Ask Your Veterinarian: Putting Broodmares Under Lights

by Paulick Report Staff

 

Veterinarians at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital answer your questions about sales and healthcare of Thoroughbred auction yearlings, weanlings, 2-year-olds and breeding stock.

Question: When it comes to putting broodmares under lights for cycling are overhead lights or mask lights better? And why does it work?

Dr. Peter Sheerin, Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital: In many breeds, Jan. 1 is considered the birthdate for all horses in the breed, no matter when they are born. This can put late-born foals at a disadvantage when competing or at yearling sales. Because of this, many breeders want their mares to foal as early as possible.

The horse is considered a long day breeder, meaning they are cycling when the days are longer. Mares left at natural conditions in the Northern Hemisphere will typically start cycling late March to early April. Mares further north will start cycling later than mares closer to the equator. Researchers determined that by artificially increasing the day length and the amount of light that mares were exposed to, one could get mares to cycle earlier. Mares did not begin to cycle for 60 to 75 days after the beginning of exposure to longer days. So, for a breeding season that starts Feb. 15, one would start lights Dec. 1 at the latest.

 

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Louisiana Breeding Program attracting Quality Mares

Dam of New Track Record setting Hollis brings class to Louisiana breds

On Friday, December 10th six-year-old gelding Hollis (Street Sense-Miss Inclined, by Pulpit) set a new track record at Oaklawn Park sprinting 5 ½ furlongs in 1:02.17, defeating favorite Nashville in the process. 

His dam, Miss Inclined, is indicative of the type of mares that Louisiana is attracting into its state bred program. The multiple stakes placed Pulpit mare is the dam of five winners from five starters out of seven foals, including stakes winner and new track record setter, Hollis as well as G1 placed Lady Lily. 

Miss Inclined now has two Accredited Louisiana bred fillies, a yearling by Liam’s Map and a weanling by Clearly Now. She is bred back to McKinzie.

The influx of monies coming into Louisiana thanks to legislation allowing sports betting and historical racing are expected to make the Louisiana Breeding Program even more attractive. More information about the Accredited Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeding Program can be found on the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association website at www.Louisianabred.com or by calling 504-947-4676

The Jockey Club Releases 2021 Report of Mares Bred Statistics

The Jockey Club has released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2021 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 18, 2021, The Jockey Club reports that 1,016 stallions covered 27,829 mares in North America during 2021.

The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,500 to 3,500 mares will be reported as bred during the 2021 breeding season.

RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2021 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2021, Kentucky’s 200 reported stallions covered 16,727 mares, or 60.1% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions increased 2.0% percent compared with the 16,391 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2021, stallions in Kentucky, California, Ontario, and Indiana covered more mares in 2021 than in 2020, as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2021:

State/Province 2020 Stallions 2021 Stallions Pct. Change 2020 Mares Bred 2021 Mares Bred Pct. Change
Kentucky 200 200 0% 16,391 16,727 2.0%
California 103 104 1.0% 1,766 1,843 4.4%
Florida 73 62 -15.1% 1,721 1,562 -9.2%
New York 37 38 2.7% 1,002 948 -5.4%
Louisiana 74 64 -13.5% 1,017 890 -12.5%
Maryland 29 25 -13.8% 806 778 -3.5%
Ontario 24 27 12.5% 519 591 13.9%
Pennsylvania 37 29 -21.6% 734 524 -28.6%
Indiana 42 45 7.1% 427 475 11.2%
Oklahoma 40 46 15.0% 476 441 -7.4%

Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.

In addition, Report of Mares Bred information on stallions that bred mares in North America is available through report 36P or a subscription service at equineline.com/ReportOfMaresBred.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.net), the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the ownership resource. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

Texas Online Stallion Season Auction Now Open

BID NOW ON THE STALLION SEASON AUCTION!

The Texas Thoroughbred Association Online Stallion Season Auction is now open. Thanks to the generosity of stallion owners across the region, you have the opportunity to purchase 2021 breeding seasons while at the same time helping the TTA’s Political Action Committee, General Fund, Texas Thoroughbred Educational Fund or Paddock Foundation. Bidding closes on Tuesday, December 1, at 5 p.m. Central.
To view a list of available stallions and place a bid, CLICK HERE.
If you have a stallion season you would like to donate, contact Mary Ruyle at (512) 458-6133 or download the stallion season donation form.

The Jockey Club Releases 2020 Report of Mares Bred Statistics

The Jockey Club today (10-23-20) released Report of Mares Bred (RMB) statistics for the 2020 breeding season. Based on RMBs received through October 18, 2020, The Jockey Club reports that 1,067 stallions covered 27,970 mares in North America during 2020.

The Jockey Club estimates an additional 2,500 to 3,500 mares will be reported as bred during the 2020 breeding season.

RMB statistics for all reported stallions in 2020 are available through the Fact Book section of The Jockey Club’s website at jockeyclub.com.

Kentucky traditionally leads North America in Thoroughbred breeding activity. During 2020, Kentucky’s 200 reported stallions covered 16,391 mares, or 58.6% of all of the mares reported bred in North America. The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions decreased 4.3% percent compared with the 17,123 reported at this time last year.

Of the top 10 states and provinces by number of mares reported bred in 2020, stallions in Louisiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Mexico covered more mares in 2020 than in 2019, as reported at this time last year. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of mares reported bred in 2020:

State/Province 2019 Stallions 2020 Stallions Pct. Change 2019 Mares Bred 2020 Mares Bred Pct. Change
Kentucky 220 200 -9.1% 17,123 16,391 -4.3%
California 124 103 -16.9% 2,018 1,766 -12.5%
Florida 81 73 -9.9% 1,863 1,721 -7.6%
Louisiana 79 74 -6.3% 984 1,017 3.4%
New York 43 37 -14.0% 1,058 1,002 -5.3%
Maryland 31 29 -6.5% 780 806 3.3%
Pennsylvania 28 37 32.1% 686 734 7.0%
Ontario 29 24 -17.2% 538 519 -3.5%
Oklahoma 38 40 5.3% 479 476 -0.6%
New Mexico 51 48 -5.9% 437 453 3.7%

Note: Each incident in which a mare was bred to more than one stallion and appeared on multiple RMBs is counted separately. As such, mares bred totals listed in the table above may differ slightly from counts of distinct mares bred.

In addition, Report of Mares Bred information on stallions that bred mares in North America is available through report 36P or a subscription service at equineline.com/ReportOfMaresBred.

The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred breeding and racing, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club, directly or through subsidiaries, provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives, and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms. It founded America’s Best Racing (americasbestracing.net), the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing, and in partnership with the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, operates OwnerView (ownerview.com), the ownership resource. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

North American Foal Crop Trends and Market Share

MarketWatch: North American foal crop trends

 

Even as the North American Thoroughbred foal crop continues to contract, down 6.9% over the last three years and down 45.4% since 2000, the top five producing states have remained a constant.

Kentucky, California, and Florida have been the steady top three joined by New York and Louisiana that flip-flop their rank from year to year. The recently released figures on the 2020 North American foal crop show New York slightly ahead this year with 652 reported foals to Louisiana’s 647, but both at even with 3.3% of the overall foal crop for the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

 

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The Jockey Club Releases 2019 Breeding Statistics

The Jockey Club today reported that 1,552 stallions covered 31,198 mares in North America during 2019, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 29, 2020. These breedings have resulted in 19,677 live foals of 2020 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates that the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 85-90 percent complete. The reporting of live foals of 2020 is down 3.4 percent from last year at this time when The Jockey Club had received reports for 20,363 live foals of 2019.

In addition to the 19,677 live foals of 2020 reported through Sept. 29, The Jockey Club also received 2,476 No Foal Reports for the 2020 foaling season. Ultimately, the 2020 registered foal crop is projected to reach 20,500.

The number of stallions declined 4.8 percent from the 1,630 reported for 2018 at this time last year, while the number of mares bred declined 4.0 percent from the 32,508 reported for 2018.

The 2019 breeding statistics are available alphabetically by stallion name through the Resources – Fact Book link on The Jockey Club homepage at jockeyclub.com.

Kentucky annually leads all states and provinces in terms of Thoroughbred breeding activity. Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 55.3 percent of the mares reported bred in North America in 2019 and 60.2 percent of the live foals reported for 2020.

The 17,240 mares reported bred to 228 Kentucky stallions in 2019 have produced 11,851 live foals, a 2.9 percent decrease on the 12,200 Kentucky-sired live foals of 2019 reported at this time last year. The number of mares reported bred to Kentucky stallions in 2019 decreased 1.2 percent compared to the 17,446 reported for 2018 at this time last year.

Among the 10 states and provinces with the most mares covered in 2019, three produced more live foals in 2020 than in 2019 as reported at this time last year: Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Oklahoma. The following table shows the top 10 states and provinces ranked by number of state/province-sired live foals of 2020 reported through Sept. 29, 2020.

2019 Mares Bred 2019 Live Foals 2020 Live Foals Percent Change in Live Foals
Kentucky 17,240 12,200 11,851 -2.9%
California 2,129 1,612 1,390 -13.8%
Florida 2,024 1,164 1,156 -0.7%
New York 1,080 703 652 -7.3%
Louisiana 1,082 728 647 -11.1%
Pennsylvania 853 339 510 50.4%
Maryland 804 537 506 -5.8%
Ontario 615 377 350 -7.2%
Oklahoma 631 289 342 18.3%
New Mexico 624 307 313 2.0%

The statistics include 429 progeny of stallions standing in North America but foaled abroad, as reported by foreign stud book authorities at the time of publication.

Country Live Foals Country Live Foals
Saudi Arabia 150 Chile 8
Turkey 83 Jamaica 8
Republic of Korea 81 Australia 4
Ireland 38 Germany 2
Japan 23 Peru 2
Great Britain 16 Barbados 1
France 13

The report also includes 79 mares bred to 14 stallions in North America on Southern Hemisphere time; the majority of these mares have not foaled.

As customary, a report listing the number of mares bred in 2020 will be released later this month.

COVID-19: Maintaining Breeding Shed Activity

The challenges of the global COVID-19 pandemic have led to new protocols for Thoroughbred breeding to minimize risk of infection among farm staff and related personnel charged with transporting and handling horses.

The Jockey Club recommends that all North American, Central American, and Caribbean Thoroughbred stud farm operations at a minimum follow guidelines from the Kentucky Department of Ag Guidelines for COVID-19: Breeding Shed Activity issued by E.S. “Rusty” Ford from the Office of the State Veterinarian, Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

With vans and individuals visiting multiple facilities each day during the breeding season, it is important to adopt standard practices in how people and horses visiting sheds are managed. The essential elements enumerated in the guidelines are reproduced below with permission from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture:

KENTUCKY DEPARTMENT OF AG GUIDELINES FOR
COVID-19: BREEDING SHED ACTIVITY
 
BREEDING SHED ACTIVITY:  With vans and individuals visiting multiple facilities each day we do recommend adopting standard practices in how we manage people and horses visiting sheds.
 
1.     Submission of documentation for mares booked to be bred would best be done electronically. We’ve seen numerous reports where handled paper can be contaminated.
 
2.     Eliminate outside individuals (van drivers and mare attendants) from coming into the prep area and shed.  To accomplish this, the van would arrive, the mare would be offloaded and handed off to a shed employee (using the shed’s shank) who would handle the mare through the process.  The van driver and anyone accompanying the mare to the shed should remain outside in the parking area while maintaining social distance with other individuals.
 
3.     After cover, the mare would be returned to the loading area and handed off to the attendant for loading onto the van.  If there is need for a mare’s attendant to witness the cover, this should be accomplished from outside – looking in, videotaped or virtually.
 
4.     The shank would be cleaned before returning to the shed or reuse and attendant would wash hands [recommended addition by The Jockey Club: or preferably disinfected with acceptable products efficacious in preventing the spread of viral or bacterial agents and the use of disposable gloves by attendants are recommended where practicable].
 
5.     Breeding equipment (leg straps, collars, boots etc.) would be cleaned before reuse [recommended addition by The Jockey Club: or preferably disinfected with acceptable products efficacious in preventing the spread of viral or bacterial agents and the use of disposable gloves by attendants are recommended where practicable].
 
6.     Additionally, maintaining enhanced biosecurity in our daily activity is essential to all of these mitigations.
 
Implementing these practices, and any other action you can take to eliminate people from congregating in common areas will be beneficial and could be critical in our ability to continue transporting horses to/from sheds.

 
For information on COVID-19 in the United States, please visit the Center for Disease Control.