Thursday, May 7th, 2015

A new survey of 3,054 horse people showed that this group alone estimated that they spent a total of $40.2 million each year on their horse activities.


The Australian Horse Industry Council had a huge response to its recent national survey, receiving over 3,000 completed responses from across the country. Almost all respondents owned one or more horses, with the remainder involved with horses in other ways.


It is understood that this sample of 3,054 only represents a fraction of horse owners in the country; therefore, given that the horse related spend amongst those who participated was over $40 million, it is estimated that the horse industry contributes billions of dollars to the Australian economy.


The survey measures details of spending on a variety of items (feed, equipment, professional services and more). Horse feed was identified as the highest expense to respondents; followed by tack.  Over three quarters spent money on clothing and safety equipment and a similar number indicated substantial expenditure on fuel and vehicles. Other areas of expenditure included farming, professional services, and membership of associations.


The survey also provides significant details on many aspects of horse people’s engagement in the industry, which will be of great use as the AHIC advocates for horse people from all backgrounds. This includes a breakdown of involvement in the various parts of the industry (jumping, dressage, natural horsemanship, western riding, harness, pony club and more) and the types of horses that people own (competition, pleasure riding, companion and more). Those owning one or more horses for breeding (including young stock) made up a third of respondents. The findings also show that over one fifth of the respondents were employed in the industry, with a significant number working full time.


A disturbing figure was that a substantial number of those who completed the survey had experienced a horse related accident they considered to be serious (involving hospitalization), confirming the high risk nature of horse related activities.


The survey also covers the rate of access to facilities such as arenas and sheds as well as the distribution of respondents by postcode, gender, and age range. The survey mostly covers the non-racing sector of the community. This information is particularly valuable with the non-racing sector hard to quantify, as these people are diverse in their interests and involvement rather than all linked to a specific group.


This is the first meaningful survey to provide evidence of the impact of the wider horse community on the economy. It is important to note that the spend figures only cover recurrent areas, and did not include the one-off purchases of large items like horse floats or horses. A new horse float (transport) can cost from $5000 to $¼ million and upward for transport for large numbers of horses, and a new horse between $1000 (rarely) and $100,000 (or more for elite performers).


If you or your business is involved in the horse industry in any way the information presented in this survey report will prove invaluable to you.


This is the first of many surveys the AHIC plans to undertake.  Copies are available for purchase from the AHIC office.


For further information or an interview please contact Australian Horse Industry Council  

P. 03 5222 6650 E. [email protected]


Contact Profile

Australian Horse Industry Council

The Australian HOrse Industry Council (AHIC) is a national representative body serving the Australian Horse Industry.  The main role of the AHIC is to provide voice for the interests of horses and horse owners from all sectors of the Horse INdustry in national forums.  AHIC, along with Harness Racing Australia, the Australian Racing Board and Equestrian Australia are the four peak bodies the Minister of Agriculture consults with.

Joy Poole OAM
P: 02 6577 5518
M: 0419 447 323

Australian Horse Industry Council

Judi Tainsh
P: 03 5222 6650
M: 0412 889 333


Horse, Economy, Spend, Safety, Riding



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