Thanks to international organisations representing racing and and sport, the figures on the number of events is quite precise at a racing and International (FEI) level : 78 000 races a year and 10 000 national sporting events a year. However, this only represents in the sports horse sector the top elite and does not take into account the hundreds of smaller competitions being held every week throughout Europe in very many regions.
This dynamism of the horse activities is also shown by some figures representing the growth of this sector: as an example, the number of horse riders has grown +5%/year.
While total revenues from farming have fallen around 60% from their peak income level in 1995 - market dynamics in agriculture and leisure are expected to amplify this further in future years, making the equestrian, horse racing and betting sector an important contributor for regional growth and a dynamic sector of interest for EU future economic development.
Moreover, the horse industry is also made up of innovative companies, education programs, research and various sorts of specific activities from horses used in towns and for agricultural work to therapeutic uses (Hippotherapy).
The horse sector also supports a large range of ancilliary companies and jobs: from farriers and veterinarians, to saddlery and leather makers, farmers who produce the hay and grain, specialist feed companies, horse livery services, stable and arena building companies and many more.
Horse events also contribute to the tourism of many areas, either bringing in significant crowds to watch events, or through the promotion of equestrian tourism – often in inaccessible rural areas, bringing much needed employment opportunities.