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Horse industry churns out millions in Sask.

The Saskatchewan Horse Federation shared numbers with the Exhibition Company
exhibition co meeting sask horse
Audrey Price (Ron Walter photograph)

The annual impact of the horse industry in Saskatchewan amounts to $723 million, according to a study by Equestrian Canada.

“That’s a good reminder while horse industry and horse sport may not have the footprint grain production or beef production does, significant dollars are still being spent in the province,” said Audrey Price, executive-director of the Saskatchewan Horse Federation (SHF).

“We need to not lose sight of that,” she sold the Moose Jaw Exhibition Company annual meeting.

With 115,000 horses, supporting 600 full-time jobs, and the equivalent of 9,700 unpaid jobs, the industry spends $426 million annually on things like veterinary care, feed, bedding, grooming and equipment. 

Another $297 million is spent on travel and accommodation to shows. 

“The horse federation’s role is to make sure that kind of contribution can continue.”

In Canada, the study showed 250,000 owners had 950,000 horses supporting 200,000 jobs with 2.8 million people attending horse events.

While the SHF is recognized by Sask. Sport as the provincial equestrian governing body “it has taken government quite a while to understand horse sport. We’re the only one of 67 sport organizations that has an animal as a partner.”

Through Sask. Sport and the lotteries trust, the SHF disbursed $192,000 in grants to 143 member clubs last year.

This year has seen an increase in new clubs.

“Membership is our strength, particularly young members.”

New members include middle-aged people returning to riding and entry level riders for whom having fun is really important.

“It is important to have a facility like the Moose Jaw Exhibition arena. It’s a pleasure to work with the exhibition.”

Ron Walter can be reached at ronjoy@sasktel.net