According to the 2017 AHC Foundation Economic Impact Study, the $122 billion equine industry is a growing segment of the U.S. economy, employing 1.74 million people. The Economic Impact Study found that care, recreation and business surrounding the 7.2 million horses in the country generated $79 billion in total salaries. They found that the primary economic drivers within the industry are recreation, racing and competition. The AHC felt that adding working horses to that list was important for accuracy. The working horse sector includes; mounted police, carriage operations, equine assisted therapy programs and lesson programs.
The working horse sector supports more than 42,000 direct jobs and adds $1.9 million in direct value to the U.S. economy. Driving an added $2.7 billion in added value to the economy and creates more than 28,000 jobs indirectly.
The recreation sector supports more than162,000 direct jobs and adds $7.5 billion in direct value to the U.S. economy and creates more than110,000 jobs indirectly. Recreation still holds the largest horse population.
The racing sector continues to have the largest economic impact. Supporting 241,000 direct jobs and adding $15.6 billion in direct value to the U.S. economy and creates more than 231,000 jobs indirectly.
The competition sector supports more than 241,000 direct jobs and adds $11.8 billion in direct value to the U.S. economy and creates more than 175,000 jobs indirectly.