Taking a picture of the U.S. equine industry

William Woods Equestrian

In a post on the William Woods University Equestrian Studies Facebook page in June, we linked to the National Economic Impact Study of the U.S. Equine Industry.

This survey will be used in a number of ways, but it had many asking what exactly is a global impact study? And how will this kind of data be used?

According to the American Horse Council (AHC), who conducts the survey in partnership with the Innovation Group, “An economic impact study examines the effect an event or industry has on the economy. It usually measures business revenue, business profits, personal wages, and/or jobs.”

Studying the equine industry can provide statistical proof of the economic effects of the racing, showing, recreation and other segments of the horse industry — on local and national economies. This study provides demographic insights into professions and related industries that are impacted by equine ownership.

The data is used in a number of ways.

For example, one previous blog post highlighted the William Woods University equestrian course EQU 111 Introduction to the horse industry. Look into Equestrian noted that the horse industry directly contributes around $39 billion to the U.S. economy and supports 1.4 million full-time jobs. Indirectly, accounting for spending such as weather-prepared apparel, transportation, lodging, etc., the industry’s economic impact reaches upwards of $112 billion.

This information was taken from when the survey was last completed in 2005, but a lot has happened since — new technology, changes in horse care, recreation, and a completely different overall economy in general.

The survey will help the horse industry remain up-to-date in educating the public and the media about the importance it has on the overall economy.

The American Horse Council is a non-profit trade organization charged with making sure horses and their people have a voice in Washington — serving as experts and advocates in a number of issues, including trail use on public lands, import/export issues, disease control, taxes and more.

In this way, the study will be used to help members of Congress and state legislatures, as well as constituents, fully understand the impact of government action on the economy and the equine industry through tangible, statistical proof.

According to the AHC website, it can also be relevant in:

  • Examining the consequences and impacts of economic development projects and efforts, such as real estate development (competition grounds), business openings and closures, and site selection projects
  • Helping to increase community support for these projects, as well as help obtain grants, and tax incentives
  • Economic Impact Studies are used frequently in planning and decision making regarding product development and to aid in development of marketing strategies

In addition to their Introduction to the Horse Industry, equestrian studies students at William Woods can also take the upper level course Conflicts and Controversies in the Equine Industry where they explore the kinds of ethical, moral, and major controversies within the industry. Students learn to build arguments on these subjects and educate someone outside of the industry using the facts, such as those gathered in this impact survey. The final class project is centered on a bill or legislation currently on the table, which will impact the industry.

The impact survey ended August 1, and results are expected soon.

How have you seen the equine industry change in 12 years?

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