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Contribution of the horse industry to the economy of rural communities in Ireland: a case study of Co. Limerick

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dc.contributor.advisor Younge, Bridget A.
dc.contributor.advisor Arkins, Sean Jones, Oonagh 2015-03-23T15:38:55Z 2015-03-23T15:38:55Z 2014
dc.description peer-reviewed en_US
dc.description.abstract The horse industry is a major contributor to the economy, rural diversity and culture of Ireland. It is a multi-faceted industry with significant regional spread. It is important to rural Ireland as it provides jobs and economic activity where other opportunities are limited. The horse industry can be divided into three broad sectors: the Thoroughbred Industry (TB), the Sport Horse Industry (SH) and other subsidiary services that support both the TB and SH industries. The objective of this study was to quantify the contribution of the horse industry to the economy of rural communities in Ireland using a case study of Co. Limerick. An expenditure approach was adopted for this analysis as this is deemed to be the most effective method to assess economic impact. The study was carried out using a personally administered questionnaire. The study took place in Co. Limerick. All horse enterprises involved contributed to the local economy through direct business activities and/or their use of subsidiary goods and services. For the purposes of this study Co. Limerick was divided into five regions: Castleconnell, Rathkeale, Newcastle, Bruff and Killmallock. The population of horses from these regions was representative of both the TB and SH industries. The questionnaire examined the following areas: number and type of horse, enterprise type and services offered, employment, land use/management and overall expenditure. Data was analyzed using non-parametric tests in SPSS. An Expenditure Model was applied to examine the overall economic impact. A total of 100 enterprise owners participated in this research. The TB Industry was represented by 43% of enterprises, the SH Industry by 57% of enterprises. A total of 33% of the enterprises were entirely business driven with a further 50% of respondents indicating that their enterprise was a combined business/leisure pursuit. There were a total of 2,823 horses in the study population, 52% were Thoroughbreds and 48% were Sport Horses. The majority of horses (65%) represented the breeding sector with 40% being classified as young horses (≤3 years old). A total of 70% of participants were registered farmers, 92% of these kept other livestock. The enterprises in this study utilized 5,033 hectares of grassland. Horses represented 36% of the total Livestock Units. When employment levels were analyzed it was found that 44% employed staff with significantly more individuals employed on enterprises from the TB industry compared to the SH industry (P<0.001). The majority (74%) of enterprises engaged in business activities. A total of 72% were involved in the sale and purchase of horses and 48% offered services. The most frequently offered services included breaking, livery, racehorse training, boarding mares, sales preparation and tuition. The total annual expenditure for all enterprises was reported to be approximately €12.5 million, with €7.2 million classified as on-farm or direct expenditure, €1.1 million classified as off-farm or indirect expenditure and €4.2 million classified as induced expenditure. TB enterprises had significantly higher direct, indirect and induced expenditure compared to SH enterprises (P<0.001). The Expenditure Model used these figures for direct, indirect and induced expenditure to calculate the multiplier or ripple effect of these expenditures within rural economies and thus evaluate total economic contribution. The total economic contribution to rural communities from horses in this study was approximately €21 million per annum. The economic contribution of a relatively small population of enterprises highlights the importance of the horse on the dynamics of rural communities in Ireland. en_US
dc.language.iso eng en_US
dc.publisher University of Limerick en_US
dc.subject horse industry en_US
dc.subject Co. Limerick en_US
dc.subject economy en_US
dc.subject Ireland en_US
dc.title Contribution of the horse industry to the economy of rural communities in Ireland: a case study of Co. Limerick en_US
dc.type info:eu-repo/semantics/masterThesis en_US
dc.type.supercollection all_ul_research en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_published_reviewed en_US
dc.type.supercollection ul_theses_dissertations en_US
dc.rights.accessrights info:eu-repo/semantics/openAccess en_US

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