THP News Alert: An Update on the Horse Industry Escrow Account

(Austin, Texas - Wednesday, April 21, 2021) - Even during a global pandemic, in the first year of implementation – and now into 2021, Horse Industry Escrow Account (HIEA) funds generated significant growth in all sectors of the Texas horse economy. The Texas horse industry has seen great momentum through larger field sizes, increased purses, and renewed enthusiasm throughout the Texas racing and breeding industry. There are many anecdotes in the industry about trainers, owners and breeders who had moved their business out of Texas now returning with the prospect of growth in Texas’ horse industry. Below is a snapshot of some of the numbers relative to Texas horse racing:

Texas Accreditation Programs

  • The number of Texas Accredited Quarter Horses has increased 35.7 percent from 2019 to 2020.
  • The number of Texas Accredited Thoroughbreds increased 16.5 percent from Fiscal Year 2019 to Fiscal Year 2020.

Texas Race Meets

  • The Sam Houston Race Park 2021 Thoroughbred meet experienced a 28 percent increase in average daily handle at $2,242,808 on its live races.
  • The meet also consisted of more races this year, with 424 compared to 337 in 2020.
  • The average handle per race was $227,500, up from $182,244 at the corresponding meet in 2020.

In 2020, Retama Park experienced a 75 percent increase in the number of horses started in races.

In 2020, Sam Houston Race Park experienced an increase of 49 percent in total handle.

In 2020, Lone Star Park experienced an increase of 131 perecent in the average daily handle.

Other Texas Horse Industry Indicators

  • The Texas Racing Commission experienced a 12.5 percent increase in licensees (many of which are occupational) from Fiscal Year 2019 to Fiscal Year 2021 (YTD).
  • The 2021 Texas Thoroughbred Association Texas Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale experienced a total sale of $2,907,700 (66 percent increase over 2019) and an average price of $32,671 (40 percent increase over 2019).
    • At this auction, 89 of 104 horses were sold, and there was a tremendous degree of excitement and participation from the buyers who are optimistic about Texas racing.
  • The horse industry, like many others, suffered substantial losses and hardship during the pandemic – yet, with HIEA, still experienced growth. In 2020 through a study conducted by Texas A&M University, over 78.5 percent of businesses reported a negative impact on their business and 20 percent of businesses reported a temporary reduction in employment.

The Horse Industry Escrow Account (HIEA) was created by HB 2463 during the 86th Legislature in 2019 to preserve the heritage and culture of the Texas horse industry, but also to spur growth in this sector of the state’s agricultural economy. The HIEA reinvests up to $25 million dollars each year that come from the purchase of horse-related items in the Lone Star State back into the horse and agriculture economy.

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