COVID-19 Economics Challenge the Horse Industry

From shutting down local horse shows to postponing the Olympic Games until 2021, the coronavirus pandemic has played havoc with the way owners keep, exhibit, and even trail ride their horses.
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COVID-19 Economics Challenge the Horse Industry
The virus’ lasting impact on the equine industry remains uncertain. | Photo: iStock
From shutting down local horse shows to postponing the Olympic Games until 2021, the coronavirus pandemic has played havoc with the way owners keep, exhibit, and even trail ride their horses. Now some believe its effects on the equine industry will go on long after the pandemic has passed.

In January, the United States reported its first cases of the virus. By March, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and as of March 30, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have reported more than 140,000 cases and 2,405 deaths connected to coronavirus in the U.S.

In response, equine industry organizations such as the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI) have either canceled or postponed long-scheduled events, including the FEI World Cup Finals slated for April in Las Vegas. USEF has also suspended all events, selection trials, training camps, clinics, and activities for 30 days through April 14.

Since then, nonaffiliated local horse shows have followed suit, taking a bite out of income event officials expected to derive from those events

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Written by:

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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