12/08/2011 2:32PM

Darby Dan adopting breeding incentive plan


Taking inspiration from Spendthrift Farm, Darby Dan Farm in Lexington, Ky., will adopt the Share the Upside breeder incentive for breeders sending mares to their new stallion, American Lion.

Spendthrift owner B. Wayne Hughes started the Share the Upside program last year. The program allows breeders to earn a lifetime breeding right to a participating stallion by breeding a mare to that horse in each of the stallion’s first two years at stud. Breeders who have earned lifetime breeding rights are not billed for costs associated with the stallions’ care or advertising expenses.

Darby Dan owner John Phillips called the Share the Upside concept “an innovative one that will benefit our breeders” and “a new way of doing business.”

American Lion will stand for $5,000 in 2012, his first year at stud.

The number of mares reported bred in Kentucky declined 27 percent (from 21,594 to 15,714) between 2007 and 2011, according to Jockey Club figures as of Oct. 12. That has prompted many stud farms to lower stud fees or offer incentives to attract value-conscious breeders to their stallions, especially for young first- and second-season sires. Those have become less sought-after in the last several years as breeders have turned toward more proven commodities.

Hughes said he supports the program’s expansion to other farms. “That is why I called John Phillips at Darby Dan and told him he was free to use the idea and name, and we both agreed it was a movement for the betterment of the breeding industry,” he said.