Racing Statistics

The racing industry funnels thousands of horses through breeding, training, racing and retirement, either to stud, broodmare, or to slaughter. Table 3.1 shows the number of foals registered with the Jockey Club for the past eleven years. The number of foals has stayed fairly steady, increasing by less than 1,000 foals from 1993 to 2003. The Jockey Club also reports, although not represented on the chart, that 34,070 foals were registered in 2004. The number of races has actually decreased over this time period, by nearly 12,000 races. The amount of purse money increased dramatically through the late 1990’s and now appears to be declining at a slow rate. The Jockey Club reports that “gross purses have increased at an annual rate of 4.8% compared to marginal gains for the registered foal crop and a decline in the number of races” (http://www.jockeyclub.com). Figures on the number of retired horses are not recorded, although estimates have been made of 3,000 to 6,000 horses each year (Wise, 2003) and (Clines, 2001).

Table 3.1 –Thoroughbred Races, Purses and Foal Crop

Source: http://www.jockeyclub.com

In 1995, Barents Group LLC performed a study of the horse industry in the United States, which has been published in the Jockey Club Fact Book. The study, under the direction of the American Horse Council, attempted to establish the economic impact of various equine industries. The study highlights that the total impact (direct, indirect and induced) on the United States Gross Domestic Product amounted to $112.1 billion. Tax revenues amounted to $1.9 billion and 1,404,400 full-time jobs were created. Total value of all horse-related goods and services was figured to be $25.3 billion, which accounted for 4.5% of the total Agriculture, Fisheries and Food Industry and 9.0% of the total Amusement and Recreational Industry (http://www.jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp?section=18).

Table 3.2

Diversity of the Horse Industry-by activity

NUMBER OF HORSES NUMBER 0F PARTICIPANTS GDP* CONTRIBUTION (PER CENT) GDP* ECONOMIC IMPACT (PER CENT) FTE EMPLOYMENT (PER CENT) FTE JOBS GENERATED (PER CENT)
Racing

725,000

941,400

7,383 (29.2)

34,033 (30.4)

136,400 (40.3)

472,800 (33.7)

Showing

1,974,000

3,607,900

7,390 (29.2)

34,802 (31.1)

105,000 (31.0)

441,000 (31.4)

Recreation

2,970,000

4,346,100

6,796 (26.9)

28,300 (25.3)

56,400 (16.7)

316,900 (22.6)

Other

1,262,000

1,607,900

3,725 (14.7)

14,922 (13.3)

40,600 (12.0)

173,800 (12.4)

Totals

6,931,000

7,062,500

25,295

112,058

338,500

1,404,400

Dollars in Millions

Source: http;//www.jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp?section=18

The information in Table 3.2 also comes from the Barents Group LLC’s 1995 study. It is a breakdown of the three major components of the equine industry, as well as a miscellaneous “other” category. Racing claims the least number of horses and participants, but has the greatest impact on the economy and provides the most jobs. Of the 725,000 horses involved in racing, 397,000 are actually in training while the remaining 328,000 horses are used for breeding. Participants includes owners, which account for 1.9 million of the total for all categories, jockeys, trainers, veterinarians, horse transportation providers and any family members or other volunteers involved in the care of horses. The GDP contribution is geographically uneven. Of the $25,295 million contribution to GDP, $22,500 million is generated in rural areas while $2,800 million is generated in urban areas. The majority (292,700) of full-time employment is also in rural areas.

Table 3.3 -Economic Impact of the Racing Sector


DIRECT GDP CONTRIBUTION* GDP ECONOMIC IMPACT* FTE JOBS PROVIDED FTE JOBS GENERATED
Race Tracks & OTB Operations

3,196

9,895

36,300

131,600

Horses in Training

2,900

16,715

52,000

214,300

Breeding

1,288

7,423

30,800

126,900

Total

7,384

34,033

119,100

472,800


* Dollars in Millions

Source: http;//www.jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp?section=18

The Jockey Club also published the above table (Table 3.3) from the 1995 Barents Group LLC study. It details the racing sector of the horse industry. Horse training seems to provide the most jobs within the racing sector and has the greatest GDP impact, but race tracks and other Thoroughbred operations contribute to the GDP more so than training and breeding.

Evidence that horse racing is not restricted to the United States is provided in Table 3.4. Several countries with small or insignificant contributions to the “racing” and “registered foals” categories were removed from the list. The United States truly has an edge on all other countries in terms of number of races run in 2002. Japan claims the next highest number of races, followed by Australia. The United States also has the highest level of purse money; Japan once again has the next highest level. The United States has by far the largest number of mares, followed far behind by Australia. The “registered foals” category once again places the United States in the lead with Australia in second.

Table 3.4 –Thoroughbred Racing and Breeding Worldwide 2002

Source: International Statistical Survey of Horse Racing and 2002 Statistics, compiled by the Societe d’Encouragement and presented at the 37th International Conference of Racing Authorities, Paris, France, October 6, 2003.

http://www.jockeyclub.com/factbook.asp?section=17