The Event at Rebecca Farm, one of the largest horse trials in North America, continues to make its mark on the local economy, according to a study recently completed by the University of Montana Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research.
The 2016 Event is estimated to have brought in $5.5 million in economic revenue to the Flathead Valley, surging 25 percent from the previous year. It is a major feat for The Event at Rebecca Farm, which welcomed more than 600 competitors and nearly 10,000 spectators in 2016.
“To see the economic impact increase to $5.5 million is amazing,” says Event at Rebecca Farm organizer, Sarah Broussard. “It really is a testament to the community, who help us put on The Event every year. We definitely could not do The Event, and continue to grow in this way, without community support and involvement.”
The study also found a 6 percent increase in out-of-state visitors (46 percent compared to 40 percent in 2015). Attendees came from 25 of the United States, as well as Canada, according to the study.
The increase in out-of-state visitors is not entirely surprising, according to Broussard. “The Flathead Valley is so wonderful and beautiful,” she says, noting that many people come for several days to enjoy a vacation. “Those that come to Event love to partake in all the Valley has to offer, whether that is zip lining, whitewater rafting, or going to Glacier National Park. There is so much this area offers to not just The Event competitors, but also to their family and friends.”
As for 2017: Broussard anticipates the Event at Rebecca Farm and its impact will continue to grow. In December, the USEF announced that Rebecca Farm would host the North American Junior & Young Rider Championships, a move that would see more international competitors and visitors coming to Montana.
“We are excited for 2017 and hope The Event at Rebecca Farm’s impact will continue to get bigger and better,” Broussard says.