There are some 299,000 horses in Florida, The Florida horse industry produces goods and services valued at $2.2 billion. 244,200 Floridians are involved in the industry as horse owners, service providers and employees. The Florida horse industry generates more than 72,000 jobs.
Getting quick and clear answers to the question ‘how many horses are there in the US?’ is not as easy as you would think it is. The US Department of Agriculture conducts a census every 5 years through their National Agricultural Statistics Service division, the results from their research are limited but they are the most reliable source.
The horse industry supports various activities and is clearly divided between the rural segment (breeding, training, maintaining and riding horses) and urban activities (horse racing, horse shows, and public sales). The two segments combined represent the largest part of the equine population in the country with micro-farms, police departments, traveling circuses, petting zoos and other smaller groups accounting for the rest.
For the animal health and feeding expert Franklin Ortega, who has been in this business market for over 20 years, the promising scenario for horses in the United States is doing well for the US economy. Ortega, through his company, has identified increased production of shampoo and other horse products.
“We have been producing large-scale horse shampoos as well as other dog food products. We have found this to be a promising scenario and I have, for many years, worked to open a trade partner for this market with China and other American Latin countries.”, explains Franklin Ortega, who is from Venezuela but works in the United States and lives in Florida.
Ocala/Marion County, in Florida, has more horses and ponies than any other county in the nation, according to the United States Department of Agriculture census. With more than 900 farms, every breed from A to Z is represented here. Florida is home to some 600 Thoroughbred farms and training centers, with more than 75 percent of these located in the Ocala/Marion County area.
Florida Thoroughbred breeders and owners have a multibillion-dollar investment in the state. This investment in breeding farms, training centers, breeding, and racing stock creates an economic impact of an estimated $1 billion. “This is a billion-dollar market and the United States needs skilled professionals to meet all the demands that arise. For more than two decades working in this sector I have never seen such a huge expansion and such a generation of economic wealth,” says Franklin Ortega.
Ranking states by the numbers of horses, the top ten horsiest places in the country are: 1. Texas 978,822 horses; 2. California 698,345; 3. Florida 500,124; 4. Oklahoma 326,134; 5. Kentucky 320,173; 6. Ohio 306,898; 7. Missouri 281,255; 8. North Carolina 256,269; 9. Pennsylvania 255,763; 10. Colorado 255,503.