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For those that breed... interesting article just posted today's BH

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  • For those that breed... interesting article just posted today's BH

    The Jockey Club is considering a phased implementation of limiting stallion book size of 140 starting in 2021.

    Seems to me to be a good idea but would be interested in thoughts from those that are actually much closer to the breeding industry than I am

    https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-rac...ting-book-size
    Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

  • #2
    I'm closer to economics and science than breeding. If supply is limited, and demand is still present, then stud fees for the stallions in great demand will go up. The limit will help the stallions in the next couple tiers, since breeders still need to breed their mares. There will be problems in that at some point, it will not be worth it to the breeders to breed to lesser stallions since the resulting offspring won't sell or earn enough to pay for itself. I'm sure that is currently a problem although there are obviously people breeding mares who don't produce squat.

    Will we now have 3 breeding seasons? The US for 4 months, head to another country for a few months, then the southern hemisphere for another few months? The Jockey Club does not have jurisdiction in other countries, so conceivably (ha) Coolmore can breed 140 mares in the US, ship the stallion to Ireland for a few months and breed a bunch more, then down to Australia.
    "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

    Comment


    • #3
      Considering the reasons behind the limiting, I think it's long overdue. The TB is going the way of the QH and that's not something to be proud of.

      Genetic diversity is a *must*.

      Comment


      • #4
        I can’t think of a single downside to it.
        Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

        Comment


        • #5
          Unfortunately for me the downside is that a limit like that will put small breeders out of business. After a few years go by, I suspect the size of the TB foal crop will have dropped significantly. I don't see how that will lead to more genetic diversity.

          www.laurienberenson.com

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by LaurieB View Post
            Unfortunately for me the downside is that a limit like that will put small breeders out of business. After a few years go by, I suspect the size of the TB foal crop will have dropped significantly. I don't see how that will lead to more genetic diversity.
            I've heard this viewpoint but am curious if that is how it will actually play out. You understand far better than myself.

            May I ask you, is your concern that smaller breeders won't be able to get their mares to top stallions who sell well enough to profit?
            Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Texarkana View Post

              I've heard this viewpoint but am curious if that is how it will actually play out. You understand far better than myself.

              May I ask you, is your concern that smaller breeders won't be able to get their mares to top stallions who sell well enough to profit?
              Yes, pretty much. When the top tier stallions have their books cut in half, several thousand mares will drop down to the next level horses. The mares that were previously bred to those stallions will then be forced to drop a level as well. And so on down the line. Basically, everyone who isn't a billionaire is going to get squeezed out of where they want to be. There is a price point below which it's almost impossible to sell a TB profitably. And if I'm going to race, I want to breed to a stallion that I choose for my mare--not one that I have to use because it's available to me.

              Also, as the spokesman for Spendthrift said, if they are made to cut Into Mischief's book in half, they will double his stud fee. I'd imagine the other stallion managers will follow suit. So my only option will become paying a higher price for something I don't really want anyway. And that's the point at which I'll stop breeding.

              There was a study done a few years ago that found that 90% of TB breeders have fewer than 6 mares. Squeeze us all out of business and the size of the TB foal crop--which is already 40% smaller than it was a decade ago--will nosedive. That doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
              www.laurienberenson.com

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Laurie.

                My thought (hope), though, is that the buyer market won't change in size. Buyers will still want racehorses.

                I don't think anyone would deny that there are some solid middle-market stallions who are "ignored" by buyers, therefore breeders don't utilize them to their fullest.

                With limited books, I would think the good mares would be forced to be more evenly distributed across the available stallions. Hopefully buyers would respond in a similar manner, driving up sales figures for stallions across the board, and giving the middle market more of a chance.

                Of course, if buyers jump ship, then yeah, I can totally see the small breeders being driven out...
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                  Thanks Laurie.

                  My thought (hope), though, is that the buyer market won't change in size. Buyers will still want racehorses.

                  I don't think anyone would deny that there are some solid middle-market stallions who are "ignored" by buyers, therefore breeders don't utilize them to their fullest.

                  With limited books, I would think the good mares would be forced to be more evenly distributed across the available stallions. Hopefully buyers would respond in a similar manner, driving up sales figures for stallions across the board, and giving the middle market more of a chance.

                  Of course, if buyers jump ship, then yeah, I can totally see the small breeders being driven out...
                  The thing about buyers, though, is that more than anything else most of them want sire power.

                  Bloodstock agents love to tout the big horses because not all their clients can understand conformation but they all understand the phrase "Top Ten Sire". So you'll have the same pool of buyers fighting over a smaller number of top tier offspring--which is wonderful for the sellers of those offspring, but not so much for everyone else. When a buyer asks "Who???" and the answer is, "well, he's not a commercial sire but he's a solid middle market horse who gets runners..." wallets begin to snap shut.

                  In the same way that I wouldn't want to have to breed to a stallion just because he's available, I can imagine buyers thinking, "why should I spend money on something that isn't what I really want?" The industry already has a shortage of owners. Considering the costs of owning a racehorse it doesn't take much to make them jump ship. I would like to hope that you're right, but I have my doubts.

                  I'm enjoying the discussion, Texarkana.
                  www.laurienberenson.com

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I enjoy it, too. I completely understand your point, and you would know best.

                    But I also think about sires like, say, Congrats... who stands for peanuts. Who appears, to my uneducated eye, to sell darn well when the stars align with a nice foal out of a quality mare. But then he gets a slew of cheap mares by merit of his fee who drag down his figures and never amount to anything.

                    Or even someone like Kitten's Joy, who is still breeding 150+ mares, many of them garbage. The market gets flooded with these undesirable offspring and no one benefits.

                    Or when you lose your hat over having the "worst" foal of the sale by a top tier sire. You still might have the "worst," but if there are less to choose from, isn't that going to drive up price and mitigate that loss?

                    Limiting books could also redirect some higher quality mares into regional programs, as fees go up and they are squeezed out of the Kentucky market. Very few regional stallions would be directly impacted by a cap on books, but have a lot to gain if mares are out-competed for seasons in Kentucky. Maybe it would breathe some life into those breeding programs. While I frequently criticize their quality, I do feel they are valuable for the sport on the whole.

                    I've never understood how anyone except the stallion owners in the present benefit from 240+ Into Mischiefs (or any big book stallion) potentially coming into the world every year. Supply and demand suggests everyone would benefit from reducing the supply and increasing the demand.

                    Now, the genetic diversity argument I think is silly. That's an argument for capping books that I can't get behind. Only because thoroughbreds haven't been genetically diverse since, uh, ever. We really only have three active sire lines in the entire country period, regardless of what stallions attract the biggest books.
                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The problem is that there are mare owners who can afford to breed to stallions that are much better than their mares, hoping the stallion will improve the mare. They can sell the offspring just because of who the sire is. Once the stud fees go way up, those mare owners will be left with fewer and less quality choices, and they will risk being unable to unload the offspring for enough money to cover their costs.

                      This trickles down to all levels.

                      AND you are now decreasing the quality of the overall breed, since the best stallions now travel and breed globally, as do the mares.

                      We have US regions, but now we have global regions too. Limiting the US stallion books will put US breeders at great competitive risk.
                      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Texarkana
                        Supply and demand suggests everyone would benefit from reducing the supply and increasing the demand.
                        I totally agree with you about that. Except there would be no benefit for me because I would be the one who is reduced.

                        Most stallions who aren't getting the best mares have reasons for that. Take Congrats, for example. His fillies often run like the wind. But it's very rare for him to produce even a decent colt. So breeders know going in that even if the genetics align they still have at best a 50/50 chance of getting a good racehorse. (Which isn't true of his full brother, Flatter. Go figure.)

                        Kittens Joy was bred to all those crap mares when Ken Ramsey was standing him at stud and flooded his book with cheap claimers so the horse would have tons of offspring on the track. That was the horse's owner's decision. Nothing you can do about that. Now that KJ is under new management, his book of mares is totally different.

                        I'm not sure that a cap would make enough additional KY breeders ship their mares to out of state programs to really make a difference. That's already happening, of course, because there are lucrative breeders' programs in other states most notably in NY, but also in states like PA and LA. From a breeder's perspective, however, you spend quite a bit of extra money doing that and more importantly you lose control over the process. Your mare isn't just being bred to a stallion in another state, she is also (probably) foaling there and remaining in that state for 45 days post breeding. So you are trusting someone at a farm you may not know well to do right by your foal--which probably isn't by one of their stallions--for the first few months of its life. That's a gamble and it doesn't always turn out well.


                        I also want to point out that the stallion owners aren't the only ones who benefit from these large books. Take Into Mischief, for example. The horse moves up his mares a lot which is why so many breeders want to breed to him. Because if you can afford to go there, your chances of getting a good racehorse and improving your mare's record go up. We bred to Into Mischief and produced a 3 yo filly who ran 2nd in a stakes race yesterday in SoCal. So far, in her first five starts, she has never been worse than 2nd. Which is great for my mare. I'd breed to him again in a heartbeat if I could still afford his stud fee.
                        www.laurienberenson.com

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          LaurieB and Texarkana (I have a heck of a time getting these tags other than just one and at the start of the post ) I love the insight and thoughts that you bring from a small breeder perspective rather than B Flay Thoroughbreds who, I assume, have deep pockets to go along with nice mares as well as thoughts from a different area of the country but also not a "big" name

                          Glad I asked this question as some of the comments I haven't thought of along with thoughts I already had. It will be interesting to see what JC ends up doing.

                          I do know that when I watch many of the races that aren't the big stakes/handicap races but rather then bread and butter races that I do notice who the sire is of horses than perform well. I know I've wondered at times if it would be a stallion of interest to a breeder such as LaurieB; throws reasonable performance at a nice fee price that might make at least me consider using him vs a bigger name.

                          Although often the sire is a regional one vs being located in KY (Smiling Tiger comes to mind).

                          LaurieB, what's the name of your filly that ran second yesterday in SoCal? (I couldn't figure it out ).
                          Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Where'sMyWhite View Post
                            LaurieB, what's the name of your filly that ran second yesterday in SoCal? (I couldn't figure it out ).
                            Madame Vestal.

                            https://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-rac...y-j-lewis-s-bt

                            www.laurienberenson.com

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              You must be proud!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by skydy View Post
                                You must be proud!
                                Thanks. We are.

                                Here's an article about when breeding limits were imposed in Standardbreds: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com...what-happened/
                                www.laurienberenson.com

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by LaurieB View Post

                                  Thanks. We are.

                                  Here's an article about when breeding limits were imposed in Standardbreds: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com...what-happened/
                                  Interesting, especially since the proponent of the Standardbred rule had much to lose economically. There was no information regarding any subsequent increase in stud fees which is too bad. It would have been interesting.

                                  Do you think that the smaller population of Standardbreds made the breeding restrictions more urgent than the proposed rule for TBs?

                                  I wonder (hypothetically), if the TB industry kept track of the incidence of OCDs etc... and if there was an increase in those, and other issues that even somewhat coincided with the timing of the increase in individual stallion books, would there be more support for the rule?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Also, Standardbreds allow AI so the books could be even larger and cover a bigger geographic area.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by LaurieB View Post

                                      Thanks. We are.

                                      Here's an article about when breeding limits were imposed in Standardbreds: http://www.thoroughbreddailynews.com...what-happened/
                                      Interesting that in a breed with 1/3 the number, the USTA limits stallions to 140 mares, which is what the Jockey Club is proposing. And the USTA is defending on a basis of science. With 3x the polpulation, you'd think the TBs could breed more than 140 mares and still retain enough diversity to avoid the science based repercussions of lack of diversity. I wonder why the Jockey Club does not commission a study like the USTA did to come up with a viable number of mares for each stallion. It appears the USTA has successfully defended the policy against lawsuits, which you'd expect from a similar situation with TBs.
                                      "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him."

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I hadn't considered LaurieB's concerns, and I understand how that could be a downfall.

                                        However, I still wonder if the market would adjust and balance itself in a couple years. Here is the list of 2018 sires who would have to downsize. Judging from the stallions here, I was surprised to see that it wasn't all "top tier" horses, but actually quite a few mid-market horses. I think those surplus mares could find a roughly equivalent sire to use. Spreading out the mares might give those older "forgotten" stallions more support, and/or boost the other mid-market stallions.

                                        FWIW, Tapit bred 113. War Front bred 82. Flatter 75. Congrats 73.

                                        http://www.jockeyclub.com/default.as...RMB&letter=all


                                        2018 Report of Mares Bred
                                        Into Mischief 245 KY
                                        Cupid 223 KY
                                        Klimt 222 KY
                                        Practical Joke 220 KY
                                        Violence 214 KY
                                        Overanalyze 195 KY
                                        Goldencents 190 KY
                                        Classic Empire 185 KY
                                        Tapiture 184 KY
                                        American Pharoah 182 KY
                                        Gormley 180 KY
                                        Uncle Mo 179 KY
                                        Dialed In 177 KY
                                        Keen Ice 176 KY
                                        Gun Runner 171 KY
                                        Fed Biz 169 KY
                                        Uncaptured 168 FL
                                        Jimmy Creed 165 KY
                                        Kitten's Joy 164 KY
                                        Connect 163 KY
                                        Exaggerator 163 KY
                                        Kantharos 161 KY
                                        Union Rags 157 KY
                                        Honor Code 154 KY
                                        Quality Road 154 KY
                                        Tiznow 154 KY
                                        Nyquist 153 KY
                                        American Freedom 152 KY
                                        Frosted 152 KY
                                        Unified 152 KY
                                        Speightster 150 KY
                                        Cairo Prince 148 KY
                                        Maclean's Music 146 KY
                                        Arrogate 145 KY
                                        Creative Cause 145 KY
                                        Candy Ride (ARG) 144 KY
                                        Hard Spun 143 KY
                                        More Than Ready 141 KY
                                        Twirling Candy 141 KY
                                        A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.
                                        ? Albert Einstein

                                        ~AJ~

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