The Real Cost of Owning a Show Horse

By Bloomberg Rankings - 2012-08-01T15:09:13Z

Photograph by Brian Cahn/

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A High-Profile Sport

For Ann Romney, wife of presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, her partial share in Olympic dressage contender, Rafalca, is an actual business -- one that produced $77,000 in losses in 2010, although they were only able to write off $50 on their taxes. For most people, though, owning a show horse is a less formal hobby, albeit an expensive one. While there are about 9 million horses in the U.S., according to the American Horse Council Foundation, nearly 4 million of them are bought for the purpose of participating in show events such as competitive Western riding, jumping and dressage.