Have you ever wondered why Lexington, KY has been named the Horse Capital of the World? While Lexington has long claimed this title, other states, even countries might dispute this.
Kentucky as a whole has approximately 320,000 horses of various breeds. This figure puts us 5th in the nation for horse population. Texas is number one with 600,000 horses. According to the USDA the world equine population is close to 58 million animals with the United States having about 11 million. China led the world in horse population until 2004, when their count decreased to 7 million.
Kentucky is the leader in the United States in the dollar value of its horses. They have $1.75 billion worth of horses and other equines that are bought and sold each year. Thoroughbred horses generate the most sales figures. The horse industry in Kentucky has a $4 billion yearly economic impact and generates over $8 billion in tourism. There are around 100,000 jobs directly and indirectly generated by the horse industry in Kentucky.
The Kentucky Horse Park puts Lexington, KY on the world map because 34 national associations use the National Horse Center as their headquarters. Visitors from around the globe come to the Kentucky Horse Park and many international equine events are held there every year.
For these reasons, Lexington is the Horse Capital of the World.