Virginia Horse Industry Has Billion-Dollar ValueBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · August 11, 2011
The horse industry is worth more than $1.2 billion each year to the economy of Virginia, according to a study conducted at the University of Virginia. There are about 16,000 horse-related jobs in the state; boarding horses generated over $45 million in 2010; and the Virginia Horse Center hosted events on 48 weekends last year, bringing in competitors who paid entry fees, hotel bills, and meal charges during their visits. Hunter-seat competitions accounted for 54% of all shows last year, while dressage (17%) and western performance (9%) were also popular disciplines. In a depressed economy, it is thought that more horse owners are staying closer to home to exhibit or compete, so states with large horse populations are realizing more income from horse owners who might travel out of state in better economic times.