North American foal crop lowest since 1971

The North American Jockey Club has announced its 2013 foal crop should hold steady with this year’s numbers.  The projection for 2013 is 24,700 foals.

The 2012 and 2013 foal crop projections are the lowest since 1971 when 24,301 foals were registered.

“We have revised downward the estimates for the foal crops of 2010 and 2011 by 1,500 foals each,” the Jockey Club’s Matt Iuliano said.  “The rate of registered foals produced from the number of mares bred has not met historical rates for these two foal crops.”

The Jockey Club is developing programs to assist racetracks is maximizing horse populations and scheduling races.  The declining number of foals already has begun impacting field size and number of racing dates at various tracks around the country.

Officials will discuss the foal crop numbers during its Round Table conference in Saratoga Springs this weekend.  There’s some optimism given the fact the foal crop appears to be holding steady after years of declines; the total was about 38,000 in 2007.