09/18/2014 12:00PM

North American foal crop expected to continue decline in 2014


A total of 21,697 foals comprise the approximate 2014 North American foal crop as of Sept. 9, The Jockey Club reports, down 1.4 percent from the previous year.

The Jockey Club estimates that the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90 percent complete, meaning the final number could fluctuate. Ultimately, the registered foal crop for the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico is projected to reach 22,000.

Both of those figures represent a decline from 2013, when 22,001 live foals were reported by early September, with a projected total foal crop of 23,000.

If the projections are correct, 2014 would mark the eighth straight year that the foal crop was smaller than the preceding year’s crop. It would also be the smallest group since 1968, which consisted of 22,910 foals.

The Jockey Club received 2,692 No Foal Reports during the 2014 foaling season. The report also includes 73 mares bred to 13 stallions in North America on Southern Hemisphere time, and the majority of the mares have not foaled.

The number of North American stallions to cover at least one mare during the 2013 breeding season that produced the foals of 2014 declined 6.8 percent, from 2,392 to 2,230. The number of mares covered during the most recent breeding/foaling season fell 3.3 percent, from 37,908 to 36,656.

Kentucky once again led North America by place of conception, with 258 stallions breeding 15,857 mares to produce 11,089 live foals. That marked a 3.4 percent increase from the 10,726 Kentucky-sired foals during the 2013 foaling season.

Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 43.3 percent of the mares reported bred in North America and 51.1 percent of the live foals reported for 2014.

The number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2013 grew 1.8 percent, from 15,569 to 15,857.

The top ten states or provinces by number of live foals in 2014 were Kentucky (11,089), California (1,629), Florida (1,585), Louisiana (1,037), New York (1,025), New Mexico (531), Pennsylvania (514), Oklahoma (455), Ontario (454), and Texas (440).

In addition to Kentucky, the states among the top 10 to see growth in their 2014 foal crops included California, New York, New Mexico, and Texas. New York and New Mexico experienced the most growth from 2013 to 2014, each posting an increase of 5.6 percent.

Meanwhile, Florida, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Ontario each saw declines in their foal crops. Ontario was hit hardest, falling 33.6 percent, from 684 live foals in 2013 to 454 this year. Pennsylvania and Louisiana also saw their foal crops decline by more than 10 percent this year.

Bob Morgan More than 1 year ago
Is there a silver lining in this on the animal welfare side? Won't it be a lot easier to care for 21,000 foals after their racing days are over than over 50,000, as the crop once was? I don't think of myself a horse hugger, but this is a very sensitive era (in many sports) and the industry very much needs a reasonable plan for dealing with unwanted runners that doesn't involve slaughter.
russell More than 1 year ago
Not good. I wonder what the breeding #'s are in England, Ireland, France, Australia, and Japan?