Solid increase in number of mares bred in Pennsylvania, statistics show

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 25, 2017

The number of Thoroughbred mares bred in North America this year based on reports received through Oct. 17 is down 5.6% from the same period in 2016, but The Jockey Club noted there will be another 2,000 to 3,000 mares reported as having been bred based on historical averages.

The organization Oct. 25 released its Report of Mares Bred, statistics from which show solid growth in Pennsylvania as far as the top 10 states or provinces by number of mares. Pennsylvania Horse Breeders Association officials earlier this year indicated a spike was expected.

The Jockey Club said there were 31,863 RMBs through Oct. 17, down from 33,746 at this time last year. The number of stallions dropped 5.7% to 1,342 this year versus 1,423 in 2016, according to the statistics.

Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York are in the top 10 states or provinces by number of mares bred reported as of Oct. 17. Pennsylvania was the only one of the three with an increase; the number was up 15.13% to 563 from 489 for the same period in 2016.

Of the top 10, only Indiana (up 43.52% to 554) had a higher increase in mares bred, and only one other jurisdiction—Ontario, Canada—showed an increase (6.44%).

New York had 1,326 mares bred, down 12.19% from 1,510. Maryland had 768, which is down 15.88% from 913 for the same period last year.

Kentucky as usual led the way with 17,275 RMBs, down 2.68% from last year. The biggest decrease among the top 10 came in Florida, where RMBs through Oct. 17 dropped 24.81% to 2,073, according to the statistics.

As for stallions, New York had 58, down 5.45% from 2016; Pennsylvania had 36, down 12.20%; and Maryland had 30, down 6.25%. In the past month, however, it was announced that several horses had been retired and would stand their first season in Maryland next year.

When comparing statistics based on reports received through Oct. 17 from previous breeding seasons, the percentage of broodmares covered by large book-size stallions (125 or more) increased from 19.3% in 2013 to about 29% in 2015, where it has remained over the past three seasons.

(Photo by Tom LaMarra)