Kentucky horse industry worth billions

In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, jockeys and their horses make their way past the grand stand at the Churchill Downs before the 10th race at 138th Kentucky Derby horse race Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

In a photo taken with a fisheye lens, jockeys and their horses make their way past the grand stand at the Churchill Downs before the 10th race at 138th Kentucky Derby horse race Saturday, May 5, 2012, in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The first statewide survey of Kentucky's horse industry in more than 30 years estimates the value of horses and equine-related assets at more than $20 billion.

The Kentucky Equine Survey found that the Bluegrass state was home to 242,400 horses in 2011, with thoroughbreds the winner among breeds.

The horses bred for racing were the most prevalent breed in the state at 54,000. Quarter horses numbered 42,000, followed by Tennessee walking horses and saddlebreds.

The survey estimates the value of horses and horse-related assets at $23.4 billion.

The last comprehensive snapshot of Kentucky's horse industry was done in 1977.

The results are the first phase of a survey conducted by the Kentucky field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, with help from the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Horse Council.


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