Horse News

Survey Shows “Live” Horses are a Big Business in Kentucky

Source: By BRUCE SCHREINER as published in the Westport News

“Slaughtered Horses worth only pennies on the dollar while live equines bring in Billions!”

LOUISVILLE, KY — Turns out the world’s self-proclaimed horse capital can put its money where its mouth is.

The horse industry pumped almost $3 billion into the state’s economy last year, according to the Kentucky Equine Survey, the first comprehensive snapshot of Kentucky’s horse industry since 1977 and the first-ever detailed economic impact study of the equine sector.

The study was released Friday by the University of Kentucky‘s College of Agriculture, Food and Environment and the Kentucky Horse Council in Lexington.

The nearly $3 billion included money spent on feed, fencing and veterinarian and farrier services, said Jill Stowe, a UK associate professor of agricultural economics who led the 2012 survey.

It also took into account money generated by businesses that supply veterinarian clinics and others providing services to horse owners. The amount did not include horse-related tourism spending, the survey’s authors said.

Kentucky’s racing sector claimed the biggest economic impact, at nearly $1.3 billion, followed by the breeding sector at $710 million, the survey found. Kentucky’s race tracks include Churchill Downs, home of the Kentucky Derby, and Keeneland.

The survey found that the equine industry generated an estimated 40,665 jobs last year, and its tax contribution to Kentucky was about $134 million.

It said the equine industry contributes “an above average share” of sales taxes compared to the rest of the state’s farm industry. Horse farmers pay state sales taxes on their farm purchases, unlike other livestock producers, who are exempt, the report said.

Imposing the sales tax on those purchases adds an estimated $8 million to $12 million paid by horse farmers each year, said Kentucky Senate Majority Floor Leader Damon Thayer. Thayer, a key horse industry supporter, said he would push to exempt horse farmers from paying the sales tax on feed, fencing and farm equipment if state lawmakers take up a measure to overhaul Kentucky’s tax code.

“If the General Assembly ever considers tax reform, I believe that equine tax equity needs to be a part of the puzzle,” the Georgetown Republican said.

Thayer said the horse industry can use the economic impact study to make its case with state policymakers.

“It really sheds light on one of Kentucky’s signature industries, not only from a brand point of view but from an economic point of view,” he said.

Besides gauging the horse industry’s economic clout, the survey also inventoried the state’s horse population. Results released early this year showed Kentucky was home to 242,400 horses. The state has about 35,000 equine operations, and the total value of horses and horse-related assets is estimated at $23.4 billion.

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8 replies »

  1. We’ve been telling them all along that there’s more money in a live house than a slaughtered one. Now they have to listen…but will they?


  2. It is well known that the horse industry thrives on “live” horses. Unfortunately, the majority of the earnings generated here are with the racing industry also known for it’s unethical and inhumane practices due to over-breeding and serious/fatal racing injuries. Once again, this is about money, not horse welfare. The racing industry is also one of the biggest promoters of slaughter and nurse-mare foals. That’s enough said for me.


  3. In your face sue wallis! OUR industry wont DIE if you and duquette blow away in the wind! Now imagine the Revenue brought into Everywhere by reg joes horses spread across America, we own a tack store so WE know the horse industry isnt dead or dying or needing revival from sue blow her bugle for the dead wallis. We as a nation of horse owners know AQHA would close its doors if their only hope was horse slaughter. Thats not it at all, they hire kill buyers to transport horses for them to male millions off of and hide behind aqha name plates behind the scenes. The horse industry is vibrant, rodeos and shows are packed, horses hired for weddings, trail rides, pictures, movies, list goes on and on. Billions is the word folks, billions. Wallis is inspired soley by greed, sje didnt raise the income of kentucky horses, kentucky did. No state needs slaughter or sue wallis, she meeds tp get out of the way, let rescues amd the law emforcement do their job and clean up animal abusers and save the animals they can. This is a job for honwst hard working people who care about horses, not sue or dave or ben shelly or santos or blm. Move over and let Us show you how tp fix our horse industry its high time someone did it right!


  4. The only reason the issue of money was shown is because sue wallis and her cronies, killer buyers, scum auctioneers and other followers have been spreading lies that the horse industry is dying financially and that they will restore it with slaughter. This article is proof we Dont need slaughter, we r restoring the industry ourselves, each state is seeong financial upswing, the proof is in what is selling and trading in a multi billion dollar US industry. We dont neef slaughter.


  5. I have lived in Kentucky for five years, this State as everyone knows has the worst animal abuse laws in the country, I have emailed wrote, emailed over and over to Mitchell and Paul and you can imagine the responses I get from BOTH, they avoid the question of slaughter, are they pro or anti, WILL NOT ANSWER ME straight out….. As those two only have a 20% rating for animal welfare that says it all, when you drive into the state and see this BIG sign State of Kentucky with a drawing of a horse that says unbridled spirit, those two Senators are hypocrites the only SANE one is Whitfield…… I hate to say this but it won’t make a lick of difference this report, I doubt very much, besides all the unbelievably HUGE luxury racing, breeding stables NEED there slaughter to get rid of the ones they don’t want, SO they give them what they want… I have even written to Lexington Horse Park, they won’t even commit one way or the other, they say to many are for and against so they are neutral, HA how convenient I say… SO SAD, but you can bet your you know what that I will be mailing this article to BOTH Mitchell and Paul……… WE all will keep on a fighting for the freedom of ALL the horses…… THAT we know for sure…………..


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