The 2016 breeding season brings challenges for stallion owners and breeders: more expensive stud fees for top-tier stallions, fierce competition for mares, and the stock market suffering a worst-ever start to a new year.
First-year stallion Tail of Ekati has his first mare pronounced in foal. The stakes-winning Sea Breezer is out of 2-year-old filly champ Lakeville Miss. Tale of Ekati stands at Darby Dan Farm near Lexington.
With the auction business slowing down and the costs of production rising, it isn't an easy time to be a Thoroughbred breeder. Horsemen who profited from rallying bloodstock prices for much of the 1990s are being forced to reevaluate the financial health of their operations and revise economic strategies. The situation is particularly difficult for farm owners who derive most of their income from horses that fit into the middle and lower levels of the market.