Thoroughbred Breeding

Thoroughbred stallion and farm news plus pedigree analysis

Researchers Zero In on Cyanide as Cause of Foal Loss Syndrome

Researchers at the University of Kentucky Gluck Equine Center have made significant progress in their quest to find the cause of the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome. According to reports presented Thursday during an informational forum at Keeneland, black cherry trees located in close proximity to horse pastures are the primary source of the cyanide that was detected in tests of dead foals and fetuses from mares that aborted.

NTRA, Horse Council Continue Disaster Relief Meetings With Federal Officials

American Horse Council president Jay Hickey and National Thoroughbred Racing Association deputy commissioner Greg Avioli are meeting in Washington, D.C., Tuesday afternoon with Caroly Cooksie, deputy administrator of the U.S. Department of Agriculture disaster relief loan programs. The meeting is a follow-up to talks held last week in Washington involving Hickey and NTRA commissioner Tim Smith and a number of federal legislators, including Rep. Larry Combest, an Amarillo, Texas, Republican who is chairman of the House Agriculture Committee.

Owner/Breeder Profile: Princely Pleasure

Prince Ahmed Salman likes quality, and he believed he had the goods in Point Given. He made the long trip from Saudi Arabia to Kentucky for the first Saturday in May to chase immortality. The Thoroughbred Corp., his racing and breeding operation, has been cranking out top racehorses for years. There have been three Breeders' Cup winners, owned exclusively or in partnership, but no classics trophies in the United States.

Sadler's Wells, Cozzene Reach Milestones

Don't blink now because Sadler's Wells might have caught Mr. Prospector as you are reading this. The Irish stallion chalked up stakes winner No. 171 on May 20, when his son Sligo Bay captured the Cinema Handicap (gr. IIIT) at Hollywood Park.

Many Kentucky Mares Now Holding Pregnancies at Normal Rate; Impact Seen at 21% of Crop

An informal survey of Central Kentucky farms on May 21 suggests the worst may be over as far as mare reproductive loss syndrome is concerned. While heavy losses already have been incurred, particularly involving maiden and barren mares bred in February, the good news is that mares bred from late March on appear to be holding their pregnancies at close to normal percentages. Based on the surveys and on the normal distribution of Kentucky foals born between January and June, The Blood-Horse estimates the 2002 Kentucky foal crop will decrease by no more than 21%.

Second Industry Meeting Set on Fetal Loss Syndrome

At Monday's daily briefing from the University of Kentucky, it was announced that the scientific investigating team, with the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners and the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers Club, will hold an information sharing session on Thursday, May 24, similar to the session held on May 10. The session will begin at 5:00 pm at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion. The entire session will be web-cast live from the Website at www.keeneland.com.

Foal Loss Syndrome Update: Count Exceeds 500

The third week of May in Central Kentucky was marked by cautious optimism, with the slowing of early fetal and late-term gestation loss, growing frustration among industry professionals, and much-needed rain. The Kentucky Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center has received more than 500 dead fetuses/foals this spring. Some veterinarians are predicting that the 2001 Kentucky foal crop could be reduced 5% to 10%, and the 2002 foal crop might drop 30% to 40% or more.

The Blood-Horse to Support MRLS Research

In an effort to show support for industry horse owners and breeders, The Blood-Horse, Inc., announced yesterday it will contribute a portion of its advertising revenues for the remainder of 2001 to the Maxwell H. Gluck Equine Research Center at the University of Kentucky, to support further research into the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome that is currently plaguing the Thoroughbred industry.

Australia Lifts Ban on European Imports

The Australian Government has lifted its temporary suspension on the movement of Thoroughbreds to Australia from Europe. The official announcement came May 17 through Biosecurity Australia, a department of the Government agency covering agriculture, fisheries and forestry. It means that Danehill and the other 36 stallions scheduled to shuttle to Australia in early August can proceed.

Where to Find the Mycotoxin Binder

Lexington, Ky., feed companies are busy filling orders for bags and buckets of mycotoxin binder from horse owners in 15 states throughout the East Coast and Canada. Here is a list of companies selling the binder and associated products.

European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Suggests Holding US Horses; No Ban

Charles Frank, the veterinary advisor to the United Kingdom Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said that in a meeting earlier this week of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders that a statement was made to advise members not to re-import horses to Europe until a cause of the current health problems in Kentucky was identified. "The last thing we want is a ban," said Frank.

European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders Suggests Holding US Horses; No Ban

Charles Frank, the veterinary advisor to the United Kingdom Thoroughbred Breeders Association, said that in a meeting earlier this week of the European Federation of Thoroughbred Breeders that a statement was made to advise members not to re-import horses to Europe until a cause of the current health problems in Kentucky was identified. "The last thing we want is a ban," said Frank.

Ohio Diagnostic Lab Requests Owners Submit Aborted Fetuses, Deceased Foals

As Ohio veterinarians try to understand and determine what might be affecting foals in the Ohio River Valley, the number of foals and fetuses available for testing by the diagnostic lab is no greater than normal. Sheila Grimes, DVM, PhD, Pathology Section Head for the Ohio Department of Agriculture's Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory, recommends that horse owners submit aborted fetuses and deceased foals with the placenta for testing.

Federal Aid Not Currently Available; NTRA, AHC Begin Lobbying Efforts

Industry organizations have taken a proactive stand in the wake of the fetal loss syndrome that has gripped Central Kentucky farms in recent weeks. Tim Smith, commissioner of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, has been in contact with federal officials and is planning to spend most of Wednesday and Thursday morning in the nation's capital, meeting with members of Congress and staff to discuss the possibility of federal assistance for breeders who are being financially crippled by the health crisis. But Smith had some bad news about existing federal programs.

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