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Dunkirk - KEY BISCAYNE, FL - 28.03.09

Dunkirk: Belmont Stakes runner-up covered 186 mares during his first season at Ashford Stud in Kentucky

  PICTURE: Getty Images 

Number of mares bred in US continues to fall

STATISTICS released on Thursday by the US Jockey Club show that at least 40,576 mares were covered in North America this year, 10.5per cent fewer than in 2009.

The figures are based on reports received up to October 13 and in line with historical trends, the Jockey Club expects to receive a further 4,000 to 4,500 reports of mares bred from this season.

The number of stallions in service in the US also declined nine per cent to 2,186 while the number of stallions covering three-figure books fell from 85 to 82. However, between them, those stallions covered 27 per cent of mares bred compared to 25 per cent last year.

"The decline in breeding activity in 2010 falls in line with our forecasted ten per cent decline for next year's registered foal crop, from 30,000 foals in 2010 to 27,000 foals in 2011," said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club's executive vice president and executive director, in a statement.

Giant's Causeway was the only stallion to surpass the 200 mark this season, covering 217 mares at Ashford Stud in Kentucky. His stud-mate, first-season sire Dunkirk, was also popular, covering 186 mares.

Kentucky-based stallions accounted for 43 per cent of mares reported covered although the number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions declined nine per cent to 17,303. Louisiana and Ontario were the only states to show an increase in the number of mares bred.






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