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Summit To Assist Development of Proposed Equine Business Center at Texas A&M

COLLEGE STATION, TX – A summit scheduled May 17-18 in Fort Worth addressing the needs of the equine industry will play a key role in the planning of a proposed Center for Equine Business Studies at Texas A&M University.

The summit will be held at the international headquarters of the American Paint Horse Association. A reception is scheduled at 7 p.m. May 17, followed by a full session with lunch May 18 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The center would provide some of the first-ever economic analysis on the industry, said Dr. Ernie Davis, director. The meeting will help strategic planners better-assess the needs of the industry, with more than 230 companies and individuals invited to attend, he said.

“We invite anyone who wants to share in the exploration of this topic, while learning more about and providing input into the goals and vision of the center,” Davis said. “At the same time, the development team will gain knowledge of what the industry needs and wants, as well as the level to which the industry would support such a center.”

Ron Thomas, CEO of the Tennessee Walking Horse National Celebration, will be the keynote speaker May 18. The annual walking horse event held in Shelbyville, Tenn, has an economic impact of $38 million. Thomas’ discussion will assist in outlining potential research initiatives, depicting the equine industry’s economic impact at national, state and local levels.  

The center would be responsible for annual economic analysis in various sectors of the industry, Davis said, including pleasure riding, reining, cutting and team roping, penning, and trail riding.

“There's no standard marketing mechanism for the horse industry,” he said. “We could get greater market exposure for the horse industry by providing some trend data that various associations and retailers could use in promotion.”    

The proposed center has received endorsement by the American Quarter Horse Association, American Association of Equine Practitioners, Equibrand Corp., Wrangler and others. Funding for the center would come from the horse industry through membership fees.

For more information about the summit, or to receive an information packet about the center, contact Davis at (979) 845-1705 or e-mail

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