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How Many Horses Are There in Australia? (2023 Statistics)

A herd of strong and fast wild Australian horses racing across the plains of a beautiful valley

Note: This article’s statistics come from third-party sources and do not represent the opinions of this website.

Australia’s enthralling connection with horses dates back centuries and continues today, making it the perfect place to unravel the population of these magnificent creatures. Let’s take a closer look at their current state so we can gain an even more comprehensive perspective on this special bond between Australian citizens and their equine friends.

 

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8 Statistics About Australia’s Horses

  1. Australia is estimated to have more than 1 million horses.
  2. 2% of Australia’s population owns horses.
  3. Australia exported more than 1,600 horses in 2022.
  4. Australia is home to almost half a million feral horses.
  5. Australia brought in more than 10,000 feral horses in 2021.
  6. Equestrian Australia has more than 22,000 members.
  7. In 2022, there were 351 equestrian events.
  8. Equestrian Australia pumped more than $1 billion into the country’s economy.

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General Statistics About Horses in Australia

1. Australia is estimated to have more than 1 million horses

Horses looking at the camera
Image Credit: WolfBlur, Pixabay

(ResearchGate)

Australia’s endless grassroots and lush pastures make it an ideal place for horse aficionados! The number of horses in the country has grown profoundly throughout recent years, with approximately 1 million estimated equines now living Down Under.

Given Australia’s vast area, it is no wonder that these animals are so beloved by locals. What’s more, this trend looks set to continue into future generations.


2. 2% of Australia’s population owns horses

(ResearchGate)

At first glance, 2% doesn’t seem like much, but that equates to close to half a million horse owners in Australia. That’s a lot of horses—and a lot of people!

Horses are an integral part of many Australians’ lives, whether it be for horse racing and show jumping or simply pleasure riding. These majestic creatures can even be found in the cities and suburbs, where they are kept by those who enjoy their company.

Horse-assisted therapy is also becoming increasingly popular among urban dwellers as a way to relax and connect with nature. With so many reasons to own one, there’s no doubt why horses have such a special place in Australian hearts!


3. Australia exported more than 1,600 horses in 2022

Horses on the fence
Image Credit: Free-Fotos, Pixabay

(AgriFutures)

The Australian equine industry is a thriving one, exemplified by the significant global demand for horses bred here.

In fact, these magnificent creatures are exported to countries across the world for racing, show jumping and other purposes, with 1,681 exported in 2022 alone—proof that Australia has become an international leader in horse breeding!

With the sheer quality of show horses bred and exported from Australia, it’s no surprise why so many people are investing in them.


4. Australia is home to almost half a million feral horses

(Invasive Species Council)

Australia is the proud home to a larger population of wild horses, otherwise known as brumbies, than any other country in the world—boasting more than 400,000 feral horses across its outback.

These amazing creatures have descended from domesticated horses introduced by European settlers during the 19th century and have since adapted to living robustly within this challenging terrain.

With so many wild horses running wild in the outback, Australia also has a large population of domesticated animals. And since horses are easily trained, the country’s feral horse population can be tapped into for future training and riding activities.


5. Australia brought in more than 10,000 feral horses in 2021

Iconic wild horses live free in Australian alps for almost 200 years in Kosciuszko National Park
Image Credit: Constantin Stanciu, Shutterstock

(Nature)

As mentioned above, Australia’s feral horse community can serve as a pipeline for domesticated horses. In 2021, Australia tapped in its feral horses, bringing in over 10,000 of them for domestication in Australia’s farmlands and other rural areas.

Some feral horses are trained to race, either through outback races or even in the more formal racing competitions. Other feral horses are trained to be used as show horses, with some becoming quite successful in their respective disciplines.

divider-horseStatistics for Australia’s Horse Racing Community

6. Equestrian Australia has more than 22,000 members

(Equestrian Australia)

As we enter the new year of 2023, it is predicted that Australia will be home to over 1 million horses. This is mainly due to an increase in horse riding enthusiasts and a higher demand for competitive events involving horses.

Among these competition riders are the 22 thousand members of Equestrian Australia—the national governing body for equestrian sports—representing nearly 2% of all Australian horses used solely for such activities!


7. In 2022, there were 351 equestrian events

(Equestrian Australia)

Almost as many days as there are in a year, Australia hosted 351 equestrian events in 2022. This number goes up every year, giving Australians a chance to show off their equestrian skills and compete against some of the best riders from around the world.

A variety of competitive disciplines were included, such as showjumping, dressage, driving, and vaulting. In these events, many Australian horses were showcased, particularly the iconic Australian Stock Horse, which is a breed native to the country.


8. Equestrian Australia pumped more than $1 billion into the country’s economy

Female jockey on dapple gray horse jumping over hurdle in the open arena
Image Credit: FXQuadro, Shutterstock

(Equestrian Australia)

Equestrian Australia took the country out with a bang in 2022, as its events culminated by year’s end to bring more than $1 billion into Australia’s economy.

This figure cements the fact that the country’s horse-riding industry is second to none and has come a long way since its humble beginnings.

For 2023, Equestrian Australia plans to continue its impressive growth with more events and initiatives that will help the industry thrive.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Horses in Australia

What kind of horse-related events are held in Australia?

Australia is home to a plethora of horse-related festivities, ranging from equestrian competitions and races to various other events across the year. Not only that, but innumerable shows dedicated to distinctive breeds of horses are held throughout the nation with the aim of advocating ownership and proper care for them.

Do Australian horse owners have access to government funding?

The Australian government understands the financial burden that horse owners face and has implemented several grants and subsidies to help ease this strain. These initiatives provide assistance with veterinary costs, feed expenses, medications, and any other necessary supplies for your animal’s care.

How do horse owners care for their animals in Australia?

Australian horse owners are compelled to follow strict animal welfare regulations. Not only must horses have access to fresh food, water, and shelter, but they also should be offered at least five hours of grazing daily for their nutritional needs, exercise, and soundness.

Moreover, regular vet check-ups that include deworming treatments & vaccinations are essential in keeping them healthy. Regular hoof care maintenance will ensure a comfortable ride without any issues.

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Conclusion

Have you been captivated by the number of horses living in Australia? Despite its size, there is no doubt that it’s home to a million equines—some show off their talent and speed while others carry people across vast distances, giving us an extraordinary way to discover this land.

Horses undeniably have a strong influence here, and almost everyone loves them; they hold a deep place in owners’ hearts. It’s not shocking why so many are proud caretakers of these magnificent creatures!


Featured Image Credit: Jackson Stock Photography, Shutterstock

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