Summary of our market study

The world racehorse market after 2020 highlights a significant trade surplus for France, with 8,000 equines imported and 21,000 exported in 2020, representing a surplus of +13,000 horses. Trotters are largely in surplus, with a coverage rate of 21.5, exceeding the equine average of 2.63, while gallopers show a coverage rate of 2.07. Demand for racehorses shows a downward trend for trotters but a slight increase for gallopers, with trotter trade falling by 14.3%, while galloper transactions rose by 6% over the same period. Notably, racehorse exports have seen an upward trend, with gallopers and trotters recording increases of 32% and 28.7% respectively . Despite the pandemic, this momentum remains strong, particularly for gallopers whose exports have continued to rise compared to 2019. The average auction price for racehorses also varies significantly between trotters (€13,666) and gallopers (€42,614) in 2020, reflecting a market sensitive to racehorse categories, breeds and potential. Lastly, betting on racehorses remains the industry's leading financial resource, even though bets are down in 2020 (€7.801 billion) due to the health crisis, compared with €9.121 billion in 2019.

Market dynamics and demand trends in the French racehorse industry

The French racehorse market, although only a fraction of all horse purchases, has its own trends and demand factors. Based on the information provided, we can discern that around 13% of horse transactions are destined for racing, with a further 8% of these racehorses being used for sport-leisure-education.

It is interesting to note that, despite the stability of overall demand for horses in different categories, the preference for trotters over gallopers has followed different trajectories. While demand for trotters fell by around 14% between 2015 and 2020, gallopers saw a slight increase in demand of around 6%. Looking at the profile of horses purchased, trotters account for more than half of all racehorse purchases, with gallopers accounting for around the other half.

The purchase price varies significantly according to the type of sale, particularly at auctions where average prices can soar for high-potential yearlings, reaching hundreds of thousands or even millions of euros. Notably, the average price of a galloper at auction is significantly higher than that of a trotter, highlighting a marked difference in market valuations between the two. An examination of buyers and their behavior reveals a notable dependence on professional circles and networks, with a large proportion of buyers not even having seen the racehorses before purchasing them.

Trainers and amateur owners are key players, accounting for the majority of racehorse purchases. The market also features a considerable trade surplus in the racehorse movement, with exports far exceeding imports, particularly for trotters. The substantial influence of the racing and betting industry on the racehorse market cannot be ignored.

With betting stakes running into billions of euros, much of which is fed back into the industry in the form of payouts and incentives, the health of this sector remains a central determinant of the vitality of the racehorse market. The volume of races organized each year further reinforces the sector's robustness, with France retaining a strong global presence in show jumping, flat and trotting races. Data on the domestic market paints a picture of an industry made up mainly of betting, breeding, trading and pensions, with betting accounting for the lion's share of market size.

The global horse market is also showing robust growth, indicating a potentially favorable environment for the French racehorse industry. This financial momentum suggests that, while the number of breeders and racehorse births may have fluctuated, the market as a whole remains healthy, with horseracing betting at its spearhead.

Key players shaping the racehorse market landscape

The racehorse market operates through a set of interconnected activities such as breeding, trading, organizing races and facilitating horse betting. Various entities play an essential role in each segment, ensuring the market's prosperity and meeting the demands of racehorse enthusiasts and professionals alike.

breeding and production

The breeding segment is dominated by numerous breeders who produce both trotters and gallopers. France, the world's leading producer of trotters, is home to a large number of these breeders. The gallop sector includes players such as the famous Haras d'Étreham in Calvados, known for breeding high-potential English thoroughbred yearlings that fetch impressive prices at auction.

The auction market

The auction of racehorses is a spectacle that often allows us to discover and evaluate the potential of an elite. The world's top auctions, including Deauville in France, Keeneland in the USA, Kildare in Ireland and Newmarket in the UK, frequently feature sale prices ranging from a few hundred thousand euros to several million euros. These auctions showcase the crème de la crème, where yearlings meticulously selected for their pedigree and future prospects are bid for at astronomical prices.

Racing institutions

France Galop and Le Trot are the two main racing institutions in France, structuring and organizing the French equestrian landscape. France Galop oversees the gallop racing industry, while Le Trot focuses on driving and trotting. These entities not only coordinate racing, they also distribute the premiums that fuel the industry's competitiveness.

Betting and wagering

At the heart of horse betting, PMU (Paris Mutuel Urbain) is the behemoth that concentrates most of the stakes. PMU offers betting opportunities in physical outlets and online, making it the central pillar for punters.

Other licensed online betting operators include Betclic Enterprises Limited, France Pari, Genybet, Joabet, SPS Betting France Limited and Zeturf France Limited. Together, these entities cater for a diverse betting audience, offering a wide range of betting options and contributing to the financial backbone of the horseracing industry.

Defending animal welfare

In the midst of all the commercial activity, organizations like Jump Ethique and initiatives like RaceandCare emerge as the guardians of equine welfare. These advocacy groups and initiatives help promote responsible horse racing practices and ensure that the industry meets high animal welfare standards.

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  • Last update : 06/04/2022
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Summary and extracts

1 Market overview

1.1 Definition and scope of study

There are two categories of racehorses. Horses for gallop races, where thoroughbreds and AQPS (other than thoroughbreds) are distinguished, and trotting horses for eponymous races, where the horses must give their highest speed without galloping.

The global market for racehorses is estimated at several tens of billions of dollars. This global sales figure is largely shared by a handful of countries. In Europe, the market is driven by France and Great Britain, in America by the USA and Canada, and in Asia by Japan and Hong Kong. Australia is also a major global player.

The French racehorse market, valued at several billion euros, can be divided into 4 activities: breeding, trading, boarding, and the organization of races and associated betting. It is this last activity that generates most of the industry's sales. The horse betting business, which is largely dominated by the PMU (Pari Mutuel Urbain), is therefore of prime importance to the industry, especially as half of the levies on horse betting are paid back to the other players in the industry (the PMU and the PMU, for example). to other players in the industry (associations such as France Galop and Trot, which in turn distribute part of this money to breeders, owners, trainers, jockeys, etc.). As for the racehorse trade, where the flagship event in France is the Deauville auction, two major players concentrate most of the activity: ARQANA and Osarus.

1.2 A fast-growing global market

Equine market:

According to theEquine Business Association, the global market size for the entire equine industry stood at *** billion USD in ****. The market is driven by Europe with **% market share (***).

Global equine industry market size World, ****, in billions of USD Source: ****

According to the same source, the market is expected to ...

1.3 Domestic market

The racehorse industry is characterized by * main economic activities: breeding, trading, pensions and betting. The graph below shows the total market size (***) and each of the sales figures for the different activities making up the racehorse industry.

This market size for the racehorse industry stands at *.*** billion euros in ****, at the ...

1.4 A large trade surplus for racehorses

In all, *,*** equines were imported and **,*** exported in ****. The equine trade balance is therefore broadly positive, with a balance of +**,*** animals, i.e. a coverage rate (***) of *.**.

For racehorses, gallopers and trotters, there is also a large surplus:

For gallopers, which represent **% and **.*% respectively of total equine imports and exports, and ...

2 Demand analysis

2.1 Demand for racehorses

The vast majority of horses (***). The category of horses purchased for racing use comes in a distant second, accounting for **% of transactions. However, *% of horse purchases are racehorses, but bought for sport-leisure-teaching use, bringing the number of racehorse exchanges to **%. A further *% of equidae are not intended for any purpose, and ...

2.2 Profile of horses purchased

The majority (***).

Distribution of racehorse purchases by breed France, ****, in Source: ****

Horses intended for racing are bought on average at *.* years of age for gallopers, and *.* years for trotters. At least **% of gallopers and **% of trotters are purchased at the age of two or less. These purchases of very young horses ...

2.3 Profile of racehorse buyers

Future buyers of racehorses have several ways of finding them. The main one is spotting at gatherings (***). Classified ads accounted for only *% of scouts. These proportions show the importance of the network in racehorse transactions.

Breakdown of racehorse purchases by search method France, ****, in Source: ****

More than * out of ** racehorses are ...

2.4 Racing and betting: major determinants of demand

Horse betting is the racehorse industry's main financial resource (***). In fact, horse betting and associated racing are the two major determinants of the racehorse market.

Racing :

The total number of horse races has been stable overall in recent years (***) due to the cancellation of several races because of the health crisis ...

3 Market structure

3.1 Value chain

Below is a simplified value chain for the racehorse industry. Each link in this value chain is detailed in other parts of the study:

Breeding: see *.* Trading: see parts * and *.* Racing: see *.* and *.* Horse betting: see *.* and *.*

Source: ****

3.2 Production: racehorse breeding

The graph below shows the number of French breeders of mares covered by racehorses. The number of breeders is higher for trotting horses than for galloping horses. In both categories, the number of breeders will fall between **** and ****, by **% for trotter breeders and *% for galloper breeders.

Number of racehorse breeders France, ...

3.3 Horse racing

There are *** active racing companies in France. In ****, they organized *,*** "meetings" (***).

Geographical distribution of racecourses (***)

Source: ****

The two maps above show the distribution of racecourses (***). Normandy and Pays de la Loire together account for **% of racecourses. These two regions also organize the most meetings. it should be noted that Île-de-France, which ...

3.4 Horse betting, a key industry activity

The main player in horse betting is the PMU (***): Betclic Enterprises Limited, France Pari, Genybet, Joabet, PMU, SPS Betting France Limited, Zeturf France Limited.

Racecourse betting accounted for just *.*% of value bets in ****. This proportion was impacted by the health crisis, which prevented the public from visiting racecourses for several months. ...

4 Offer analysis

4.1 Adding value to racehorses

There are three ways of selling racehorses:

Auctions Claiming races Non-auction sales and claiming races

Horses are classified into * categories at sales:

Foal: thoroughbred colt less than a year old Yearling: thoroughbred foal in its second year Horses in training over * years old Mares and fillies (***) Broodmares, stallions and stallion shares: ...

4.2 Supply trends

Soaring prices for gallopers at auction

As we saw in the previous section, the average sale price for galloping horses in all categories was **,*** euros, and **,*** euros for yearling gallopers (***). It's in this category that prices tend to soar, for "selection" yearlings, rigorously chosen for their origins and aptitudes, and considered ...

5 Regulations

5. Horse betting regulations

Until ****, the PMU (***) was the only authorized operator for horse betting in France, either physically or virtually. in ****, however, Parliament passed Act no. ****-*** on the opening up to competition and regulation of the online gambling sector. This opening up of the market concerns only "the scope of games subject to ...

6 Positioning the players

6. Segmentation

  • PMU Pari Mutuel Urbain
  • Betclic Group
  • France Galop
  • ARQANA
  • Equidia
  • Arquana
  • Eqwin

List of charts presented in this market study

  • Number of racehorse purchases: gallopers and trotters
  • Breakdown of horse purchases by use
  • Breakdown of racehorse purchases by breed
  • Distribution of racehorses purchased by activity prior to purchase
  • Breakdown of racehorse purchases by previous owner
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Latest news

France Galop aims to revive horse racing. - 27/03/2024
  • - Increase in the number of racehorse owners: +600 over the last three years to 5,800.
  • - Number of spectators at France Galop's five racecourses: 400,000 last year, up 6%.
  • - PMU sales: 10 billion euros, of which 7 billion generated by horse betting.
  • - Number of PMU points: 14,000.
  • - Economic sector: 10,000 direct jobs in the gallop racing industry, 233 racecourses in France, compared with 55 in the UK.
"Bistrot à la française": the PMU concept to widen the circle of bettors - 27/03/2024
  • - Objective to strengthen PMU's presence in city centers.
  • - Strategic plan to recruit one million new players in three years, presented at the end of 2022.
  • - 150 urban mutual betting establishments planned by 2027, in towns with more than 50,000 inhabitants.
  • - Investment of 40 million euros to modernize physical facilities.
  • - 85% of bets are placed at the point of sale.
PMU reverses negative trend in horse betting - 08/02/2024
  • - PMU achieved revenues of 10.007 billion euros in 2023
  • - The volume of horse stakes rose by 2% to 9.3 billion euros, reaching its highest level since 2013.
  • - The point-of-sale network recorded an increase in stakes of over 1%, to 6.9 billion euros.
  • - Internet betting increased by 5%.
  • - International stakes rose by 2% to 1.5 billion euros.
  • - PMU to open around 1,000 new sales outlets by 2023
  • - PMU recently opened its 14,000th point of sale.
  • - PMU's net profit for 2023, which will be paid in full to the horse racing industry, is 835 million euros.
  • - Internet sports betting and poker generated €650 million in stakes in 2023.
Olivier Delloye at Arqana - 23/09/2023
  • Arqana, the racehorse auction house, was created in 2006.
  • The Aga Khan and the Dassault family are shareholders in Arqana.
  • Racehorse auctions jumped 24% in 2022.
  • Since 2016, a good half of Arqana's workforce (50 people) has been renewed.
  • Arqana has become France's leading racehorse auction house and number two in Europe.
  • Arqana has developed the Australian and Japanese markets.
Racehorses: Deauville sales go from strength to strength - 20/08/2023
  • 300 yearlings will be auctioned on August 18, 19 and 20.
  • These sales have been held in Deauville since 1887.
  • It is the leading thoroughbred market in France and the second largest in Europe.
  • Majority owned by the Aga Khan IV, Arqana is backed by a consortium of French breeders (25%) and Artcurial (25%).
  • Global sales of galloping horses have reached $3.4 billion in 2022, up from $2.7 billion in 2021 and $2.5 billion in 2019.
  • Arqana has become the 6th largest auction house in France, with sales of 226 million euros in 2022
  • Out of 4,500 horses presented in 2022, Arqana sold 4,300.
  • Online auctions rose by 22% to 12 million euros.
Riots: PMU and Française des Jeux help tobacconists - 10/07/2023
  • 483 tobacconists were affected by the violence, half of them in the Paris region.
  • 58 establishments were completely destroyed.
  • The cost of the damage is estimated at between 15 and 20 million euros.
  • More than 240 PMU outlets were vandalized or destroyed, and 1,000 PMU machines were taken out of service.
  • PMU's loss of business is estimated at several tens of millions of euros until the end of the year.
  • Nearly 400 Française des Jeux (FDJ) sales outlets were affected by the riots, of which only 150 were able to resume business.
  • FDJ has a €15 million "rebound fund" to help restore damaged outlets.

Companies quoted in this study

This study contains a complete overview of the companies in the market, with the latest figures and news for each company. :

PMU Pari Mutuel Urbain
Betclic Group
France Galop
ARQANA
Equidia
Arquana
Eqwin

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