Foals, mares, and active stallions all decline in 2019

Newly born Thoroughbred foal. Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse.


“The number of 2019 foals is tracking 3.6% lower at 20,363, compared with a year ago.”

The Bloodhorse reports:

The Jockey Club reported Oct. 3 that 1,630 stallions covered 32,508 mares in North America during 2018, according to statistics compiled through Sept. 26, 2019. These breedings have resulted in 20,363 live foals of 2019 being reported to The Jockey Club on Live Foal Reports.

The Jockey Club estimates the number of live foals reported so far is approximately 90% complete. The reporting of live foals is down 3.6% from last year at this time when The Jockey Club received reports for 21,130 live foals of 2018.

In addition to the live foals of 2019, The Jockey Club also received 2,405 No Foal Reports for the 2019 foaling season. Ultimately, the 2019 registered foal crop is projected to reach 20,800. A crop of 20,800 would mark a fourth straight year the crop has declined in numbers, and it would be the smallest crop since 1966 (20,228).

The number of stallions in 2018 declined 8.3% from the 1,778 reported for 2017 at this time last year, and the number of mares bred declined 5.2% from the 34,288 reported for 2017. Read more »

Anne M. Eberhardt /

Inside a Thoroughbred Nursery; The Horse; April 2019

The Jockey Club’s Death Database is a Joke

Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 running of the Kentucky Derby.

Cross-posted with Permission from Horse Racing Wrongs

Last week, The Jockey Club gleefully boasted of progress on the “breakdown” front: “An analysis of data from the Equine Injury Database…has shown a 14 percent decrease in the frequency of fatal injury…from 1.89 per 1,000 starts in 2014 to 1.62 per 1,000 starts in 2015…the lowest since the EID started publishing…in 2009.”

Well – time to deconstruct the oft-cited, much ballyhooed “Equine Injury Database” . . .

To start, the wording is (intentionally, I have to believe) misleading: Presented as deaths per 1,000 starts, it reads, at least to the untrained eye, deaths per 1,000 horses. But the typical racehorse logs many starts (up to 25) each year, making the death rate per 1,000 horses much higher – certainly not one they’d want to publicize.

The database is completely voluntary: While many tracks participate, some do not. Besides that, no third party – not the JC, not a government agency, no one – verifies the submitted data. At the risk of stating the obvious, dead horses are bad for business. So, not only is there no compelling reason for tracks (trainers, owners, etc.) to give a complete reckoning, there is a vested interest to not. Self-reporting – an honor system – the casualties that they are directly responsible for? Please.

The database is anonymous: No names, no dates, (mostly) no locations. Not only does this make it impossible for someone like me to cross-confirm, it keeps the names and faces of the dead safely secreted away. Messy carcasses converted to sterile ratios.

The database has acknowledged restrictions: Only those who perish “as a direct result of injuries sustained participating in a race” are counted. In other words, the 3-year-old (an adolescent, by the way) who keels and dies of what is commonly dismissed as a “cardiac event” is excluded, not to mention all training deaths, which are at least as common as those occurring in-race. And, the death must come “within 72 hours of [the] race,” leaving the many who are euthanized back at the farm, post unsuccessful surgery, or after being acquired by a rescue unaccounted for. More hidden carnage.

In the end, The Jockey Club is American Thoroughbred racing, impossible to separate from the other interested parties. How can anything it says regarding the more unseemly aspects (dead horses) of its own industry be taken seriously?

Second-place finisher Eight Belles in the middle of the pack during the Kentucky Derby in 2008. (Reuters)
Second-place finisher Eight Belles in the middle of the pack during the Kentucky Derby in 2008. (Reuters)

Truth is, the “Equine Injury Database” is but a marketing tool, created in the wake of Eight Belles and all the bad press that ensued, existing solely to quell an increasingly unsettled public with an empty promise of “we’re on this, we care.” They’re not and they don’t.

The result of Eight Belles run in the 2008 Kentucky and the result of thousands of other racehorses.
The result of Eight Belles run in the 2008 Kentucky and the result of thousands of others. Vivian Farrell.

20+ Yr Insider commented: “When a horse breaks down or is pulled up due to injury in a race, they will at all means transport the horse off the track, and put it down in the barn area. By doing this they don’t have to report the death of said horse as a racing death. This makes the statistics look better, while covering up the truth.”

• See The Inevitably of Dead Racehorses »

Eight Belles falls to her chest as she fractures both front legs after crossing the finish line in the 2008 running of the Kentucky Derby.

New York Times, 2012 — That was then. This is now. Gambling keeps this industry alive. You Bet. They Die.

Racing focuses on drop in owners, registered horses

Thoroughbred horse racing, USA.

Cross-posted from The Blood-Horse

    Declines in the number of foals and registered horses have created challenges for the equine industry at large, though the situation has raised another major question: Where have all the owners gone?

    This year’s American Horse Council National Issues Forum was titled, “Where Have All the Horses Gone?”

    During the June 24 forum in Washington, D.C., the question was answered on several levels, but the data also led to more questions.

    Breed registries have largely the same story to tell, and it’s one about fewer horses either through declines in the number of mares bred or the fact horses aren’t registered.

    In any event, racing and other disciplines are feeling the impact that comes from fewer people participating in horse ownership.

    For instance, the Thoroughbred foal crop was more than 51,000, an all-time high, in 1986, but The Jockey Club projects it will fall to about 22,000 in 2014. In turn, the number of individual race starters is projected to drop from 59,300 last year to 44,500 in 2017.

You can continue reading here.

The people who run horse racing in the U.S. continue to come across as blinkered as usual to the legion of wrongs.

But let’s look at this from a purely business sense. If people don’t want your product, make a better product.

Who wants to buy a horse who hasn’t the stamina for training and likely to break down before he or she even makes it into a race. Drugs and other “therapies” only get these horses so far as we have seen. And it is getting worse. Now the two-year olds aimed at the Kentucky Derby and beyond don’t make it to their three-year old seasons.

As Arthur Hancock, the breeder of three Kentucky Derby winners points out: “Chemical horses produce chemical babies. Performance-enhancing drugs must be banned if we are going to survive as an industry and if thoroughbreds are going to survive as a robust breed.”

Many individuals complain that the cost of owning and racing a horse is way over the top.

How about the veterinary bills and expenses for the huge amounts of drugs these horses are reportedly given? Eliminating that pervasive problem would surely begin to restore the health, stamina and longevity of the racehorse and help this flagging industry.

Horse racing still thinks marketing it saying, hey, everything’s okay, horse racing’s still great, is the way to go. Really? You have been saying this for years yet there is no change. Your industry is dying on the vine. Take a look.

    Jockey Club president and chief operating officer Jim Gagliano said. “It’s abundantly clear what we need to do.”

    Gagliano outlined seven things The Jockey Club believes the industry must do: thoughtfully reduce the number of racing days; promote the best races and events; improve use of new marketing tools such as social media; focus on a younger demographic to introduce people to horse racing; increase the value of Thoroughbreds in part by proving their value outside of racing; developing new owners; and reducing risks such as medication abuse or horse neglect that damage the Thoroughbred brand.

How can you promote the value of Thoroughbreds outside of racing when you ruin so many of them? What about the ones who cannot go on to second careers because of what they suffered in their racing careers?

There is a slight glimmer of hope although it is worded in a way that is not particularly encouraging, and that is the last of these mentioned by Gagliano – reducing risks such as medication abuse or horse neglect that damage the Thoroughbred brand.

If they were more concerned about the humane and respectful treatment of racehorses, they wouldn’t have to be so concerned about their brand.

A good start would be to stop ignoring the abuses exposed such as the Peta Asmussen report, facing them and dealing with them. Do they really think that nobody has noticed the horseracing industry has swept this under the carpet?

And here is another aspect of horse racing they continue to ignore: slaughter. One individual commenting on this article by the name of TerryM stated, “Considering how many horses are sent to slaughter every year, surely the drop in numbers is good“.

Guess what the American Horse Council’s stand on horse slaughter is.

Source report »


Tuesday’s Horse

Cohen: The ugly truth about horse racing, May 26, 2014

KHRC finds no smoking gun in Peta undercover sting of racehorse trainer Asmussen, May 23, 2014

Trainers often bear responsibility for overmedicating horses says track veterinarian, May 17, 2014

Horse Racing in America: A Spectacle of Liars, Dopers and Cheaters – Part 1, May 1, 2014

Horse Racing in America: A Spectacle of Liars, Dopers and Cheaters – Part 2, May 1, 2014

Accused horse trainer Asmussen sacks assistant Blasi; industry responds, Mar. 24, 2014

Asmussen, the torture of racehorses and agonizing death of Nehro, Mar. 22, 2014

The end of the line for Monzante: A horse betrayed, Aug. 12, 2013

From Our Website

Jockey Club urging potential Salix study

Thoroughbred horse racing, USA.

Cross-posted from The Blood-Horse

Furosemide, Lasix, Salix bottles. Google image.

The Jockey Club has called on leading industry organizations to come together to conduct a Salix study that would examine the timing of administration on the medication used to prevent exercise-induced pulmonary hemorrhage.

At the June 17 meeting of the Kentucky Equine Drug Research Council, member A. Gary Lavin, D.V.M., suggested a study examining the efficacy of Salix (furosemide, commonly called Lasix) at varied administration times.

Currently Salix is the only race-day medication allowed in U.S. racing and it typically is administered four hours before competition.

The KEDRC advises the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission on medication policies and awards money for funding of medication studies.

Jockey Club executive director Matt Iuliano attended the meeting to offer support of the study and called on industry leaders to come together to fund and shape it. A veterinarian, Lavin represents breeders on the KEDRC and is a Jockey Club member.

“We thought it was pretty intriguing,” Iuliano said of looking at the timing of Salix administration. “We thought it was a novel approach, something unique and new, and something that had not really been done before.”

Iuliano said Lavin had talked about the study six or eight weeks ago. The idea was presented to the Jockey Club Thoroughbred Safety Committee, which approved Iuliano’s attendance at the KEDRC meeting to support moving forward with other industry groups on such an examination.

Read full report »


Yet another study. At least it isn’t another database, or is that yet to come.

These people are fooling no one but themselves. They need to get rid of it, end of story. And not just because it is a performance-enhancing drug but the negative health effects it has. See link to reports by Jane Allin below.

In the meantime, the Welfare and Safety of the Racehorse Summit scheduled for July 8-9 in Lexington.


Tuesday’s Horse
by Jane Allin
Forgotten Side of the Salix Debate: The Calcium Connection (Part 1)
Forgotten Side of the Salix Debate: The Calcium Connection (Part 2)
Blood Money: Salix and Beyond – Part 1, the Blood
Blood Money: Salix and Beyond – Part 2, the Money

The Horse Fund Website
The Chemical Horse: Furosemide, Brand Name Lasix (also called Salix) by Jane Allin.