Breeding boom in North America - by Peter Wharton

A projected total of 10,190 foals will be born in USA and Canada this year, an increase of 700 on the previous year and the highest total since 2010, according to the United States Trotting Association.

The figures are based on an estimated 60 percent of matings resulting in registered foals.

In 2021 there were 16,983 mares bred, a jump of 302 from the previous year.

The highest number of mares bred in the last 15 years in North America was 21,764 in 2006, resulting in a foal crop of 13,151.

The foal registrations dipped to 7,518 in 2015 but have been rising steadily ever since.

The conduct of ‘true’ Sires Stakes programs – as opposed to mare-based schemes – with huge prizemoney pools in many States of USA and provinces in Canada has been a major factor in the increase of foal numbers.

Ohio and Indiana, whose governing bodies have permitted slot machines at their racetracks, are the two leading States for breeding in North America in 2022. Ohio has a projected foal total of 1,861 this year, while Indiana has 1,704.

Pennsylvania is next with 1,166 foals, followed by New York (656), Illinois (653), Kentucky (478), New Jersey (265), Michigan (257), Iowa (221), Delaware (190) and Minnesota (149).

There were 803 stallions registered in USA last year. Indiana had the highest number of stallions with 159, Ohio had 132, Pennsylvania (88), Illinois (72), Michigan (47), Iowa (39), Delaware and New York 37 each and Kentucky (30).

Interestingly, 4,378 or 45 percent of the 2019 crop of 9,822 foals raced as two-year-olds in 2021, comprising 2,548 pacers (26 percent foals-to-starters) and 1,830 trotters (19 percent).