The Jockey Club Adopts Rule Regarding Thoroughbred Stallion Breedings

The Jockey Club board of stewards today announced that it has adopted a final rule limiting the annual breeding of individual stallions. The rule reflects The Jockey Club’s goal to preserve the health of the Thoroughbred breed for the long term and will apply prospectively to stallions born in 2020 or later.

Effective today, The Jockey Club’s Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbook are amended by adding the following italicized language to the text of Rule 14C:

C. Based on the information on a completed Report of Mares Bred form, The Jockey Club will forward to the stallion owner, lessee or authorized agent a preprinted Service Certificate for each broodmare bred, including the name of the stallion, the name of the broodmare, the name of the dam of the broodmare, and the date of the last cover.

The total number of broodmares bred per individual stallion whose year of birth is 2020 or thereafter shall not exceed 140 per calendar year in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Jockey Club shall limit the number of Stallion Service Certificates for such stallions to a maximum of 140 per calendar year.

When the stallion owner, lessee or authorized agent receives the preprinted Service Certificate, it should be examined for accuracy, signed by the stallion owner, lessee or authorized agent and forwarded to the breeder of the foal or submitted to The Jockey Club through Interactive Registration™ at http://www.registry.jockeyclub.com. The Service Certificate is required to register a foal. Service Certificates will not be issued unless a completed Report of Mares Bred form is on file at The Jockey Club and until genetic or re-DNA typing of the stallion has been completed (see Rule 5).

In an effort to illustrate the operation of the new rule, The Jockey Club offers the following examples of how it will be applied:

(1)  For stallions born in 2019 and earlier, there will be no limit to the number of mares reported bred in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The Jockey Club will issue stallion certificates for all mares bred by such stallions within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico during a calendar year.

(2)  For stallions born in 2020 and later, the maximum number of mares covered within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico in a calendar year will be 140. It would be a violation of Rule 14C for such a stallion to cover more than 140 mares within the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico during a calendar year. The aforementioned limit will apply to all mares bred during a calendar year regardless of when The Jockey Club receives a Report of Mares bred (or any amendments or supplements thereto).

The Jockey Club will modify its Report of Mares Bred form and other related forms in recognition of the amendment to Rule 14. Stallion Service Certificates will be issued on the basis of first cover date in the order of mares listed on the Report of Mares Bred.

The Jockey Club is grateful for the many thoughtful comments in response to its September rule proposal. The stewards carefully considered those comments in formulating a rule that will promote diversity of the Thoroughbred gene pool and protect the long-term health of the breed.

The Jockey Club will continue to maintain the Principal Rules and Requirements of the American Studbookin keeping with its mission to ensure the health of the Thoroughbred breed.

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 is the sole funding source for America’s Best Racing, the broad-based fan development initiative for Thoroughbred racing. You can follow America’s Best Racing at americasbestracing.net. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.

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The Jockey Club Considers Rule Regarding Breeding Stallions

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:

  • Stallions entering stud service for the first time in 2020 would be exempt from the 140 limit through the 2023 season
  • Stallions that entered stud service in 2019 would be exempt through the 2022 season
  • Stallions that entered stud service in 2018 would be exempt through the 2021 season
  • Stallions that entered service in 2017 or prior would be subject to the 140 cap as of January 1, 2021

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.

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