The UK is a nation of horse lovers, there’s no doubt about that. A massive 6% of the population said that they had ridden a horse in the 12 months prior to taking a survey in 2011. This has almost certainly increased since the Summer Olympic Games in London in 2012, which saw renewed enthusiasm for all types of sport including Eventing and horse riding in general.
The effect of the Equestrian industry on the British Economy has always been a positive one; after all there are over 1 million horses in Great Britain alone, with each one of those needing specialist care and equipment. Whilst it’s safe to say that not every horse in the population is being ridden on a regular basis, a great number are, whether they’re owned by private individuals and professional bodies.
A quick search online for horse and tack shops in your area should most likely yield a great result. I for one see 7 results pop up on Google Maps, with each result belonging to a specialist and independent business. I think you’ll agree that this alone is a great indicator as to the strength of the Equestrian market here in the UK. Don’t just take it from me and Google maps though, the ‘British Horse Industry Confederation’ say that these small horse riding businesses create well over 50,000 full-time jobs! It’s no wonder then that it’s so easy to find equestrian equipment online, whether it’s horse riding gear like a new pair of riding jodhpurs or something more specific like equine supplements.
The Impact of Horse Racing
Sometimes it’s easy to concentrate on all of the horse enthusiasts and hobby riders, but of course there is a wider horse industry aside from the one that specifically caters to that demographic, and that’s horse sports including Racing, Eventing and Polo.
Through insightful reports like those of the British Horseracing Authority, you can see the value of the horse racing industry to the British economy. I have seen this report from 2009 via the British Horse Industry Confederation which declares that the inner core of the British horse racing industry itself had over 18,000 full-time employees in 2009 with an estimated total of over 100,000 jobs existing because of a direct, indirect or associated link with the horse racing industry. The size of an industry like this is going to drive revenue through taxes back to the Government and have a positive impact on the economy on the whole.
Horse racing is the second most popular spectator sport in the UK, but it also brings in a crowd from further afield. Horses are popular in many other countries, not just in places like Ireland and North America however, but also within countries and regions that may not immediately spring to mind, like many Gulf States for example. A lot of investment has been made into the British horse racing industry, not only for return on that investment, but also for the prestige in competing and being involved in arguably the World’s best known horse racing competitions.
I think it’s safe to say that both horse riding and racing have had an enormously positive impact on the economy of the UK. From horse riding gear to the races the equine industry as a whole continues to be an area that attracts foreign investment, provides increasing levels of employment and supports small to medium size business too.
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Sally Stacey is a keen writer and rider who divides her time between writing and running her retail business.