As has been the trend with larger books of mares, The Jockey Club reported today that the number of stallions that covered mares in 2002 decreased, but the number of foals of 2003 increased.
Statistics in The Jockey Club's annual live foal report show 4,282 stallions covered 63,825 mares last year. Through Sept. 8, 2003, those coverings have produced 35,588 live foals. Last year's foal count was 34,605.
Like each year, The Jockey Club cautions that only about 90% of live foal reports have been received. The industry's registrar expects to receive another 3,500 to 4,000 live foal reports.
The number of stallions was 3.7% fewer than the 4,445 reported standing in 2001. That number was 2.4% less than the 2000 count. The number of foals increased 2.8%.
The number of broodmares was nearly the same as the previous year, 63,825 in 2002 and 63,793 in 2001.
It was no surprise that leading the way by covers was a stallion that stands at Coolmore's Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky. A year ago, the farm's Thunder Gulch set a new record by covering 216 mares in one Northern Hemisphere season. This year, Ashford's Grand Slam is at the top of the list with 215 mares bred. Right behind, with 213 mares bred, is Giant's Causeway, who also stands at Ashford.
Kentucky again led the way, and showed a sizeable gain over the number of 2002 live foals because of the effects of mare reproductive loss syndrome. At this time last year, foals sired by Kentucky stallions were down 14.6% because of the mysterious condition that caused many mares in 2001 to abort their foals.
The report counts mares covered by stallions within each state, not foals born in each state.
There were 20,017 mares reported for Kentucky in 2002 that produced 12,582 live foals. That number is 7.6% more than the 11,697 foals of 2002, but still short of the 13,693 of 2001. The overall number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2002 was a decrease of 2.8%.
Several other states showed an increase in live foals from 2002 to 2003. New York, which has been strengthening its state-bred program, was up 10.8%, from 1,317 to 1,459 live foals. The biggest drop among the 10 leading states by breeding activity was Washington, down 17.5% from 738 to 609 live foals.Complete List (alphabetical by stallion) from The Jockey Club