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The Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF), the largest and longest-running annual equestrian competition in North America, has once again demonstrated its monumental significance, not only in the realm of equestrian sports but also as a vital economic engine for Palm Beach County. The recently released economic impact study for the 2023 edition of WEF has revealed astounding figures that underscore the festival's unparalleled contribution to the region.
WEF, known for attracting athletes from over 34 countries and all 50 U.S. states, spans 13 consecutive weeks of prestigious competitions sanctioned by the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) and the Fédération Equestre Internationale (FEI). More than 34,000 horse entries are submitted during the season. The event, which commences in early January and concludes in late March, has left an indelible mark on Palm Beach County's economy.
Key Findings from the 2023 WEF Economic Impact Study:
In summary, the 2023 Winter Equestrian Festival generated a remarkable increase of $352 million in the GDP of Palm Beach County, supporting 3,364 jobs across various industries and resulting in labor earnings of $103 million. Over 70 percent of this economic impact was attributed to horse expenditures, emphasizing the vital role equestrian sports play in the region.
WEF captivates audiences and stands as a cornerstone of Palm Beach County's economic success. It is a testament to the remarkable synergy between sports and economic prosperity.