Coolmore stallion Grand Slam topped all North American sires by number of mares bred in 1999.

Coolmore stallion Grand Slam topped all North American sires by number of mares bred in 1999.

Ashford Stallions Again Top Mares Bred List

By Dan Liebman
For the second straight year, Ashford Stud near Versailles, Ky., a division of Coolmore, stands the top three stud horses among North American-based stallions bred to 100 or more mares. The interesting part is that from the 1998 to 1999 breeding seasons, it was three different stallions, according to The Jockey Club's "Report of Mares Bred" for 1999. The report is based on the live foal reports received through Sept. 14, 2000.

While in 1998, Ashford led the way with Royal Academy, Hennessy, and Spinning World, the following year it was Grand Slam, Tale of the Cat, and Southern Halo who headed the list.

Both Grand Slam and Tale of the Cat were standing their first seasons in 1999, while Southern Halo first stood in Argentina before moving to the U.S. in 1996. He is represented by the top 3-year-old colt More Than Ready, winner of the recent grade I King's Bishop Stakes.

Grand Slam was bred to 166 mares, Tale of the Cat followed by covering 147, and Southern Halo was mated to 141. There were 56 stallions bred to 100 or more mares, an increase of 10 from the previous breeding season. For the first time, the report also includes mares bred in the Northern Hemisphere on Southern Hemisphere time. The total was 119 mares bred to 36 stallions, the clear leader in that category being Darby Dan Farm's Roy, who covered 23 additional mares. An interesting name on that list was leading stallion Nureyev, who covered 12 mares on Southern Hemisphere time.

As usual, The Jockey Club cautions that these figures represent about 90% of live foal reports, only those received by Sept. 14. Data received by The Jockey Club shows 4,596 stallions covered 61,765 mares in North America in 1999, producing 36,572 reported foals. The number of stallions was down 4.1% while there was a 1.6% in the number of mares. This continues the trend, with the number of stallions decreasing 4.6% from 1996 (5,220) to 1997 (4,979), and 3.7% from 1997 to 1998 (4,793).

The number of mares bred in Kentucky increased again, having been up 6% in 1997 and 1998 and another 5% in 1999. California was up 11% and Florida increased 8%. Conversely, Texas decreased 11% and Washington had 8% fewer. Of the stallions covering 100 or more mares in 1999, 43 stand in Kentucky, 10 in Florida, and three in California.

Jockey Club Reports: