THE USTA AND JOCKEY CLUB 140-MARE LIMIT PER STALLION WILL HAVE VERY DIFFERENT RESULTS

A June 16, 2021 article on HorseRacingBusiness.com (titled “Is the American Jockey Club’s 140-Mare Limit Per Stallion Prudent?”) answered in the affirmative, calling it “precautionary and far-sighted.”  Beginning with stallions foaled in 2020, the Jockey Club will register no more than 140 foals per year for each stallion.

The United States Trotting Association, the breed registrar for Standardbreds in the United States, also has such a rule.  According to Alan Leavitt, writing for Harness Racing Update, “Every stallion standing in the United States is limited to a book of 140 mares by the USTA.  Standardbred Canada, however, has a book limited to 250, and the registration of every foal with Standardbred Canada is recognized by the USTA.” 

Therefore, the USTA rule can be circumvented without physically moving a stallion back and forth from the United States and Canada because artificial insemination and transported semen are permissible in the Standardbred breed.  A stallion could have 390 foals registered in a given year and even more if his semen is used by a breeder outside Canada and the United States.

The situation with Thoroughbreds is much different for two reasons.  First, a foal conceived by artificial insemination cannot be registered and transported semen is banned.  Second, the Jockey Club of Canada’s Toronto office “acts as a field office to The Jockey Club (USA), based in New York State.  All Canadian-bred Thoroughbreds are registered through The Jockey Club’s Registry Office in Kentucky.”  The only way that the American Jockey Club 140-foal limit can be avoided is for a stallion owner to shuttle him abroad, to a venue that has its own breed registry.

Looking at the USTA and Jockey Club policies on the number of permissible annual foal registrations per stallion, the Jockey Club’s policy is much more effective in achieving its objective.

(Note: the aforementioned article by Alan Leavitt provides research-based insights into the genetic risks of excessive inbreeding.)

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