- Feb 20, 2002
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- Licensed Appraiser
Equestrian Communities on the Rise
Golf communities, which have been developed across the country for a number of years and have been especially popular with retirees, may be reaching the super saturation point. Developers are finding new themes for "branded" communities, most of which center around sports and leisure activities, such as fishing or biking. There are even wine appreciation communities complete with their own vineyards.
Developers also have their eye on the nearly 2 million horse owners in the United States. Branded equestrian communities are turning up in many locations across the country. Currently, there are about 250 nationwide. The communities are often built with the endorsement of professional riders or trainers. Just as golf communities might have the endorsement of Jack Nicklaus or Arnold Palmer, so too do equestrian developments use celebrities within the industry to endorse their communities. Olympic competitors David and Karen O'Connor and trainer John Lyons are among those who have backed developments.
The communities usually include homesites, an equestrian facility and riding trails. Large-scale developments are currently underway in Parker, Colorado and Prescott, Ariz.
Vol 1, Issue 1
Global Economic Tables Turning
For years, the U.S. dollar remained strong, due mostly to the booming housing market. American consumers capitalized on this strength, in many cases buying much more than they could actually afford. The past 18 months has proven that all good things must come to an end. The dollar is struggling against other currencies, making overseas travel a costly venture. The American housing market remains extremely soft. Yes, the party is over and the position of the United States in the global economy has shifted dramatically in a very short period of time.
Some financial experts predict that consumer growth will shift away from the U.S. as Asian countries, particularly China, cash in on years of economic growth that has come to them in the form of exports to the United States. For large retailers, that means an increase in growth opportunities on foreign soil, and a decrease in domestic consumer spending. With a population of one billion potential consumers, India has recently enjoyed rapid economic growth and is also being touted as an area of future retail growth.
Growth in Michigan Equine Numbers
Michigan's equine population has climbed nearly 20 percent since 1996, according to the preliminary results of a new study conducted by investigators from Michigan State University (MSU), the Michigan Horse Council and the National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The first comprehensive study of the state's horses, donkeys and mules and their uses in more than a decade, the Michigan Equine Survey was released during the Michigan Equine Conference Dec. 13, 2007 at the MSU Kellogg Hotel and ConferenceCenter.
Aimed at describing the equine population by breed and use, it was also designed to explore how and where horses are kept, land use issues such as zoning and manure management, and the number of individuals employed by the equine industry.
The survey showed that the state's equine population increased from 133,000 animals in 1996 to 155,000 in 2007. There are 440,000 acres devoted to equine operations across the state, mostly (345,000) zoned for agricultural use but also in residential (60,000) and other zoning categories (35,000). The value of assets, including barns, equipment and supplies, is nearly $8 billion.
"The results of this survey will be important to Michigan State University faculty members who conduct educational programs, research and extension efforts for horse owners and industry professionals," says Karen Plaut, chair of the MSU Department of Animal Science. "It will strongly influence our long-range planning for programs and activities designed to meet the needs of everyone from large horse farm owners and show competitors at the national level to kids in 4-H horse clubs."
A survey report will be made available by MSU Extension once the data have been further analyzed. Preliminary results are available online from the Michigan Department of Agriculture. Click here.