Home to more than 100,000 horses, Maryland ranks No. 1 in terms of horses per square mile
Baltimore, Md. (May 14, 2018) – The 2018 Economic Impact Study produced by the American Horse Council confirms that Maryland’s horse industry adds more than $1.3 billion to Maryland’s economy. The report found that the horse industry total employment impact is more than 21,000 jobs, including a more than $500 million impact from the horse racing sector alone.
The report quantified the economic benefits generated from three of the main sectors of the horse industry; recreation, competition, and racing. It also enumerated the additional benefits the horse industry offers to the State of Maryland including land preservation, volunteerism, equine therapy and rehoming operations and educational opportunities at academic institutions.
“Horses are a part of Maryland’s history and heritage, but this study confirms the important contributions that industry makes today to Maryland’s economy and way of life. As a part of the agriculture community horse farms are productive partners in protecting the environment and educating young people”, said Cricket Goodall, Executive Director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association.
Maryland is a significant horse racing hub in the United States, emphasized every May by the Preakness Stakes and Jim McKay Maryland Million Day in October, but Maryland’s racing industry continues to thrive throughout the year. Between five racetracks and more than 260 live racing days, the industry adds $365 million in value to the state’s economy and supports 5,214 jobs resulting in a $572 million economic impact.
“Maryland’s racing industry has continued to grow and make major strides at our facilities. The support from spectators and horsemen throughout the country has allowed us to continue to grow and excel,” said Sal Sinatra, President and General Manager of the Maryland Jockey Club.
With more than 101,000 horses Maryland boasts more horses -- 10.5 horses per square mile – than any other state in the nation. The quantity of horses and variety of activities ensure the recreation and competition sectors have significant impact. The horse industry also plays a significant role in protecting the environment and keeping Maryland green with 25 percent of Maryland’s agriculture land, around 750,000 acres, used for horse-related purposes.
“The study confirms the depth and breadth of the equine industry. We have 35 different equestrian disciplines and 40 breeds of horses with horse shows, rodeos and thousands of folks, particularly youngsters, taking riding lessons and learning about and enjoying horses. Both the racing and non-racing sectors complement each other in a very strong and productive way," said Ross Peddicord, executive director of the Maryland Horse Industry Board
The recreation and competition sectors combine for a $396 million in added value to Maryland’s economy and support more than 8,000 jobs, resulting in a $652 million economic impact. There are also at least 36 therapy operation facilities, 13 rescue and rehoming operations, and more than 300 equine associations and several academic institutions that educate, promote and contribute to Maryland’s economy.