The economy seems to be taking its toll on the registration of purebred horses. While the number of registered Quarter Horses at the American Quarter Horse Association (AQHA) actually rose slightly from 2007-2008, that number is expected to drop nearly 20% from 2008-2009. The Jockey Club, the official registration body for the Thoroughbred breed, also is reporting drops in number of mares bred, stallions covering mares, and projected foal crop for 2009.
In 2006 the AQHA had its highest number of registrations in the past five years with a little more than 165,000. That number had risen slightly from 2005. The year-end total for 2009 is expected to be just over 110,000.
The Jockey Club is projecting a foal crop of 34,000 for 2009. Last year 3,439 Thoroughbred stallions covered 56,901 mares in North America, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 9, 2009. Those breedings resulted in 31,727 live foals of 2009 reported to The Jockey Club as of Sept. 9, 2009.
The number of Thoroughbred stallions covering mares declined 5.5% from the 3,638 reported for 2007, while the number of mares bred decreased 7.1% from the 61,262 reported for 2007.
"Although breeding activity has been in decline for several years, the rate of decline accelerated in both the 2008 and 2009 breeding seasons, so we will see fewer live foals born next year as well," said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club’s vice president of registration services.
The 2008 Thoroughbred breeding statistics are available alphabetically by stallion name through the Publications and Resources link on The Jockey Club homepage.
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