$185 Million Economic Impact of Florida’s Winter Equestrian Circuit

10 years ago StraightArrow Comments Off on $185 Million Economic Impact of Florida’s Winter Equestrian Circuit
Palm Beach International Equestrian Center. © Ken Braddick/dressage-news.com

WEST PALM BEACH, Florida, July 23–Florida’s winter equestrian circuit of jumping, hunter, dressage and polo competitions had a positive impact of more than $185 million on the economy of Palm Beach County in 2011, according to a study conducted for the Palm Beach County Sports Commission.

The study, conducted for the commission by Profile Marketing Research, found the biggest impact by far came from more than $120 million attributable to the Winter Equestrian Festival of 12 weeks of jumper-hunter competitions at the Palm Beach International Equestrian Center.

Dressage at the Jim Brandon Equestrian Center was found to have produced expenditures of $44 million, and polo $20 million.

As a comparison, the World Equestrian Games in Kentucky last year reported economic impact of “direct” spending of $128.2 million.

According to the survey of 222 participants at WEF, all conducted by the research company, there were 15,000 participants.

Of the estimated 48,686 hotel room nights attributable to equestrian activities, 47,139 were directly attributable to WEF.

The study found that the average travel party for all equestrian activity, that included competitors, officials, vendors and others, was 4.8 persons and the average spent $37,300, of which $29,328 was for horses.

Expenses for horses for competitors only, though, averaged $35,799 for WEF but jumped to $38,816 for dressage participants.

The findings for dressage were questionable, however, as more than half of the total of 48 respondents were self-administered.

Among other issues, the dressage survey reported 137 vendors at Brandon compared with 100 at WEF, and 38 per cent of respondents reported competing at the Brandon Center for at least 10 years. The Brandon Center was opened five years ago.