A new study shows the number of horses, ponies and mules in Virginia grew 26 percent between 2001 and 2006.
The 2006 Equine Survey Report was released this month by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The central and northern parts of Virginia are home to most of the state's horses, but the population is increasing throughout the state, including the southern and southeastern areas.
The Isle of Wight's horse population increased 46 percent between 2001 and 2006.
There are an estimated 215,000 horses, ponies and mules in Virginia. The report says the total value of all equine on November 1, 2006, was $1.65 billion. That's up 13 percent from 2001. Horses are the sixth-largest commodity in Virginia based on cash receipts.