‘Horses Count’ in Final Weeks
Ky., (Feb. 28, 2007) – Kentucky is generally regarded as “The
Horse Capital of the World,” yet until now the actual number of
horses in Kentucky has only been estimated. A more precise
picture will be available soon, though, when the Horses Count
project finishes its survey at the end of March.
A collaborative effort between the University of Kentucky
Cooperative Extension Service, the UK Equine Initiative, the
Kentucky Horse Council and the Kentucky Equine Education
Project, the project is collecting anonymous information about
the number and breeds of horses in the state. To encourage
grassroots help in collecting that data, counties are being
offered the chance to compete for grants to support
youth-related horse activities. The grants, funding for which is
provided by KEEP, will go to the 10 county Extension offices
that count the most horses. Because the awards go toward
youth-related activities, 4-H clubs in many of the counties are
actively involved in collecting information.
Lori Garkovich, sociology professor in the UK College of
Agriculture, said that Horses Count will provide researchers
with more information than the U.S. Department of Agriculture
census does. The census simply counts horses located on farms.
asking people to tell us whether they have mares, stallions or
geldings,” she said. “We’re asking them to tell us if they’re
registered and, if so, what is the breed registry. So that will
be totally unique information.”
The count also asks about a horse’s primary use. Garkovich said
this information will illustrate whether people tend to have
horses for show, to race, to breed, or for trail or pleasure
“We’ll have a sense of how horses in Kentucky are being used, in
addition to how many horses there are,” she said.
Horse owners who fill in the questionnaire are also being asked
if they would be willing to participate in follow-up studies.
Currently, close to 90 percent of respondents wish to be
involved in those studies.
“We want to do follow-up surveys that assess the economic impact
of horse activity in Kentucky,” Garkovich said. “For example,
what and where do people spend on their horses and their
horse-related activities? It would also be interesting to learn
where people do their horse-related activities. Are there
opportunities to increase the number of horse events in Kentucky
and so capture monies that are being lost to other states?
Finally, knowing how many horses are in a county is vital if
there is ever a disease outbreak.”
If you are interested in participating in the Horses Count
survey, contact your local Extension office or complete the
online survey at
http://www.ca.uky.edu/equine. The last day for participation
is March 31.
Contact: Lori Garkovich, 859-257-7581
Holly Wiemers, 859 257-4883
The UK College
of Agriculture, through its land-grant mission, reaches across
the commonwealth with teaching, research and extension
to enhance the lives of Kentuckians.
Copyright © 2001-2006 University of Kentucky, College of Agriculture,
Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service
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