Leading sire Storm Cat is slowing down at the age of 24, but his libido still is impressively strong, according to the man who manages his stud career, Ric Waldman, a consultant to Overbrook Farm, where the son of Storm Bird stands in Central Kentucky. The stallion covered 96 mares this year and performed his duties enthusiastically.
"There was a period of a month or so where the pregnancy percentages (for his mares) were down, but he finished the year by getting six of his last eight mares in foal," Waldman said.
Other than Storm Cat's advanced age, no reason was found for the short-term drop in the percentage of pregnancies. The conception rate for Storm Cat's entire book of mares ended up exceeding 70%, according to Waldman.
"It could have been well into the 80s if we had bred him to a more normal book of mares for a 24-year-old stallion of 65 or 70 mares," Waldman said.
The number of mares Storm Cat covered this year was 15 less than his 2006 total (111), and Waldman said the size of the stallion's book would be reduced again by 15 or more mares in 2008, a trend that is not unusual for a horse in the twilight years of his breeding career.
"And I hope it keeps dropping (every year) because that means he's still able to breed," Waldman said.
Storm Cat has a live foal stud fee of $500,000, the highest advertised figure for a stallion in the world.