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“Where Have All the Horses Gone?” Forum Presents Explanations For Decline in Registered Horses, Impact on Industry, and Solutions For Future
July 8, 2014
(Washington, DC)- On June 24, the American Horse Council held its National Issues Forum, sponsored by Luitpold, the makers of Adequan, in Washington, DC. The forum featured speakers from across the horse industry discussing “Where Have All the Horses Gone?” Leaders from breed registries, racing, showing, the various disciplines, veterinarians and other stakeholders spoke about the decline in registered horses and the impact on their segment of the horse industry.
Several major points emerged from the forum. There has been a decline in the number of foals and registered horses over the last several years that is impacting all breeds and segments of the industry and the leaders of the industry are aware of this decline and are taking action. It was also noted that this is not the first such decline in the number of horses and in previous instances there was later a rebound in numbers.
“People have been talking about the decline in horse numbers for some time, however this is the first time the issue has been discussed in a comprehensive fashion,” said AHC president Jay Hickey. “It was a very good program and attendees now have a better understanding of current conditions and what actions are being taken.”
The forum began with a presentation by Tim Capps, Director of the Equine Industry Program at the University of Louisville. Mr. Capps presented evidence that the industry has experienced several drops in horse numbers and prices in modern history, most notably during the Great Depression and in the mid-1980s. He pointed out the horse industry often parallels the wider economy and the current situation closely mirrors the impact the Great Depression had on the industry. In the past following such declines, growth was often propelled by individuals outside the industry becoming interested and investing in the industry, noted Capps. He believes it will again be important to look beyond current horse industry participants to grow the industry now and in the future...
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