Horse owners worried about long-term financial impact of COVID-19


Horse owners worried about long-term financial impact of COVID-19

Stage two of Charles Sturt University study of horse owners during COVID-19 shows their financial concerns and worries about long-term effects of the pandemic on the industry.

  • Stage two of Charles Sturt University study to look at impact of COVID-19 on horse owners six months later
  • Study conducted in March 2020 surveyed almost 700 horse owners
  • Data will be shared to produce targeted advice and support for horse owners

Six months after a survey was conducted of horse owners during the pandemic, a Charles Sturt University researcher is part of an international research team investigating how their situation has changed.

The ‘Australia and New Zealand COVID-19 survey’ was conducted in March 2020 as COVID-19 restrictions were coming into effect.

Almost 700 horse owners participated to give feedback on issues such as horse management and health, horse welfare, and human wellbeing.

The survey revealed that a majority of horse owners felt they have been affected by the pandemic and associated quarantine restrictions, but most owners had not experienced problems accessing veterinary and other professional services.

Most facilities have implemented control measures to reduce the spread of transmission of the virus, but the survey revealed that only one-third of horse owners felt fully informed.

Two-thirds of horse owners surveyed were worried about the long-term financial impact of the pandemic.

Financial concerns among some horse owners included increased cost of feed and forage, financial losses due to not being able to run their own equine-based business and financial loss due to not being to have the horse out competing and adding to their monetary value.

Charles Sturt University Associate Head of School and Associate Professor of Equine Science in the School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences Dr Hayley Randle (pictured) is part of this research team with Dr David Marlin from Cambridge and Dr Jane Williams from Hartpury University, both in the United Kingdom.

She said stage two of the survey will look at the situation Australian and New Zealand horse owners are facing six months later.

“It will be interesting to see how things have changed and if owners’ concerns have turned into reality,” Dr Randle said.

“The information will be used to develop a better understanding of the effects of the ongoing situation, with the aim of being able to produce more targeted advice and support for horse owners, facility managers and owners and equestrian professionals.”

Data will be shared with stakeholders including Equestrian Australia, New Zealand Equestrian Federation, Australia Veterinary Association, New Zealand Veterinary Association, the RSPCA, and SPCA New Zealand.

The survey can be completed online, will take no more than five minutes, and no personal data will be collected.

Media Note:

For more information or to arrange an interview with Dr Hayley Randle, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0429 217 026 or

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