State of the
Take a look at where the horse world you love has been recently
and where it might be headed in the future.
THE GREAT RECESSION: most of us will never forget
it. Many people lost their jobs. Others lost their homes.
And people weren’t the only ones who suffered. The 2008
financial crisis hurt horses, too.
Across the country, people started
giving up their horses. Many sold
for a lot less than they were worth.
Others that weren’t so lucky were
abandoned in the backyards of
foreclosed properties or in open
spaces with the hope they might be
able to survive on their own.
Many of those who held on to
their horses stopped going to horse
shows and bought fewer supplies,
spending as little on horse-related
activities and products as possible.
The horse industry took a huge hit
as the economy floundered.
But finally, we have some good
news. The U.S. economy seems to be
picking up, and the horse industry
is stabilizing. So say the results of
a recent horse-ownership survey
conducted by American Horse
Publications (AHP), an organization
of equine media professionals.
The survey, sponsored by Zoetis,
shows the horse industry is now
holding steady, with indications
of future growth.
Conducted by interviewing
more than 10,000 horse owners
online, the AHP Equine Industry
Survey indicates that 89 percent
of respondents expect to own or
manage the same number of horses,
or more, in 2016. Furthermore,
93 percent of respondents
plan to enter the same or more
equine competitions than they
did last year.
“I found it reassuring that, when
looking at the results from the
survey collectively, it’s clear that
the equine industry has stabilized
and is perhaps even growing
slightly in terms of the amount of
people who are competing and the
number of horses people own,” says
survey statistician C. Jill Stowe,
Ph.D., director of the University
of Kentucky Agriculture Equine
Programs. “We first saw evidence
of this in the 2012 American
Horse Publications survey, and it
continued in this study.”
» BY AUDREY PAVIA