Survey: Kentucky is world equine leader

Kentucky sure has earned the title of Horse Capital of the World, according to initial findings from the University of Kentucky.

The state is home to approximately 242,400 horses with the total value of “equine and equine-related assets” topping an estimated $23.4 billion. About 1.1 million acres are used for equine-related purposes. The state also boasts about 35,000 equine operations, according to the 2012 Kentucky Equine Survey.

The survey is the first of its kind since 1977 and focused on all breeds of horses, ponies, mules and donkeys in the state. It was conducted between June and October of last year.

Roughly $1.2 billion was spent on equine and equine-related assets with about $839 million of that as operating expenditures, including boarding, feed, breeding and veterinary care. Of that $839 million, an astounding 77 percent was spent in Kentucky.

“The value of Kentucky’s equine and equine-related assets, such as land and buildings, is significantly larger than other states for which we have data, and it serves to underscore that Kentucky is the Horse Capital of the World,” Jill Stowe, UK associate professor in agricultural economics and project lead, said in a statement. “Upcoming economic impact analysis results will provide even more details regarding the importance of the industry to the state’s economy.”

For more results from the Kentucky Equine Survey, click here.

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