Steve Zorn: The breeding industry needs a reality check

2 thoughts on “Steve Zorn: The breeding industry needs a reality check”

  1. Actually, there really isn’t one single market, more “markets within markets.” Due to their scarcity, well-performed fillies and well-bred and covered young mares were actually making more than last year. There were actually examples of mares that had gone through the ring last year, and had been bred and resubmitted, or had been re-covered at a similar level after being bought in foal and considerably increasing in value, without any significant change in the catalog page. Incidentally, they were also making a lot more than even the consignors anticipated.

    On the other hand there was a very weak market for young middle-aged or older mares with anything less than a stellar production record – young middle-aged stakes producing mares in foal to $50,000-$75,000 sires were not making their stud fee.

    Overall, I’d have to say Frank Mitchell is probably pretty close in stating that if you come down to a like for like basis, the bottom of the market has stabilized.

    Similar story for the stallions. A number of popular horses are full or very nearly full, and either didn’t need a drop, or only made a small one. Outside the 25 or so horses everyone wants, I suspect that it will be a very different story.

    So, at very least there is a polarized market, and this observation will probably apply across more than one strata, and into the regions as well as Kentucky.

    One interesting question: when was the last year in which the top-priced horse retiring off the track was at $25,000, as is currently the situation?

  2. Alan, Much of what you and Frank say is true, but Mr. Zorn’s point also is well taken, and I wrote a Racing Post column just last week stating that stud fees probably are not low enough yet. As you yourself say, “Outside the 25 or so horses everyone wants, I suspect that it will be a very different story,” and that is the case for the broad swath of the industry. 25 sires covering 100 mares each is only 2500 approx. foals, maybe 10 percent of the foal crop. It’s for the other 90 percent that Mr. Zorn — and I — addressed our concerns.

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