In releasing its projected figures for the 2002 North American registered Thoroughbred foal crop, The Jockey Club estimates that 20 percent of mares in Kentucky lost their pregnancies due to Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome last spring.
"At this point, no one knows the exact extent to which MRLS will impact next year's foal crop," said Matt Iuliano, Jockey Club vice president of registration services. "Disparate estimates exist, although the most consistent figure quoted to us is that 20 percent of the mares bred in Kentucky this spring lost their pregnancies due to MRLS."
Due to the uncertainties arising from the disease, the registry is "cautiously" projecting a 2002 registered foal crop of 35,600. That represents a 4.6 percent decline from the current 2001 forecast of 37,300. The estimated 2000 registered Thoroughbred foal crop is 36,700, while the 1999 registered Thoroughbred foal crop is projected at 36,500.
Traditionally announced at the time of The Jockey Club Round Table Conference (which was held Sunday), the foal crop projection is computed from Reports of Mares bred received so far for the 2001 breeding season.
In an effort to ascertain the full effects of MRLS, the Jockey Club will send out Live Foal/No Foal Reports in September to owners of mares bred in Kentucky this spring, rather than waiting until January, when the forms will be received by owners of mares bred in other parts of the country.
"We're encouraging the owners of mares which lost their pregnancy to MRLS to complete and submit their No Foal Report as soon as possible," Iuliano said.