LEXINGTON, Ky. - Kentucky is home to around 242,400 horses, according to new data released from a statewide survey.
From June to October of last year, researchers with the National Agricultural Statistics Service counted equines across the state, ranging from thoroughbreds at large farms to ponies in people’s backyards. The project marks the first comprehensive survey of Kentucky’s horses since 1977.
“One of the most outstanding results, I think, is the value of Kentucky’s equine and equine-related assets, which in total was estimated at over $23 billion,” says Dr. Jill Stowe, an agricultural economist at the University of Kentucky and the project lead.
The study also found that the majority of Kentucky’s equines are used for pleasure and trail riding.
“The data that we have right now even is useful for our elected officials in policy decisions. It’s useful for business owner or entrepreneurs who are trying to write business plans and they need to know what demand is like in their area. And with this information we have that.”
An economic impact report of Kentucky’s horse industry is expected to be completed later this year.