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|
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.
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.
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|
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|
|Republic of Korea||81||Australia||4|
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.
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.
September 15, 2019
Into Mischief, the current No. 1 General Sire in North America, will stand in 2020 for a fee of $175,000 S&N and has been booked full.
“The rise of Into Mischief has been special to witness, and there’s every indication that the best is yet to come. We genuinely believe he’s the best sire in the world, and is on the verge of becoming an important sire of sires when you look at what Goldencents is doing,” said Ned Toffey, general manager at Spendthrift.
“I don’t know if we’ve seen anything quite like Into Mischief, it’s truly remarkable the things he’s doing. Aside from amounting results on the track and in the sales ring, he’s the consummate professional and loves his job. This year, over 96% of his mares checked in foal. We think Into Mischief is making a positive impact on the breed that will be felt for years to come, particularly with the heart and durability that are signatures of his offspring,” he added.
Into Mischief ranks as the leading sire in the land in 2019, with $12,779,193 in progeny earnings – more than a million ahead of No. 2 Tapit – through Saturday according to BloodHorse. Into Mischief has sired industry highs in black type horses with 45 and Grade One horses with 8 to date in 2019, led by his newest Grade One winners Mia Mischief and Covfefe.
In the sales ring, Into Mischief had an industry-high four 2-year-olds sell for seven figures in 2019, led by a $1,800,000 filly at the Fasig-Tipton Timonium sale in May – breaking a record for the highest-priced horse ever sold publicly in Maryland. He also sired the $1,300,000 sale topper at OBS April and $900,000 sale topper at OBS June this year, giving him an industry-high four 2-year-old sale toppers in the last two years.
Into Mischief’s impact is also being felt as a sire of sires. Goldencents, Into Mischief’s first son to enter stud, is the No. 1 Second Crop Sire in North America in 2019. His newest son to stud, Maximus Mischief, was recently announced to be standing alongside Into Mischief and Goldencents at Spendthrift for an introductory fee of $7,500 S&N in 2020.
By Harlan’s Holiday, Into Mischief is out of 2016 Broodmare of the Year Leslie’s Lady. Spendthrift plans to announce fees for the rest of its 2020 stallion roster in the near future. The farm is currently offering early-bird pricing on the majority of its roster.
A 2011 study showing an increase in inbreeding in the Thoroughbred during a 45-year period from 1961-2006 also concluded the majority of the increase occurred during the last 10 years of the study period—a time coinciding with a sharp rise in the number of stallions being bred to books of 100 mares or more. Dr. Matthew Binns was the lead author of the study “Inbreeding in the Thoroughbred horse” that appeared in a June 2011 edition of Animal Genetics. The genotyping of 467 Thoroughbreds born between 1961-2006 showed an increase in the average inbreeding coefficient. More significantly, the study notes, the majority of the increase occurred during 1996-06, when the number of North American stallions breeding 100 or more mares in a given season rose from 14 to 128. In 1996, 14 North American stallions covered 100 mares or more. Only five years earlier only one stallion—Alydar—had bred a book of mares exceeding 100.
“My conclusion was that the data was showing the start of a trend that could become worrisome and needed monitoring,” Binns told BloodHorse. “It was starting to show this increase as a result of the big books.”
The Jockey Club board of stewards, concerned with the narrowing of the diversity of the Thoroughbred gene pool, today announced its consideration of a rule to limit the annual breeding of individual stallions starting with the 2021 breeding season.
The Jockey Club, established in 1894, is the keeper of the American Stud Book and maintains the Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbook in order to ensure the welfare of the Thoroughbred breed.
As has been widely reported, the size of the North American foal crop has diminished significantly, from 37,499 in 2007 to the 20,500 estimated for 2020.
In 2007, 37 stallions reported in excess of 140 mares bred each from a total of 3,865 stallions. By 2010, that number had declined to 24. Since then, the number has nearly doubled to 43 stallions reporting 140 or more mares bred from a population of stallions that now stands at less than one-half that of 2007.
On the mare side, in 2007, 5,894 mares (9.5% of the total) were bred by stallions that covered more than 140 mares. By 2019, 7,415 mares (27% of the total) were covered by stallions with books of more than 140, a threefold increase.
The combination of these changes has resulted in a substantial increase in the percentage of foals produced by a discreet segment of stallions — signaling a worrisome concentration of the gene pool.
The board of stewards of The Jockey Club is considering a cap of 140 mares bred per individual stallion per calendar year in North America, phased-in, as follows:
The stewards will continue to study the decreasing diversity of the Thoroughbred gene pool and its cause and potential effects over the course of time. As more data and analyses become available, the stewards may revise The Jockey Club’s approach to protecting the breed’s health and welfare.
The Jockey Club solicits and welcomes comments on the proposed rule from breeders, owners, and others with interests in the Thoroughbred breed and the industry. Contact The Jockey Club at jockeyclub.com.