09/14/2012 12:57PM

Jockey Club: Thoroughbred breeding activity declined in 2011


LEXINGTON, Ky. – Thoroughbred breeding activity declined in 2011, continuing a recent trend that has led to smaller foal crops, according to statistics The Jockey Club released Friday.

The breed registry reported that, according to breeding-related paperwork filed through Sept. 10 of this year, 2,620 stallions covered 39,838 mares in 2011, resulting in the birth of 22,500 live foals of 2012 reported so far to The Jockey Club by their breeders.

The Jockey Club cautioned that it estimates the Live Foal Reports sent in by breeders are about 85 percent complete at this point in the year, but so far the number of reports is down 5 percent from the 23,558 live foal reports the organization had received by this time a year ago. That suggests a shallower drop in numbers as compared to 2010 and 2009, when the number of reports by mid-September were down 14 percent. The Jockey Club has estimated that both the 2012 and 2013 total registered foal crop will number 24,700.

According to the statistics released Friday, the number of reported active North American stallions and mares in 2011 fell 10 percent from the 2,904 active stallions and 44,184 mares reported at this time in 2010.

Kentucky continued to lead North American breeding activity. Stallions in the Bluegrass State accounted for 40 percent of mares reported bred last year and was the place of conception for 49 percent of reported live foals of 2012. The 10,960 foals conceived in Kentucky was down 0.9 percent. Eight of the other top 10 conception areas also saw declines in breeding activity, while second-ranked Florida saw a 5 percent increase to 1,642 foals conceived. The remaining top 10 conception areas and the percentage decline in foal conceptions are California (–9 percent), Louisiana (–11 percent), New York (–5 percent), Ontario (–4 percent), Pennsylvania (–21 percent), New Mexico (–11 percent), Oklahoma (–7 percent), and Texas (–23 percent).

Breeding statistics for individual stallions are available at www.jockeyclub.com.