The Australian breeding industry has proved more resilient to the global financial crisis than originally expected according the Keeper of the Australian Stud Book Michael Ford.
“Major yearling sales, both here and overseas, were down 30% and I thought that the number of coverings may decrease by 15%,” Ford explained. “Yet it looks like being down less than 10%.”
There were 23,520 mares reported as being covered in the 2009 season as at January 20. Ford believed that when late reports are lodged, the total will achieve 24,000, indicating only a 10% decrease from 2008 which is heartening for the industry.
The 2008 returns totalled 26,480 while the 2007 equine influenza affected number was 24,580.
There were 710 stallions among the returns. The leading sire by mares covered was Fastnet Rock, setting a new record of 272 mares. The top 12 stallions are all Australian-bred, as are 16 of the top 20.
“This is great news for the Australian thoroughbred breeding industry with breeders placing their faith in world-class Australian-bred stallions,” Ford added. “The influence of Danehill was all-pervading with 6 of the top 20 stallions being his sons, and another 4 being his grandsons.”
The Top 20 stallions by mares covered were:
272 Fastnet Rock (Coolmore)
251 Bel Esprit (Eliza Park)
227 Choisir (Coolmore)
212 Lonhro (Darley)
198 Northern Meteor (Widden)
190 Sebring (Widden)
176 Encosta De Lago (Coolmore)
173 Hidden Dragon (Lyndhurst)
173 Stratum (Widden)
168 God’s Own (Eliza Park)
166 Dane Shadow (Kitchwin Hills)
165 Magnus (Eliza Park)
165 Oratorio (Coolmore)
163 Snippetson (Widden)
158 Tale Of The Cat (Coolmore)
156 Redoute’s Choice (Arrowfield)
156 Statue Of Liberty (Eliza Park)
153 More Than Ready (Vinery)
150 Commands (Darley)
148 Not A Single Doubt (Arrowfield)