In 2012, the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Horse Council partnered to fund and implement a statewide Kentucky Equine Survey. With significant funding from the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund and matching funding from the industry as well as UK, the survey was implemented using the data collection services of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service.
The Kentucky Equine Survey reveals how strong the horse industry is in Kentucky and the value it brings to the state relative to income engendered for the many people, products and services necessary to keep the industry moving forward.
The objective of Phase 1 of the Kentucky Equine Survey was to obtain an estimate of the inventory of all breeds of equine (horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules) as well as an estimate of equine-related assets, sales and income, and expenditures. A sample of 15,000 equine operations, stratified by operation size and geographic location, received questionnaires, and data were collected June – October 2012 covering the period January 1 – December 31, 2011.
Although the survey was based on the year 2011, it reveals how strong the horse industry is in Kentucky and the value it brings to the state related to income for the many people and services necessary to keep the industry moving forward.
It is estimated that there are 242,400 horses in Kentucky, residing on 35,000 equine operations. The total value of Kentucky’s equine and equine-related assets was $23.4 billion. The total of all sales and income for equine operations in 2011 was about $1.1 billion, and total equine-related expenditures by equine operations in 2011 were about $1.2 billion..
NASS is currently working on the county-level estimates and will be released upon completion. Results from Phase 2 of the Kentucky Equine Survey, the economic impact analysis, will be available in mid-2013.
It is estimated that there are 35,000 equine operations in Kentucky, with 1.1 million acres devoted for equine use.
The estimated value of the 242,400 equine in Kentucky is about $6.3 billion. In addition, the estimated value of equine-related assets (including land and buildings, vehicles and equipment, feed and supplies, and tack and equestrian clothing) is $17.1 billion. Hence, the total value of Kentucky’s equine and equine-related assets is $23.4 billion.
Sales and Income
Sales of all equine in 2011 were estimated to be $521.1 million. Income from services provided in 2011, including both breeding and non-breeding services (such as training, lessons, boarding, farrier, transportation, purses, incentives, etc.), totaled $491.0 million. Thus, the total of all sales and income for equine operations in 2011 was about $1.1 billion.
Capital expenditures by equine operations in 2011, including purchase of equine, real estate purchases and improvements, and equipment purchases, were estimated to be $337.0 million.
Operating expenditures (which include expenses paid for boarding fees, feed, bedding, veterinary fees, supplies, farrier services, breeding fees, maintenance and repair, insurance premiums, utilities and fuel, taxes, rent and/or lease, fees and payments, shipping and travel, training, and other fees) totaled $839.0 million.
Moreover, 77% of these operating expenses were spent in Kentucky. Total equine-related expenditures by equine operations in 2011 were about $1.2 billion.