SJ’s equine business boom

SJ’s equine business boom

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Serpentine Horse and Pony Club members Clayton Gearing and Anneke Williamson with Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale president Michelle Rich (middle). Photograph — Richard Polden.

New research into the Serpentine Jarrahdale equestrian industry has revealed horse owners are spending a combined $168 million each year on horses stabled locally.

The study, which was completed by independent consultants for the shire’s draft Equine Strategy 2018, highlighted the industry’s scale and diversity in the region.

It revealed the shire was home to 3,876 registered horses, more than any other local government in the state.

The study also disclosed the shire had twice the number of registered racing horses than the next largest local government area.

It was also home to the second largest number of registered equestrian and pony club members and the third highest number of polocrosse members.

President Michelle Rich said there was a clear need the shire to adopt its own vision the preservation and growth of the area’s proud equine heritage.

“Not only is the industry a huge part of the local economy, it’s also a major part of our local identity,” she said.

“We’re fortunate to have easy access to bush riding trails, training facilities such as the Byford Trotting Complex, the state’s largest polo club and equestrian and pony clubs.

“There are over 80 local businesses directly linked to the equine industry and on top of this we have 4,500 much-loved horses stabled as leisure horses or companion animals.”

Serpentine Horse and Pony Club secretary Sarah Pateman said the adoption of the shire’s draft equine strategy was a great result for the shire and the wider equestrian community.

The 2017/18 draft budget provided $55,000 to conduct the strategy which included opportunities to host an annual equine event, develop equine tourism opportunities in the shire, establish a centre to offer training for equine-related skills and encourage collaboration between local equine businesses.

Ms Rich said each opportunity would be carefully examined in consultation with industry participants and the wider community.