Results Released From Largest Ever Horse Owner Survey

The largest study of horse owners and managers ever conducted has just been completed, with results designed to gauge horse industry trends in the United States.

The "Horse Industry Survey", carried out by American Horse Publications and sponsored by Intervet/Schering Plough Animal Health and Pfizer Animal Health, had a total of 11,171 participants, all of whom own, lease or manage horses. The survey also sought to gather information regarding the issues facing the equine industry and feedback about possible solutions to such problems.

From  October 15th 2009 until 31st January 2010 horse owners responded electronically to the survey, which was advertised widely among the online horse media. The survey comprised of 5 main sections: Demographics, Horse Ownership, Horsekeeping Costs, Horse Industry Issues, and Horse Health Care. 92% of the participants were horse owners who owned an average of 5 horses, and this is the same number of horses that the average participant owned in 2007. Managers took care of an average of 10.4 horses.

Despite the current economic climate, the survey showed that the majority of horse owners expect to be able to continue participating in the equine industry at the same level as they have been, and some even expect to increase their levels of participation over the next few years. Many horse owners were found to make sacrifices in other areas of their lives in order to maintain their equine industry participation.

"Respondents are also clear that the welfare of the horse is of the utmost importance as individuals and policy makers make decisions regarding the future of the equine industry," said Dr. C. Jill Stowe, an assistant professor of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky, who provided consultation and data analysis services to the AHP.

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