Report shows decline in North American breeding
FIGURES released by the American Jockey Club have shown a decline in thoroughbred breeding activity in North America.
Giant's Causeway: the Coolmore sire was sent 190 mares this yearPICTURE: Edward Whitaker
According to the latest Report of Mares Bred (RMB), 2,643 stallions covered 52,410 mares during 2008. The number of active stallions is down by 5.9 per cent from 2,808 in 2007, and the number of mares bred fell 7.7 per cent from the 56,796 reported last year.
The Jockey Club estimates that these statistics will account for 92 per cent of the mares whose mating will have been reported by the end of the year.
"The 2008 RMB statistics indicate a further reduction of thoroughbred breeding activity across North America," said Matt Iuliano, The Jockey Club's vice president of registration services. "Stallions with a book size of fewer than 25 accounted for 78 percent of the decline in the number of stallions and 30 percent of the drop in mares bred."
Lion Heart, who has been represented by his first crop of two-year-olds this season, was reported as the most active stallion in North America, being sent 214 mares. He covered 20 more mares than the second most active stallion, his fellow freshmansire Chapel Royal.
Giant's Causeway, sire of Saturday's Dewhurst Stakes winner Intense Focus, had the third largest book size in 2008, with 190 mares. All of the top three stand at Coolmore's Ashford Stud in Kentucky.
Last year's Kentucky Derby winner and runner-up, Street Sense and Hard Spun, were the fourth and fifth most active stallions. Some 181 mares were reported as bred to Hard Spun, while three fewer were reported as covered by Street Sense. Both stand at Darley's Jonabell Farm.
The report also shows that only 19 mares were sent to Lane's End Farm's 18-year-old stallion Kingmambo, who has enjoyed another excellent season with Henrythenavigator, Archipenko and Student Council among his Group/Grade 1-winning progeny.
Storm Cat, whose retirement from covering duties was announced earlier this year, is reported as having covered 32 mares in his last season at stud.