A COMMUNITY impact study has revealed that Equestrian sport contributes more than $1.14 BILLION to the Australian economy each year.
The report, jointly compiled by Sports Business Partners & Street Ryan, is the first of its kind ever commissioned by Equestrian Australia and is a significant investment towards better understanding the sport, its stakeholders and potential for growth and development.
Key findings were based on data from a wide range of sources including the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Sports Commission & Australian Government Department of Health. Vital information was also collected from a broad cross-section of Equestrian stakeholders & participants including an online survey of more than 4,500 Members from within the Australian Equestrian community.
The main objective of this project was to determine the contribution of Equestrian to the broader community within Australia across three key areas; Economic, Social and Health benefits. The total economic contribution of Equestrian (excluding all codes of horse racing, polo/ polocrosse, rodeo, western & tent pegging) is $1.135 Billion whilst the annual contribution to physical and mental health is an additional $12.724 Million. “These significant findings confirm Equestrian as one of Australian sport’s top contributors to the national economy,” said Equestrian Australia CEO Paula Ward. “They give Equestrian a strong platform that will be fundamentally important as we work towards growing participation and building the sport’s public profile.” “We now have a better understanding of the sport, the wider landscape, our Members and where we need to go in the long term.”
The study also determined that Equestrian sport has a range of social strengths including lifelong participation opportunities and high levels of family & female involvement.
A major point of difference Equestrian has from other sports is the responsibility that goes with the management and care of the horse. This selfless duty requires commitment, discipline and purpose.
76 % of Equestrian Australia members say they are involved with the sport “for the love of horses” and the community spends $371 Million each year on the maintenance and transport of horses.
75% of Members involved in the sport more than four times per week and 78% are involved for more than 10 years which shows a significant level of commitment to the sport.
“Compared with sports that have similar or the same participation levels equestrian’s economic contribution is higher because of the cost of maintaining horses,” Ward said.
Equestrian also offers a healthy outdoor lifestyle and is, for many people, a recreational outlet that leads to personal purpose and fulfilment. “Riding horses or even just being around these magnificent animals is a very fulfilling experience and men and women involved across all ages enjoy tremendous health benefits as a result,” Ward said.
“It is very heartening to see the hugely positive impact that participation in Equestrian has on the mental and physical health of Australians,” Ward said.
Equestrian Australia is working hard and in collaboration with numerous stakeholders to implement a significant amount of change that will be of benefit to everyone involved in the Equestrian community.
“It’s a very exciting time for Equestrian. There is so much scope to build the foundations of the sport and increase its profile nationally and internationally.” “Our new four-year strategic plan will help drive participation and development at grass-roots level and, ultimately, our success at the pinnacle of competition across all riding disciplines.”