Day At The Track

How many trotting sires is too many

12:56 PM 03 Oct 2014 NZDT
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Majestic Son
Majestic Son - Served over 25% of all trotting mares bred in New Zealand last season

The breeding season is here once again and harness racing is in good heart if the number of trotting stallions available this season is any guide.

For the last two breeding seasons trotting bred mare numbers have been holding up remarkably well when compared to their pacing counterparts.

The number of pacing mares has been slowly dropping for a wee while now

Two seasons ago the number of pacing mares served numbered 2582 but last season saw another drop of 185 mares to bring the total served down to 2397

However in the 2012/2013 breeding season 644 trotting mares were served by 31 stallions and in the 2013/2014 breeding season 617 mares were served by 29 stallions.

In light of those figures it is somewhat surprising that the number of trotting sires available to breeders has continued to grow, especially via frozen semen. 

In the upcoming season the number of trotting stallions available to breeders has risen to 36.

In the last breeding season only four stallions served more than 50 mares for the year and between them that four captured 319 of the mares served leaving just 298 mares for the other 25 stallions.

It is little wonder the average trotting breeder is getting confused and having trouble sorting out the wheat from the chaff.

Some of the trotting sires available via frozen semen are well established such as Andover Hall, Angus Hall, Muscle Hill, Love You and Muscles Yankee but quite a few are new to the stallion game in New Zealand and it is hard to gage where they sit in the overall scheme of things.

Of those available via fresh semen last year, the North American owned Majestic Son served 161 mares in New Zealand and with the season his stock had on the track he should serve a large book again this year.

Superfast Stuart (54)  Monarchy (51)  The Pres (50) and Monkey Bones (40) were other sires available via fresh semen last season who served reasonable numbers and they all have one thing in common. 

These sires are owned in New Zealand and represent a major investment by the studs/owners but with the number of sires available via frozen semen growing to 26 this year they may have a struggle on their hands to attract mares.

If the number of European and North American sires available via frozen semen continues to grow, the days of New Zealand studs and owners standing sires they own via fresh semen may be coming to an end.

Weather that is in the best long term interests of the New Zealand industry is highly questionable.

Harnesslink Media

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