase from $102 billion in the 2005 Economic Impact Study. The industry also provides a total employment impact of 1.74 million, and generates $79 billion in total salaries, wages, and benefits. The current number of horses in the United States stands at 7.2 million. Texas, California, and Florida continue to be the top three states with the highest population of horses.

    “Those involved in the equine industry already know how important it is to the U.S. economy. Having these updated numbers is critical not only to the AHC’s efforts up on Capitol Hill, but also for the industry to demonstrate to the general public how much of a role the equine has in American households,” said AHC President Julie Broadway. “While the number of horses in the US has decreased, this was not entirely unexpected due to the decline in breed registration trends over the last few years.”

    Another bright spot for the industry: 38 million, or 30.5%, of U.S. households contain a horse enthusiast, and 38% of participants are under the age of 18. Additionally, approximately 80 million acres of land is reserved for horse-related activities.

    “For this update of the study we wanted to get a better picture of the number of youth in the pipeline, which is a number that we have not previously included in our economic impact studies. Additionally, being able to put a number of the amount of land use for equine-related activities is essential to ensuring that we are able to continue to protect and preserve that land for its intended use,” said Ms. Broadway.

    The National Economic Impact Study is available for purchase through the AHC website here: http://www.horsecouncil.org/horsecouncil-publications/. Additionally, the 15 state breakouts will be available for purchase by the beginning of April. If you have any questions, please contact the AHC at  info@horsecouncil.org.


    Feds Measure Economic Impact of Outdoor Recreation including Equestrian Activities

    Februry 18, 1028, Written by Kim McCarrel, OET VP Public Lands
    Equestrians have always sensed that we have a significant economic impact, but we couldn’t prove it. Now, for the first time ever, the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) is measuring the economic impact of equestrian activities as part of its analysis of outdoor recreation.

    The BEA has just released the preliminary findings from its comprehensive analysis of the outdoor economy. It found that outdoor recreation accounted for $373.7 billion in 2016, growing by 3.8% compared to the 2.8% growth in the overall economy. This means that outdoor recreation accounted for more than 2% of the total economy in 2016—on par with the total economic impact of all restaurants and bars nationwide.  The biggest economic driver in the recreation sector, not surprisingly, is motorized vehicles, at $59.4 billion in 2016. RV’s accounted for more than half of this value, and motorcycles were $11.3 billion. The boating and fishing category came next, with an economic impact of $38.2 billion.

    In 2016, equestrian activities accounted for $12.7 billion. This compares with just $3.3 billion for bicycling, $9.3 billion for hunting, and $7.9 billion for camping/climbing/hiking.  Before we get too excited by these numbers, it’s important to note that outdoor equestrian activities besides trail riding are included in the statistic above. Nonetheless, this is the first time that the government has measured the economic impact of equestrian activities, and it’s nice to see how we compare with other parts of the outdoor industry.

    Outdoor recreation has always been included in the U.S. GDP measures, of course, but the numbers didn’t allow you to identify the impact of outdoor recreation by itself. For example, in the conventional GDP numbers, RV sales were included in total motor vehicle sales, and RV manufacturing was included in other transportation equipment. The new BEA study slices and dices the general GDP figures so the impact of outdoor recreation can be identified on a stand-alone basis. Unfortunately, BEA’s preliminary numbers don’t identify what activities besides trail riding are included in the equestrian figures. When the finalized numbers are released in September, hopefully we’ll be able to get a more complete picture of what is included in the $12.7 billion equestrian activities statistic.

    In the meantime, it’s nice to know that, at last, someone is quantifying the impact of equestrian activity on the economy. And it’s interesting to see how we stack up relative to other types of outdoor recreation.

    You can find more information about the BEA economic analysis at https://www.bea.gov/outdoor-recreation/.

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