Breeding Numbers down in New Zealand.

From Harness Racing New Zealand 

After serving 82 mares last year, Sweet Lou’s numbers have skyrocketed to 262 in 2023-24, thanks to the success of the stallion’s progeny across the Tasman, spearheaded by the likes of Spirit Of St Louis and Cantfindabettorman, and Horse of the Year Confederate in North America.

Figures from the latest breeding season (August 1, 2023 – February 29, 2024) show that Sweet Lou, standing at Woodlands Stud, was the most prolific of all stallions in this country, ahead of Downbytheseaside (116 mares) and Captain Crunch (107).

Captain Crunch, the best-performing son of Captaintreacherous, was the most in-demand stallion for the previous 12 months with 159 mares, with “The King” Bettor’s Delight second on 151.

In the 2023-24 season, Bettor’s Delight’s number was down to 98, while a newcomer to the stallion ranks in this country world record holder Bulldog Hanover served 44 mares this breeding season.

Here are some of the more proven sires that served mares in New Zealand in this 2023 / 24 season with the previous season’s figures in brackets.

Sweet Lou (USA) 262 (82), Downbytheseaside (USA) 116 (149), Captain Crunch (USA) 107 (159), Always M Miki (USA) 99 (136), Bettors Delight (USA) 98 (151), Lazarus N 68 (124),  Captaintreacherous (USA) 60 (57), Art Major (USA) 48 (72), Vincent (Aus) 36 (95), American Ideal (USA) 22 (43) and Rock N Roll Heaven (USA) 6 (22).

Only two – Sweet Lou (USA) and Captaintreacherous (USA) had an increase – What does that say to us?

One source close to one of the main New Zealand studs predicts the total mares served in New Zealand this past season could be down 200 plus on the 2022 / 23 season.

The top trotting stallion numbers-wise was newcomer King Of The North with 74.

Overall, the breeding numbers were down for the season, with 1758 mares served in 2023-24, compared to 1966 for the corresponding period the previous year.


Sweet Lou served 262 mares in 2023/24 breeding season.