Breeders' Cup Eyes Changes in Stallion Nomination Fees

The Breeders' Cup board of directors, given shifts in the number of mares bred, is considering a change in stallion nomination fees and could take action at its meeting in June.

Since the inception of the Breeders' Cup in 1984, stallion owners have paid one year's stud fee to keep a horse nominated. Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. said some directors raised issues with the system given changes in the size of books.

A committee has studied the situation for about 12 months and made recommendations. The baseline for number of mares bred to a stallion would be 90 under the proposal, and for any number over that amount, a fee would be charged per mare. There would be a cap.

An earlier proposal called for a 5% surcharge for every mare over 100, but that was modified. Van Clief said the committee continues to look at other models.

"The board of directors approved in principle that there should be a change to the rule to take into account the disparity of book sizes," Van Clief said.

After its board meeting in April, Breeders' Cup decided to implement a late registration date for foals: Dec. 15 of the foaling year. The late deadline--a 90-day extension--brings with it a fee of $1,500, or three times the usual amount.

The June board meeting also will include discussion and probably action on a plan that would link the Breeders' Cup and Thoroughbred Championship Tour, a series of big-event days proposed by the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association.