The University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Horse Council partnered to fund and implement a 2012 statewide Kentucky Equine Survey. Significant funding from the Kentucky Agriculture Development Fund and matching funding from the industry , as well as UK, made this survey possible. The survey was implemented with use of the collection services of USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service.
Phase 1 of the Kentucky Equine Survey objectives are to obtain estimates of the inventory of all breeds of equine, including horses, ponies, donkeys and mules, as well as estimate of equine-related assets, sales and income, and expenditures. A sampling of 15,000 equine operations, stratified by geographic location and operation size, received questionnaires where by data was collected from June through October 2012. This data covered the period of January 1 - December 31, 2011.
Phase 2 results will be available later in the 1st quarter of 2013.
The following survey information collected was summarized by Dr. Jill Stowe, UK Ag Economist.
There are an estimated 242,400 horses in Kentucky on 35,000 equine operations. The total value of Kentucky’s equine and equine-related assets are a whopping $23.4 billion dollars. Total sales and income for equine operations in 2011 was approximately $1.1 billion dollars. Total equine-related expenditures by equine operations in 2011 were close to $1.2 billion dollars.
Inventory is estimated at about 35,000 equine operations in Kentucky with 1.1 million acres devoted to equine use. Below is a breakdown of these equine operations by primary business type, number acres for equine use, percent of equine related activities on operation for business purposes.
Farm or Ranch - 19,500 Acres - 10% equine related business use
Personal Use - 10,500 Acres - 6% equine related business use
Boarding, Training, Riding Facility - 1,100 Acres - 56% equine related business use
Breeding Operation - 700 Acres - 73% equine related business use
Other - 3,200 Acres - 8% equine related business use
The types of horses that were categorized and inventoried are as follows:
Light Horses - 216,000
Draft Horses - 5,100
Ponies - 7,000
Donkeys & Mules - 14,000
Total Equines - 242,400
Number of breeds of horses categorized and inventoried are as follows:
Thoroughbred - 54,000
Quarter Horse - 42,000
Tennesee Walking Horse - 36,000
Saddlebred - 14,000
Donkeys, Mules, Burros - 14,000
Mountain Horse Breeds - 12,500
Standardbred - 9,500
Primary use of equines in Kentucky categorized and inventoried are as follows:
Trail Riding/Pleasure - 79,500
Broodmares - 38,000
Idle/Not Working - 33,000
Competition/Show - 24,500
Yearlings/Weanlings/Foals - 23,000
Racing - 15,000
Work/Transportation - 12,500
Breeding Stallions - 3,900
Other - 13,000
The estimated value of the 242,400 equines in Kentucky is around $6.3 billion dollars. Also the estimated value of equine related assets, including land and buildings, vehicles, equipment, feed and supplies, tack and equestrian clothing is $17.1 billion dollars. The total value of Kentucky’s equine and equine related assets are a whopping $23.4 billion dollars.
The income generated from sales of equines in 2011 is estimated at $521.1 million dollars. Income from equine related services provided in 2011, including breeding and non-breeding services, such as training, boarding, farrier, transportation, purses, incentives, etc., totaled $491.0 million dollars. The total of all sales and income for equine operations in 2011 was around $1.1 billion dollars.
Capital expenditures by equine operations in 2011 were estimated to be $337.0 million dollars. Operating expenditures totaled $839.0 million dollars. The good news is 77% of these operating expenses were spent right here in Kentucky. Total equine related expenditures by equine operations in 2011 were about $1.2 billion dollars.
To see the actual survey summary you can go to the Kentucky Horse Council site here .
To sum it all up the horses in Kentucky are worth billions of dollars to the State and are a very important asset to be encouraged.
Photo: Courtesy of Sandy Dolan