Ontario is the horse racing powerhouse of Canada, according to figures released this week.
The Economics of Horse Racing in Canada, by Equine Canada and Strategic Equine, has revealed that Ontario brings in $4.5 billion or 77 per cent of the total annual economic contributions from racing in Canada.
The province‐by‐province report on the horse racing industry identifies the significant economic contributions realized through horse racing in Canada – the industry generates more than 47,000 full-time equivalent jobs and $5.7 billion annually to the national economy.
The racing sector represents a small percentage of the total number of horses in Canada, but a significantly higher percentage of the overall economic contribution that comes from horses in Canada. With 45,000 horses active in the racing sector (five per cent of the total Canadian herd), the horse racing sector provides 26 per cent of the total economic contribution, and a $5.7 billion annual economic impact. Racing in Ontario represents the largest provincial sector for the national racing industry, with more than 68 per cent of the total racing opportunities and 86 per cent of the total purses earned in 2010.
The Economics of Horse Racing In Canada is the first in a series of ‘state of the industry’ reports to be developed by Equine Canada from the 2010 Canadian Horse Industry Profile Study, released in 2011. The 2010 study provided the country with the broadest and the deepest analysis of the national equine industry since Equine Canada first began producing the reports in 1998.
“The demographic and economic information garnered in the 2010 survey provided a wealth of information that is pivotal to demonstrating the contribution of the Canadian horse industry to the country’s overall economic health,” said Mike Gallagher, President of Equine Canada.
“Our goal with the national study and related State Of The Industry reports such as this, is to better inform decision‐making and policy development as it affects our industry and our horses.”
Vel Evans, author of the study, said that with a short, intense competition career for active race horses, the annual expenditure on products and services for race horses is significantly higher than for most other horses. “Horse racing drives demand for specialist equine veterinarians, and equine health products and services that add to the health infrastructure for the horse industry as a whole.
“Through all our 15 years of research for provincial, national and international horse industries, it has been apparent that where there’s a healthy horse racing industry, there’s a strong horse industry.”
Gallagher said that Equine Canada strongly encourage the government of Ontario to work with the industry to ensure horse racing continues to grow and prosper.
“The benefits of this successful partnership are felt not only in Ontario but in every part of Canada, throughout our rural and farming communities, and among the tens of thousands of men and women who work with and care for our horses, or supply products and services to the horse racing industry,” he said.
The study can be downloaded from Equine Canada’s website, and a summary is also available.