INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Tuesday, January 17, 2023) – It’s not just auto racing and paved tracks investing in our state; Another type of Hoosier horsepower also makes a big impression. The horse racing industry is big business for the state of Indiana, touching all 92 counties.
The newly released results of a recent economic impact analysis by Purdue University show that Indiana’s agribusiness horse racing branch has more than doubled in size over the past decade. The racing and breeding business associated with horse racing has now nearly reached the $2 billion mark in economic impact. The Indiana General Assembly laid the groundwork for success nearly 30 years ago in growing Indiana’s agribusiness by creating jobs, increasing sales of Indiana goods and services, and increasing tax revenues.
The Purdue University study was a collaborative effort of all entities associated with Indiana horse racing, including the Standardbred, Thoroughbred, and Quarter Horse Associations, Indiana Horse Racing Breed Development, and Racetrack Ownership. Like previous studies, detailed surveys were distributed by Purdue University to racing stakeholders, covering all aspects of the industry, including breeding farms, training facilities, track operations, and other affected businesses in between.
“As a group, we noticed that attendance had increased significantly in our industry, but we didn’t know the exact impact that was having on the state,” said John DeLong, president of the Indiana Standardbred Association. “Seeing the results of this survey is very enlightening and encouraging for our organization who have worked hard to promote Standardbred racing in the state. We will be hosting the prestigious Breeders Crown for the third time in 2023, which only reinforces us as one of the most viable options in Standardbred racing.”
One of the most amazing statistics was the level of investment within the state. The report recorded a 59.2 percent increase in horses owned, trained or bred between 2007 and 2020. Another statistic showed that 25.1 percent of reported information resulted in an increase in Indiana ownership, with another 47.9 percent representing an increase in invested equipment directly related to horse racing.
“We’ve seen a lot of new farm developments over the last few years, particularly around Horseshoe Indianapolis,” said Joe Davis, president of the Indiana Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association. “This survey confirms what we expected based on our growing numbers at racing and breeding farms. In addition, these facilities directly impact their local communities by hiring additional workers, buying supplies, and bringing in tax dollars to the state. We knew there had been a significant increase in our industry, but had no idea it had totaled $2 billion.”
Tom Mosley, President of the Indiana Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association added: “Our annual fall sale has increased significantly over the past few years and the number of new owners is growing tremendously. Every year we add new stallions and broodmares to our program, which has increased the quality of our breeding program. It’s exciting to see this surge in interest in our business.”
“Over the past five years we’ve seen a lot of investment in the Indiana quarter horse racing industry,” added Paul Martin, President of the Quarter Horse Racing Association of Indiana. “The Quarter Horse breed is one of the most popular in the state in a number of disciplines from recreational riding to rodeo activities, including the popular barrel racing track. It is encouraging to see some of these people starting to branch out into the racing realm of our breed. Our hosting of the Bank of America Challenge Championships last fall, the industry’s premiere event, increased our awareness nationally and increased interest in our program in Indiana.
The most recent study of the economic impact of horse racing in Indiana includes mature business layers since the introduction of casino gaming at the racetracks, including the addition of table games at the two racetracks in 2020. The continued growth of Indiana’s horse farming business, which at each Benchmark has been shown in direct relation proves to be positive with regard to the future and the implementation of further gambling opportunities.
“We are committed to taking Indiana’s horse racing industry to a higher level,” said Joe Morris, senior vice president of racing for Caesars Entertainment, which owns both Harrah’s Hoosier Park and Horseshoe Indianapolis. “Our goal is to continue to elevate all three breeds into the national horse racing conversation. We work closely with the equestrian organizations to ensure we travel in the right direction at all times.
“Our relationship with these groups is essential to continue the growth of our industry,” added Morris. “Our collaboration with this state’s riders, the Indiana Horse Racing Commission, and breed development programs is unmatched in the United States, and we’re not done yet. Our racing team is dedicated to the success of horse racing in Indiana and the results of this survey show we are on the right track.”
“It is a tremendous achievement that all facets of horse racing have worked together over the past two decades to build such a viable and impactful industry for Indiana,” said IHRC Chairman Phil Borst.
Of the Indiana Horse Racing Commission