In 2004, the United States Senate Resolution 452 recognized December 13th as “National Day of the Horse.” The purpose of this resolution was to “encourage the people of the United States to be mindful of the contribution of horses to the economy, history, and character of the United States.” According to the 2004 resolution, the diverse American horse industry was estimated to have contributed over $100 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product and employed more people than “railroads, radio and television broadcasting, petroleum and coal, and tobacco.” The American Horse Council’s (AHC) 2005 economic impact study found similar positive contributions, and the AHC is set to publish its updated National Equine Economic Impact Study in January 2018 where Oklahoma is one of fourteen (14) states receiving its own breakout report.
The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, based at the Oklahoma State University, published a fact sheet in February 2017, Oklahoma Horse Industry Trends, finding horses have been “linked with the livelihood and quality of life of Oklahomans” throughout our state’s history. Today, the Oklahoma horse industry is comprised of the individual horse owner, breeders, trainers, horse boarding barns, show and racing industry events, and all the horse industry supporting service providers such as hay and feed producers, farriers, veterinarians, and other healthcare service providers. While the most recent horse AHC census data has not yet been released, in 2012, the Oklahoma Horse Industry Study estimated Oklahoma horse numbers to be 269,700. (The Economic Impact of the Oklahoma Horse Industry. American Horse Council Foundation, 2005) (Oklahoma Equine Industry Study. Oklahoma Equine Alliance. 2012)
According to the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service, “Oklahoma has a reputation for being a national center for horse activities. It is a leading state in stock horse production, and has numerous commercial horse enterprises including sale facilities, trailer manufacturers and feed milling businesses.” Additionally, the racing industry brings a direct economic impact of “$223 million” and “the estimated economic impact of 15 of the national and world level horse shows held in Oklahoma City alone is more than $100 million annually.” Those interested in reading the full report should visit http://factsheets.okstate.edu/documents/cr-3987-oklahoma-horse-industry-trends/. Including both direct and indirect economic contributions, a 2012 study conducted by the Oklahoma Equine Alliance found the Oklahoma equine industry reached an estimated $3.6 billion and employed approximately 36,000 full time equivalent jobs. (Oklahoma Equine Industry Study. Oklahoma Equine Alliance. 2012)
Members of the Oklahoma equine industry plan a trip to the Oklahoma State Capital in Oklahoma City on December 18, 2017, to increase the awareness of the significant positive economic impact the equine industry brings to Oklahoma.