For the first 64 days of the year, The Jockey Club has reported a significant drop in the number of Kentucky-bred foals. The decline was expected as a direct correlation to mare reproductive loss syndrome.
Through March 5, The Jockey Club has received 1,247 live foal reports for Kentucky-bred foals of 2002. Through the same date a year ago, there had been 2,177 live foal reports received for foals bred in Kentucky. The decrease of 930 foals is a 42.71 percent drop.
A University of Louisville economic impact study predicted 30 percent of the entire Kentucky foal crop of 2002 would be lost to the mysterious syndrome, which last year caused late-term fetal loss and early-term abortions. That percentage would be spread out over the whole foaling season, with higher numbers expected for those mares covered early in the breeding season and due to foal in January and February.
Overall, for the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico, The Jockey Club received 4,397 live foal reports through March 5, compared to 5,387 for the same period in 2001. Kentucky's decline accounts for 92 percent of the North American drop of 1,008.
Kentucky has an annual foal crop of about 10,000, which represents approximately 30 percent of North America's yearly total Thoroughbred foal population.