Hessonite with her 2017 American Pharoah colt in early spring at Denali Stud

Hessonite with her 2017 American Pharoah colt in early spring at Denali Stud

Anne M. Eberhardt

Jockey Club Projects Foal Crop Similar to Last Year

Jockey Club estimates this year's foal crop will be 22,500.

The Jockey Club reported Sept. 21 that 1,863 stallions covered 36,045 mares in North America during 2016, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 13. These breedings have resulted in 21,624 live foals of 2017 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90% complete. The reporting of live foals of 2017 is down 1.7% from last year at this time, when The Jockey Club received reports for 21,991 live foals of 2016.

In addition to the 21,624 live foals of 2017 reported through Sept. 13, The Jockey Club also received 2,467 No Foal Reports for the 2017 foaling season. Ultimately the 2017 registered foal crop is projected to reach 22,500, which was the same estimate made for 2015 and 2016. 

The combined estimated foal crops of 2015-17 of about 67,500 foals would be the smallest for any three consecutive years in North America since the late 1960s, when a three year stretch produced the 65,014 in the years 1966-68.

The number of stallions in 2016 declined 3.1% from the 1,923 reported for 2015 at this time last year, while the number of mares bred declined 2.5% from the 36,964 reported for 2015. The 2016 breeding statistics are available alphabetically by stallion name through the "Resources—Fact Book" link on The Jockey Club homepage at jockeyclub.com.

"It is important to note that the live foals reported in The Jockey Club breeding statistics are by conception area and do not represent the state in which a foal was born," said Jockey Club executive vice president and executive director Matt Iuliano. "Breeding statistics also are not a representation of a stallion's fertility record."

Kentucky annually leads all states and provinces in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity. Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 49.7% of the mares reported bred in North America in 2016 and 57.3% of the live foals reported for 2017.

The numbers indicate Kentucky stallions are increasing their share of the market. The 17,912 mares reported bred to 245 Kentucky stallions in 2016 have produced 12,396 live foals, a 1.7% increase on the 12,184 Kentucky-sired live foals of 2016 reported at this time last year. The number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2016 increased 1.8% compared with the 17,598 reported for 2015 at this time last year.

Among the 10 states and provinces with the most mares covered in 2016, only three produced more live foals in 2017 than in 2016 as reported at this time last year: Kentucky, California, and Maryland. The following table shows the 10 states and provinces, ranked by number of state/province-sired live foals of 2017 reported through Sept. 13.

The statistics include 394 progeny of stallions standing in North America but foaled abroad, as reported by foreign stud book authorities at the time of publication.

The report also includes 92 mares bred to 25 stallions in North America on Southern Hemisphere time. The majority of these mares have not foaled.

As in years past, a report of mares bred will be released in October.