The American Horse Council has initiated efforts to update a 1996 study of the economic impact of the horse industry in the United States, which the organization says is critical to the industry's political efforts in Washington D.C."The national economic study has been extremely helpful to the industry's efforts in Congress and state legislatures," said Jay Hickey, AHC president. "When you meet with elected officials one of the first things they want to know is the economic importance of the industry. The study has enabled the industry to speak with authority about our true economic importance to the agricultural, gaming, sporting, and recreational activities of the country."The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and American Quarter Horse Association have already pledged funding for an updated study, but Hickey said additional support is needed."We anticipate that organizations and individuals that funded the first study will once again provide the economic support necessary to complete the update, along with others now that they have seen the value of the study on many levels."The 1996 study, conducted by Barents Group, revealed the horse industry had a $112 billion effect on the U.S. economy, involved more than seven million Americans and 6.9 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs. It also documented the size of the horse industry in 11 individual states.