The equine industry runs about $6 billion a year, contributes 0.67% to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP), and it is a challenge for Colombian horses to reach three more destinations this year: Brazil, Canada and Mexico.
And that, according to the Colombian Federation of Equine Associations (Fedaquinas), business contributes to the development of the economy from three fronts: breeding, the spectacle of horse exhibitions, and the commercialization of horses and mares and the production of genetic material or breeding .
In this way, the first front goes from the care of the specimens to the cultivation and production of food for their diet such as hay and alfalfa, and their training.
As for the show, the director of Fedequinas, Hector José Vergara, explained to this newspaper that 160 horse exhibitions are held annually in the country; However, in the pandemic (2020) this figure was reduced to 25, for which approximately $20,000 million was lost in relation to these events.
“It is an industry that is active from January to December, and is present in 19 departments across the country. 120 fairs are projected to be held during the year for this 2022”, indicated Vergara.
And he stresses that equine events itself brings out a whole commercial issue, as those places’ economies are fueled by activities such as commerce, the rental of public spaces, the transportation of animals, and leather. Merchandise and blacksmiths.
“A horse, in addition to being a horse for competition, recreation and breeding, is also a generator of employment. The care of this animal requires the intervention of at least seven people: assembler, walker, groom, caretaker, Blacksmith, butler, transporter, vet, others,” Vergara explained.
And he said there are more than 480,000 families who are directly and indirectly dependent on this sector.
In fact, one of the most anticipated events of the year is the flower fair. According to Lucas Londoo, director of the Association of Colombian Creole Horse Breeders (Esdecilla), the ExpoInternational Equine Fair leaves Medellin with around $13,000 million.
“These events strengthen the economy of the department and the country, as it creates about 800 direct jobs,” Londona said.
Finally, one of the fronts of this millionaire business is the buying and selling of animals, as well as breeding material, through straw (commercialization of semen) and embryos – a straw from Mi Lord de Yerbabuena, a Colombian Paso Fino horse, tax Can cost up to US$5,000-.
Colombia exports about 120 specimens a year, the main destinations being the United States, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
And although, according to Vergara, it is difficult to have a specific figure as to how much money these sales abroad are worth, as they are private negotiations, the aim is to continue to open commercial borders to Colombian horses.
For now, the region aims to open three new markets and strengthen export of samples to countries such as Ecuador, Panama and Venezuela; As well as genetic material, taking advantage of the green light granted in 2021 by the Colombian Institute of Agriculture (ICA) to export fresh semen from Colombian Creole horses to the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and the United States.