The 1996 National Economic Study concluded that the horse industry in all its segments, including racing, showing, and recreation, had a $112 billion impact on the U. S. economy. The study reported that the industry involved more than 7 million Americans and 6.9 million horses, and supported 1.4 million full-time jobs. The study has been used to support the industry's efforts in Congress and state legislatures and in documenting its size and diversity to the public, press, and media, according to the AHC.
"We are very pleased to have Deloitte undertake this effort,'" Hickey said. "They have done many economic studies in the gaming, recreation and leisure segments of the U.S. economy and have broad experience. They bring a fresh approach to the effort. Their proposal suggested several avenues not available in 1996, such as the Internet, to approach the industry to get as much information and as broad a sampling as possible. It is up to the industry to respond and participate."
Hickey said many industry organizations supported the 1996 study, and that the American Quarter Horse Association, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, The Jockey Club, U.S. Trotting Association, and U.S. Equestrian Federation, have pledged their support for the new study. "We expect other organizations and individuals to support the study again now that they have seen its value on many levels," Hickey said.
Hickey said contributions to fund the economic impact study update could take the form of a tax-deductible contribution to the American Horse Council Foundation.