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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (Reisterstown, MD – February 1, 2024)

Maryland was one of the breakout states in the American Horse Council’s report on the economic impact of the national horse industry, released on Jan. 31.

The total economic impact of the industry grew 38% between 2017 and 2022, from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion. In addition, the industry’s direct contribution to Maryland’s GDP grew by 40.5% between 2017 and 2022. The industry is responsible for 28,434 jobs, and horse industry wages total more than $1.24 billion.

The survey, conducted in 2023 by the American Horse Council, determined that Maryland contains over 717,000 horse enthusiast households, or about 30% of the population, with a total horse population estimate of over 94,000. More than 37,000 Thoroughbreds live in Maryland, making them the most populous breed in the state.

“The horse industry is a vital part of Maryland’s economy and Maryland’s landscape,” says  Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “Horses provide both job opportunities and the environmentally beneficial green space that are essential to Maryland’s productive future. We are proud that Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state in the country.”

The industry directly employs 21,841 people, with a direct economic impact of $1.05 billion. This direct impact induces a further $713 million in added value to the economy and nearly 6,600 jobs, along with $841 million in direct labor income and $407 million in indirect and induced income.

The Thoroughbred remains the largest segment of Maryland’s horse industry. There are more than 37,000 Thoroughbreds in the state that produce a total economic impact of $664 million and support over 8,000 jobs. In 2003, the Thoroughbred was recognized as the State Horse of Maryland.

Maryland is also home to 29 animal welfare organizations, 58 licensed stables that report offering rescue or sanctuary services, and 12 equine-related associations with a total economic output of more than $24.8 million.