The Australian Thoroughbred breeding season will begin on Monday, Septembr 1 with the country’s stallions set to generate more than $300 million in income for their services.
In the 2013 breeding season, 637 individual sires across the nation covered some 20,060 mares, with more than 13,500 foals expected to be born this spring (67% of those covered).
Australia’s most expensive sire, Coolmore Stud’s Fastnet Rock, covered 212 mares at an advertised fee of $275,000 last year. Although his fee is private for the 2014 season, it is expected he will generate approximately $40 million for his owners.
Fastnet Rock began his career in the breeding shed at a fee of $55,000 at Colmore Stud in 2005.
Arrowfield Stud’s Snitzel covered the most mares in the 2013 season – 226 at a fee of $49,500.
Basil Nolan, the chairman of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, said the size of the fees for stallions demonstrates the breeding industry’s importance to the wider economy. “This is a vitally important industry to Australia, especially in rural areas where these stud farms are based,” he said.
“The hundreds of millions generated in stallion fees is only one part of the economic input; there’s also the thousands of people who work in the breeding industry, the agistment fees paid by breeders and, of course, the money spent on buying the horses.
“We are very fortunate to have one of the strongest breeding industries in the world, with Australian-bred horses recognised across the globe for their speed and toughness.”
There are 21 new sires for the 2014 breeding season. The highest priced is Zoustar, a champion sprinter that won at the highest level during Melbourne’s spring carnival, who is available to breeders at $44,000 at Widden Stud.
Other new stallions for the Hunter Valley include Dundeel ($27,500 Arrowfield Stud), Shamus Award (Widden Stud, $27,500), Camelot ($22,000, Coolmore) and The Factor ($22,000, Newgate Farm).
In Victoria, Fiorente ($17,600, Eliza Park) will begin his new career after Group 1 victories in the Melbourne Cup and Australian Cup.
In WA, local champion Playing God, a horse that earned over $1.60 million, will start covering mares at a fee of $6,600 at Mungrup Stud.
Eureka Stud on Queensland’s Darling Downs has welcomed home Spirit Of Boom ($11,000), a horse born on the property in 2007, which went on to win $2.4 million in 52 races.
Akeed Mofeed ($16,500), a stallion born in the UK which went on to win top level races in Hong Kong, will stand at Goldin Farms in South Australia.
NSW had the most stallions last year (211) as well as the most thoroughbred mares covered (9,644), followed by Victoria (159 – 5,025), Queensland (150 – 2,752), WA (67 – 1,752), SA (28 – 614) and Tasmania (21 – 271).