By Kimberly Eiten

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– It’s a billion dollar industry, highlighted by the Preakness Stakes. But, new numbers show Maryland’s horse industry is making a huge impact outside the gates of Pimlico.

Just released, the report by the American Horse Council shows the state’s equine industry is thriving.

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“Racing, recreation, anything you can do with a horse, we do in Maryland,” Cricket Goodall with the Maryland Horse Breeders Association said. “We have a history and heritage like no other state in the region, so we’ve always had an infrastructure of core support of really good horsemen and horse people in Maryland.”

The report says Maryland’s horse industry has an economic impact of $1.3 billion, supporting more than 21,000 jobs.

It also says the state has more than 101,000 horses. Per square mile, it has more horses than any other state.

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“Many of our shows have over 200 horses here on the weekends, and they’re running all through the year,” Street Moore said, director of riding at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills.

He said the effect of the industry is more than financial, with horse farms helping to conserve natural land and programs and classes that help learn about the animals.

“McDonogh is unique in that we offer riding as part of physical education in lower school, so all the students are exposed to riding horses,” Moore said.

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