In addition to taking inventory of horses and ponies by county, the quinquennial USDA Census of Agriculture also reports sales. While the sheer number of horses and ponies in Kentucky, the Bluegrass Region, and Fayette County was impressive, the number and dollar amount of horse and pony sales is even more remarkable.
Horse and pony sales in Kentucky totaled $178.34 million in 2012, ranking #1 in the nation and representing 13% of the total national sales.
The Bluegrass Region generated $151 million in horse and pony sales, representing 85% of the total state sales dollars and 32% of the horse and ponies sold.
Fayette County ranked #1 in Kentucky for horse and pony sales at $63.6 million dollars, with 10% of the horses and ponies sold in Kentucky and 36% of the total sales dollars.
Nine counties in Kentucky had more than $1 million dollars in sales in 2012. Of those eight counties, six were in the Bluegrass Region. Even among these high-sales counties, Fayette County still outperformed the closest county by about $20 million, and most by $60 million.
Fayette County ranks second in the nation with $63.6 million in horse and pony sales. The only county in the nation with more horse sales than Fayette County was Marion County, Florida, with $112.8 million in 2012 sales. The next highest sales county behind Fayette County was Maricopa County, Arizona, with only $13.6 million in horse and pony sales.
Fayette County also outsold every state except Florida ($162 million) and Texas ($146.9 million).
Note: The USDA Census of Agriculture surveyed county farmers to report gross value of sales in 2012, and should not reflect sales that occurred at Keeneland by non-Fayette County residents.