What’s the Socioeconomic Status of Most Equestrian Participants?

University of Kentucky researchers developed a survey distributed earlier in 2019. Here’s what they found.

What’s the Socioeconomic Status of Most Equestrian Participants?
Understanding the complex nature of the SES of people involved in the horse industry could help maintain and grow participation rates in coming years. | Photo: iStock
Socioeconomic status (SES) is a complex assessment of an individual or group’s economic and sociological standing that has strong impacts on people’s lifestyle choices.

Equestrian participants have multiple roles and interests in the horse industry over time, and many will participate for decades. The complexity of SES takes into account education, income, occupation, residence location, heritage, and other cultural factors that affect this ability to participate.

However, what is the SES of most equestrian participants? What are the demographics of riders compared to nonriders (handlers or service participants)? To try to answer these questions, University of Kentucky researchers Karin Pekarchik (College of Agriculture, Food, and Environment) and Kimberly Tumlin (College of Public Health) developed a survey distributed earlier in 2019.

They distributed “Portrait of an Equestrian: Characterizing Active Participants in Horse Activities and Horse Sports,” internationally through multiple outlets. The survey addressed the socioeconomic status of recreational, amateur, and professional participants in the horse industry. Questions included type of equestrian participation, rider and handler income, education, residence, and social support

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