Maryland’s 37,000 Thoroughbreds support more than 8,000 jobs. (Photo: Emily Calkins)

A state breakout report in the American Horse Council’s 2023 Economic Impact Study indicates the total economic impact of Maryland’s horse industry grew 38% between 2017 and 2022, from $2.1 billion to $2.9 billion.

The study, released on Jan. 31, reflects that the industry’s direct contribution to Maryland’s GDP grew by 40.5% during the same period, accounting for 28,434 jobs and wages totaling more than $1.24 billion.

The AHC survey was conducted in 2023 and estimated Maryland’s total horse population at more than 94,000. More than 37,000 of those horses are Thoroughbreds, making them the most populous breed in the state.

“Horses provide both job opportunities and the environmentally beneficial green space that are essential to Maryland’s productive future,” said Cricket Goodall, executive director of the Maryland Horse Breeders Association. “We are proud that Maryland has more horses per square mile than any other state in the country.”

According to the report, the industry directly employs 21,841, with a direct economic impact of $1.05 billion. It induces a further $713 million in added value to the economy and nearly 6,600 jobs, along with $841 million in direct labor income and $407 million in indirect and induced income.

The state’s Thoroughbreds produce a total economic impact of $664 million and support more than 8000 jobs.

The report also notes that Maryland is home to 29 animal welfare organizations, 58 licensed stables that offer rescue or sanctuary services, and 12 equine-related associations with a total output of more than $24.8 million.