Horse Industry Drives Huge Economic Gains Across California

Santa Anita | Benoit

Edited Press Release

As California grapples with a budget deficit in the tens of billions of dollars, the horse industry has grown financially for the state over the last five years; responsible for billions of dollars in economic impact and tens of thousands of jobs, according to a report released by the American Horse Council.

In 2023, the equine ecosystem provided a total value of $11.6 billion to California's economy and a direct contribution of $6.5 billion to state GDP, according to the report. This marks a significant increase from the American Horse Council's previous report in 2018, which found a total value of $8.3 billion to the state economy and a direct contribution of $4.5 billion to state GDP.

Through the care of the state's near-500,000 horses, events and recreation, and the ripple effect on other sectors of the economy, the California equine industry generates 132,496 jobs across the state and directly employs 93,467 workers. Five years ago, those numbers were 115,474 and 77,703, respectively.

Horses remain incredibly popular in the state of California. In total, 30.48% of households – 4.1 million in California – have a “horse enthusiast” in their home. No fewer than 220,000 California residents volunteer their time to horses, and the industry generates $6.2 billion in tourism for California.

“The American Horse Council report confirms what those of us in the industry have always known: Horses hold a special place in the hearts and minds of Californians,” said Bill Nader, President and CEO of Thoroughbred Owners of California. “With over 4 million households participating in horse events and activities across the state – 38% of whom are under the age of 18 – it is clear that the equine industry is more than just an impressive economic driver for the state; it is an integral part of California's culture.”

Racing continues to be the greatest contributor to the state in the industry, with a total economic impact of $2.5 billion and a direct value of $1.5 billion to California GDP.

“These data points show that the horse industry's contributions to California are enormous – and growing,” said Amy Zimmerman, of the California Horse Power Coalition. “Our commitment to supporting California's economy and workforce, preserving our state's beautiful land, providing therapeutic services to Californians who need it, and caring for the horses we love has never been greater. We look forward to seeing our industry grow and evolve in the years to come.”

More information and the 2023 Economic Impact Study can be found on the American Horse Council website:

Not a subscriber? Click here to sign up for the daily PDF or alerts.

Copy Article Link

Liked this article? Read more like this.

  1. CHRB Unanimously Approves Plan to Make Pleasanton New Center of NorCal Circuit
  2. Computer Assisted Wagering: Anatomy Of A Deal
  3. Computer Assisted Wagering: 101 for California Stakeholders
  4. Economic Impact of Maryland Horse Industry Grows to $2.9 Billion
  5. Equine Economic Study Finds Diverse Sectors And Employment Positively Impacted Since 2017

Never miss another story from the TDN

Click Here to sign up for a free subscription.