The New York field office for USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service has completed a survey conducted for the New York State Task Force on Retired Race Horses and there are some interesting findings. According to USDA officials, the goal of the survey was to investigate the feasibility of creating a larger market and alternative employment opportunities for retired racehorses. Here’s a snippet of what the survey revealed:
There were 1,845 New York racehorses retired in 2007 by 1,108 racehorse owners, according to Steve Ropel, director of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, New York field office. Results of responses show 79 percent of the reported horses were retired in New York and 21 percent out of state. Major reasons given for retiring horses were injury or lack of soundness and lack of economic viability. Forty-six percent of the retired horses were geldings, 23 percent mares, 21 percent fillies and 10 percent colts. Seventy-three percent of the horses were from 3 to 6 years old. Forty-nine percent of the retired horses had lifetime earnings of less than $25,000; 73 percent had 2007 earnings of less than $25,000. Forty-eight percent of the respondents would pay to retire a horse and 65 percent would support a voluntary payment fund to retire horses.