Survey: Ky. horse industry worth billions

Survey: Value of Ky. horses, assets pegged at $23.4 billion; thoroughbreds most plentiful

Associated Press
Survey: Ky. horse industry worth billions
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Horses gather near a fence on a cold morning on a Shelby County, Ky., farm on Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013. A new statewide survey indicates they are among 242,400 horses living in Kentucky. (AP Photo/Bruce Schreiner)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- A survey of Kentucky's equine industry harnessed big numbers to back up the state's bragging rights as the world's horse capital.

Nearly a quarter-million horses were counted with a total value surpassing $20 billion for animals and related assets.

The Kentucky Equine Survey found that the Bluegrass state was home to 242,400 horses in 2011.

University of Kentucky associate professor of agricultural economics Jill Stowe says Kentucky's figure was nearly twice the amount in New York. The school led the 2012 survey.

The sleek thoroughbreds — bred for racing and most commonly associated with the state — were the overall winner as the most prevalent breed at 54,000.

The survey comes at a time of anxiety as the state's horse-racing industry struggles to compete with tracks in states that bolster purses with revenue from casino gambling.

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