The American Horse Council announced it will be updating its national and state economic impact studies in 2017.

“Even though we say ‘update,’ this will truly be a complete re-study of the entire industry and its impact,” says Julie Broadway, AHC president. “Especially since we will now be including demographic information of 18 years and under; as well as expanding to include equine welfare and therapeutic organizations. We anticipate data collection to start in March of 2017, with a completion date of October 2017.”

The 2005 National Economic Study established that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing and recreation, had a $102 billion effect on the U.S. economy, involved 9.2 million horses and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs, according to the AHC. The study has been utilized in the industry’s efforts in Congress and state legislatures and in documenting its size and diversity to the public, press and media.

A number of organizations and individuals within the horse industry provided economic support to assist in the funding of the 1996 and 2005 national studies, Broadway says. The national study will cost an estimated $500,000, while the individual state studies will cost $20,000. The AHC also will be applying for several grants to assist in financing the studies.

“Many organizations, including the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, and the U.S. Equestrian Federation, have already pledged their support,” she says. “We hope other organizations and individuals will pledge to support the study again now that they have seen its value on many levels.”

The Innovation Group has been chosen to conduct the 2017 national study.

“We are very pleased to have The Innovation Group undertake this study,” Broadway says. “They have done numerous economic studies in the gaming, recreation and leisure segments of the U.S. economy and have extensive experience in the horse industry. Their proposal suggested several avenues to approach the industry to get as much information and as broad a sampling as possible. We hope that the industry participates and responds, as we are confident the study results will be extremely valuable.”

Thomas Zitt, executive vice president of The Innovation Group, says his organization is looking forward to conducting the study.

“The Innovation Group and its team members are honored to have been selected for this major benchmarking work,” he says. “We are eager to collaborate with the AHC and industry leaders in producing a comprehensive study.”

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