Survey Reveals New Spending Patterns in Equestrian Industry
The British Equestrian Trade Association’s 2011 National Equestrian Survey has highlighted new spending patterns and changing trends over the past five years as the equestrian sector weathers the nation’s turbulent economic climate.
The specially commissioned poll, conducted by Sportswise, uses accurate statistics and reliable estimates to present a clear picture of the British equestrian sector. Headline findings include:
The gross output of the equestrian sector is valued at £3.8 billion a year, lower than previously, but reflecting the shrinking consumer market caused by the economic downturn. It is still, however, an extremely large figure in its own right, boosted significantly when other equine-related activities such as racing (an estimated £3.7 billion) and major equestrian events (an estimated £6 million) are factored in.
Three-and-a-half million people in Britain have ridden at least once during the year 2010-11. Although this is 19 per cent down since 2005-6, it is 1.1 million more than in 1998-9.*
A drop to 1.6 million people riding once a month – but 14 per cent more than in 1998-9.
Forty-two per cent of ex-riders – 1.3 million – said they planned to ride again in the future. Of those who had stopped riding, expense and time were cited as the main barriers.
The number of riders is expected to increase as the economy improves and there is greater affordability. An overall growth in riding since 1998-9 brings a positive long-term outlook.
There is increased interest in riding for pleasure, schooling, riding lessons, competition – both affiliated and non-affiliated – and hunting.
Forty-eight per cent of regular riders are aged 24 and under, but significant growth has appeared among those aged 45 and over.
There are an estimated 900,000 horses, owned by 451,000 private individuals – that’s a drop of 300,000 since the 2005-6 survey. The figure, however, is exactly the same as in 1998-9, showing no overall decline in just over 10 years. When the 88,000 horses owned by the professional sector are added, the overall number of equines in Britain reaches almost a million.
The average purchase value of a horse is £2,160, just £10 more than five years ago.
It is estimated that direct expenditure for the upkeep and care of horses stands at £2.8 billion – £3,105 per horse, per annum – compared with £2.6 billion in 2005-6.
Other costs involved in owning a horse are estimated at £557 million a year, including £191 million spent on footwear and £129 million on riding hats and body protectors.
The Overview Report is now available free for BETA Members or £100 + VAT for Non-Members. The survey’s full structural report will soon become available and can be bought for £200 + VAT by BETA members or £360 + VAT by non-members. Separate Feed & Bedding and Clothing, Horse & Rider Clothing & Saddlery reports will be on sale next month.
* The variation between 2006 and 2011 estimates might be partly a result of margins of error in each survey. The actual number of people who have ridden in the past 12 months could be several per cent plus/minus the proportion shown in the survey, for example.
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