11/17/2014 11:28AM

Irish foal crop grows in 2014, Great Britain shrinks


The Irish foal crop grew 6 percent in 2014, while the foal population in Great Britain declined, Racing Post reports.

Through Sept. 30, a total of 7,440 foals were registered in Ireland from the most recent foaling season. It was the second straight year of growth for the country, after finishing at 7,051 in 2013, and 6,884 in 2012 at the same point in those respective years.

"There's definitely optimism coming back into the market,” Weatherbys Ireland chief executive Ronan Murphy told Racing Post, “but the figures need to be reviewed against the high of 2007."

Ireland saw a record-high foal crop in 2007, when 12,663 horses were registered. Comparing that figure with the most recent full-year total of 7,757 last year reveals a decrease of 39 percent in the past six years.

The British foal crop counted 4,255 through Sept. 30, decreasing 1 percent compared with last year’s population of 4,302.

While the foal population posted a decline in contrast to Ireland’s growth, the rate of decrease in Great Britain since 2008 has been less severe than Ireland’s, dipping 25 percent.