10/22/2014 11:40AM

Number of mares bred increases in 2014

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The Jockey Club released its Report of Mares Bred statistics for the 2014 breeding season, which revealed the first increase in North American mares bred since 2005.

The breed organization reports that 1,547 stallions covered 34,540 mares in North America in 2014, representing approximately 92 percent of the mares that will eventually be reported as bred this year. According to historical trends, The Jockey Club expects to receive reports representing an additional 2,000 to 3,000 mares bred during the 2014 breeding season.

The number of stallions declined 8.9 percent from the 1,698 reported at the same time last year, while the number of mares bred increased 1.1 percent from the 34,174 reported in mid-October 2013.

The number of stallions covering 100 or more mares increased from 88 in 2013 to 97 in 2014. Those stallions accounted for a greater percentage of the total mares reported bred this year — 36.4 percent of all mares bred in 2014 versus 34 percent of all mares bred in 2013 as reported at this time last year.

Further breaking down the stallions by book size, there was an 8.3 percent increase in the number of mares bred to stallions with a book size of 100 or more in 2014. Mares bred to stallions with a book size between 75 and 99 increased 12.9 percent. There was a 4.8 percent decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 50 and 74, a 1.2 percent increase in mares bred to stallions with a book size between 25 and 49, and a 9.2 percent decrease in mares bred to stallions with a book size fewer than 25.

Ramsey Farm stallion Kitten’s Joy was the most active sire of the 2014 breeding season, with 204 mares bred. Rounding out the top five were Spendthrift Farm’s Into Mischief (203), Ashford Stud’s Scat Daddy (202), and Hill ‘n’ Dale Farm’s Midnight Lute (186) and Violence (181).

Kentucky maintained its position as the North American industry’s traditional home for Thoroughbred breeding, with 233 stallions covering 16,826 mares bred in 2014, or 48.7 percent of all mares reported bred in North America. That marked a 0.9 percent decrease of active stallions, but a 7.2 percent increase in mares bred compared with last year’s breeding season.

The next leading states ranked by number of mares bred were, in order: Florida, California, New York, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Texas.

Of the top ten states, Maryland saw the most growth in mares bred, rising 16.1 percent from 647 to 751. The top four states by mares bred – Kentucky, Florida (2 percent), California (6 percent), and New York (3.5 percent) – also saw a boost in mares bred.

The state among the top ten to see the biggest drop by percentage was Texas, with its 735 mares bred representing a decrease of 15 percent. Other states in the top ten to breed fewer mares in 2014 were Louisiana (-12.2 percent), New Mexico (-10.3 percent), Oklahoma (-12.4 percent), and Pennsylvania (-10.3 percent).