The Economic Impacts of Alberta’s Equine Industry (2021)

In 2021 AEF hired an independent contractor, Serecon Inc., to conduct a study to determine the current status of Alberta’s equine community and estimate the economic benefits that it contributes to the provincial economy. The study was designed to capture the impact of all businesses and services in Alberta that connect, directly and indirectly, to the equine community and its related industry.

AEF worked with key stakeholders in the equine community, using their knowledge and experiences to design a comprehensive survey. AEF administered the survey through multiple social media groups and electronic distribution tools in the fall of 2021, with a total of 1,520 responses from a wide array of industry and community participants. Interviews were also conducted to validate and build out results.

Major Findings From the Report

  • The diverse mix of equine activities makes a significant financial contribution to the province. Findings indicate the total economic impact of the equine community in terms of Gross Domestic Product amounted to just over $1.4 billion in 2021.
  • Direct expenditures in the equine community totaled over $1.7 billion. These expenditures result in a contribution of $855 million in labour income.
  • The equine community has a notable impact on employment in Alberta. Analysis reveals that over 6,500 full time equivalent (FTE) jobs are contributed by the various equine industry activities. After accounting for all horse-keeping expenditures, the total number of FTE jobs contributed by the equine industry is over 20,300.
  • Study results show Alberta’s total population of horses to be just over 142,000 horses, kept on over 25,000 properties. Roughly 54 per cent of horses are used for recreation (backyard ownership, trail riding, summer camps, etc.), 40 per cent for sport (western, jumping, dressage, vaulting, etc.), and six per cent for work (outfitting, ranch work, guiding, etc.).
  • When it comes to overall expenditures per horse (board, feed, health care, etc.), owners of horses for sport pay nearly twice as much (at approximately $12,700 per year) as those used for recreation (approximately $7,500), and over three times those used for work (approximately $3,700).

Download the Entire Report

This study shows the equine community’s significant impacts across the province demonstrating the great importance of this diverse and widely reaching sector. Enter your email below to download the 47 Page report.

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