Reproductive production constraints within the New Zealand racing industry

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The New Zealand Thoroughbred industry has seen rationalisation in response to changes in the domestic market and more recently the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). To quantify changes in production, end-of-season reproductive data for active Thoroughbred sires were extracted for the 1989/90 to 2011/12 breeding seasons. There were reductions in the numbers of mares bred and foals produced (10,176 mares & 5,882 foals vs. 5,826 mares & 3,927 foals, respectively in 1989/90 and 2011/12 seasons) resulting in a greater relative proportion of foals registrations (57% vs. 67%). During this period, the number of active sires decreased (265 vs. 94) and number of mares per sire increased (33 IQR 18-53 vs. 49 29-91). The 2007/08 season (GFC) was associated with an acute reduction in the number of shuttle stallions imported for breeding (from 23% in 2006/07 to 11% of active sires in 2007/08), and a temporary increase in number of mares bred (13%), in response to the 2007 Equine Influenza outbreak in Australia. The proportion of sires covering >100 mares per season increased from 6% (1989/90) to 25% (2011/12). Despite the reduction in active broodmares during the same period (43%), there has not been a proportional decrease in export numbers (24%) or domestic numbers of horses racing (6.5%).
horse, equine, Thoroughbred, racing, reproduction
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, 2016, 76 pp. 146 - 150 (5)