THE HORSE INDUSTRY IN CHESTER AND DELAWARE COUNTIES IN 2017
A recent survey indicates $91.5 million is spent on goods and services on the 10,600 horses in Chester and Delaware counties. As these dollars circulate through the local economy, they generate nearly $117 million of additional economic activity and support 2,700 jobs in all sectors of the economy of which 1,412 are directly related to equine.
Horses were vital for transportation and agriculture in 1900 but today the equine industry in Chester and Delaware counties largely provides recreational opportunities both for horse owners and the general public. For example the Devon Horse Show is the oldest and largest outdoor multi-breed horse competition in the United States.
Pleasure riding is the most popular equine activity followed by hunting, jumping, Dressage and Eventing.
Horses require a very wide range of products and services to maintain and virtually all are provided by local professionals and service companies – feed and hay, purchase of equine, boarding expenses and a wide range of professional services – veterinary, health, farriers etc.
4,110 acres are devoted to equine activities, 20% to crops and 13.7% for forage with an additional 5,573 acres under agricultural preservation and agricultural and conservation easements.
Trail competition represented almost 32% of horse owner involvement followed by boarding and training just over 24%.
Chester County has built up an extremely valuable and highly professional equine industry that attracts the best riders from other states and other countries.
The industry attracts both professional riders and trainers and horse lovers take advantage of the many stables, riding facilities, trails and equestrian events.
Horse owners not only generate significant local revenue and contribute taxes but maintain our beautiful and productive open space so favored by county residents.
The survey was sponsored by the Chester Delaware County Farm Bureau and carried out early in 2017 by our partner Delaware Valley University. The full survey, covering 10 counties in Southeast Pennsylvania, can be accessed at the www.sepaequine.org website.