The size of the 2012 British foal crop has declined to its lowest figure in two decades.
A total of 4,366 foals were registered through the end of last year although numbers are expected to rise slightly after late returns are added.
The crop size represents a drop of 6% compared to registered foals in 2011. It’s the fourth consecutive year of declines according to figures released by Weatherbys.
“From these key indicators of the British thoroughbred industry we have worrying figures; a continuing decline in the number of active broodmares, new broodmares, and the foal population,” Weatherbys operations director Paul Greeves said.
“Obviously, this is a concern for the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association and they are doing everything they can – notably implementing the British Owners and Breeders’ Incentive Scheme (BOBIS) to try to ensure the British industry and breeders get direct support.”
End-of-year foal registrations in Ireland remained steady compared to 2011 and new broodmare registrations in Ireland rose 10% in 2012.