Mares bred numbers decline

Report On Mares Bred Sees Decline In Breeding

Racing news

The newly released Report on Mares Bred (RMB) has tallied a decline in the production of horses of both sexes for this past season. There is still some time in the year to make up for the numbers, but the trends across the country are not positive. Only Kentucky and Maryland had increased numbers in mares bred.

Compared to last year, stallions were down 1.8% from the 1,449, and the number of mares bred decreased 2.5% from the 34,627 reported at this time last year. The biggest downfall was reported in Pennsylvania, which was down by over 22% in contrast to the numbers from 2015. The highest margin of increase was found in Maryland, which was up nearly 16%. This is positive news for one of the fastest growing markets in the country, but it signals some trouble in other regions.

Financially, the only state that has been doing exceedingly well when it comes to thoroughbred racing is Kentucky which saw a slight bump in mares bred of 1.7%. This state is the mecca which sets the standard for the sport, and their numbers – while good – indicate that there is a glass ceiling for breeding within the United States.

Breeding is undoubtedly the backbone of thoroughbred racing, and it is where most of the actual money is made for owners. The bad news is that the mares bred numbers seem to be in a slight free fall, but there’s also good news.

The increased popularity of the sport, along with the emergence of some new stallions could help boost overall numbers. Uncle Mo saw his price as a stallion skyrocket thanks in large part to the emergence of Nyquist. His crop this year helped push him to 253 mares bred, which was the highest reported in the RMB. There’s also American Pharoah, who was able to cover 208 mares this past year in his first year out to stud. Into Mischief, Goldencents, Wicked Strong and Verrazano are also emerging as high-demand stallions.

In an often unreported incident, the thoroughbred breeding industry was crushed by the financial collapses of this century. That’s one of the reasons why Tepin stood out as the most important horse in the world. He was literally propping up an entire sport with his offspring. This year, however, a handful of credible and reliable stallions are offering their bloodstock in to the pool. There is always a darkness before the dawn, and with the much needed emergence of sires like Uncle Mo, Americna Pharoah and a handful of others, there is hope on the horizon for the sport’s mares bred numbers.

State

2015 Stallions

2016 Stallions

Pct. Change

2015 Mares Bred

2016 Mares Bred

Pct. Change

Kentucky

208

227

9.13%

17,448

17,750

1.73%

Florida

112

107

-4.46%

2,890

2,757

-4.60%

California

150

156

4.00%

2,568

2,543

-0.97%

New York

55

55

0.00%

1,554

1,510

-2.83%

Louisiana

104

102

-1.92%

1,494

1,332

-10.84%

Maryland

36

32

-11.11%

788

913

15.86%

Ontario

39

38

-2.56%

797

761

-4.52%

Oklahoma

66

59

-10.61%

756

702

-7.14%

New Mexico

76

72

-5.26%

789

692

-12.29%

Pennsylvania

42

41

-2.38%

627

489

-22.01%

Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.

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