Each year, the Economic and Social Observatory of the Horse (OESC) of the French Institute of Horses and Riding (IFCE) updates the key figures of the equine sector in the ECUS Yearbook. The new edition provides 2016/2017 data. This document is based mainly on equine databases consolidated by IFCE but also on complementary surveys. Extracted from the ECUS Yearbook, OESC also publishes each year the key-figures brochure for the equine sector.
Breeding Sector: In 2016, the number of breeders decreased slightly, as did births and the number of stallions and mares raised. However, the trends vary according to breed. For instance, the number of births continues to decrease in trotters and draft horses, while the production of racing Thoroughbreds and French saddle horses (Selle Français) continue to increase.
In general, the horse trade is improving in terms of average prices, despite a drop in demand. The sales of racehorses saw contrasting results in 2016, the same as 2015, when average prices for trotters fell, but increased for Thoroughbreds. In the Selle Français market, average prices paid for horses in France increased slightly, especially sport horses. Certainly, the volume of domestic purchases decreased in 2016, and the importation of sport horses and ponies also dropped. Exports to foreign buyers were also sharply down, although the balance of trade shows that France exports twice as many horses as it imports (although this includes the meat and hobby market).
Overall, betting and equestrian activities continue to decrease. The number of licensed riders fell for the fifth consecutive year in the 2016-2017 season. Nevertheless agricultural employment has stabilized – with nearly 60,000 people employed in the horse industry. Conversely, the number of employees involved in training continues to decline – which impacts both agriculture and sport. Companies involved within the leisure and sport sector are fewer than those in racing.
The ECUS directory can be downloaded free of charge: http://www.ifce.fr/ifce/connaissances/statistiques-et-donnees/economie-de-la-filiere/
The published edition is on sale from: http://www.ifce.fr/produit/annuaire-ecus-2017/