The “Report of Mares Bred” released by The Jockey Club Oct. 22 shows that Pennsylvania breeding is on the rise while the industry is in decline in every other major breeding state.
According to the report, based on information received through Oct. 13 and which TJC said represents approximately 92% of the mares bred this year, the number of mares bred in Pennsylvania rose 29.6% to 1,603, compared with the 1,237 that had been bred through the same period in 2008.
Also, the number of stallions in the Keystone State rose 9.0%, from 89 in 2008 to 97 this year.
The growth in Pennsylvania breeding at the expense of other major breeding states is directly related to the growth in purses at the state’s racetracks, which generate revenues for racing from their popular racetrack casino operations. As a result of the 2009 breeding activity, Pennsylvania went from 10th to fifth on the list of mares bred, surpassing New York.
Although it experienced downturns in both number of stallions and mares bred, Kentucky maintained its position atop the breeding lists, with 42.2% of all mares reported bred. The Bluegrass state had 307 stallions standing in 2009, compared with 318 in 2008, and there were 19,059 mares bred reported in 2009, down 10.6% from the 21,317 figure through the same period in 2008.
Taking the biggest hit on the number of mares bred and stallions in the state was Florida, which had a 24% decrease in mares bred, from 5,316 to 4,041. The number of stallions in the state declined 23.3%, from 202 to 155.
The second biggest percentage decline this year was in California, which was surpassed by Louisiana in third on the total number of mares bred. The 2,946 mares bred in California represented a 22.8% decline and the number of stallions standing in the state fell from 233 to 201.
In Louisiana, there were 3,048 mares reported bred, down 13.3% from the previous year, and the number of stallions fell from 230 to 216.
Based on RMBs received through Oct. 13, The Jockey Club reports that 2,409 stallions covered 45,317 mares in North America during 2009, down 13.5% from the 52,410 RMBs in 2008. The number of stallions fell 8.9% from 2,643 to 2,409.
A Jockey Club official said the RMB supports figures released earlier this year showing the projected 2010 foal crop as a result of declines in the amount of breeding activity in North America.
“Our mid-August projection of 30,000 registered foals in North America for 2010 was based on initial RMB returns, and these latest statistics reinforce that estimate,” said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club’s vice president of registration services, in a statement accompanying the RMB release.
Iuliano also said that the largest decline in breeding occurred at the top end of the market, where the number of stallions covering 100 or more mares declined for the fourth consecutive year, from 113 in 2008 to 85 in 2009.
These stallions accounted for 24.6% of the total mares reported bred this year, down from 28.0% in 2008.
The top 10 states and provinces, ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2009 through Oct. 13, 2009, are: