The summer months are the best time to breed your mare to maximise her chances of conceiving says Harness Breeders (Vic) President, Dr Tony Britt.
“As we move into the summer months, some breeders abandon attempts to get their mares in foal. I do not know why as the peak of mare fertility in the southern hemisphere occurs in the December to January period,” Britt said.
“It is surprising that breeders make such an effort to get their mares in foal in early October when the weather is still cold and daylight hours are limited. Photoperiod is the most important factor in determining a mare’s fertility. Breeders need to use this to their advantage by breeding their mares during the months when daylight hours are longest.
“Statistically there is basically no difference in the number of starts per foal for foals born in the September to November period, compared to those born between December and February. The chances of winning a two-year-old, three-year-old or four-year-old race are also basically the same.
“Some of Australasia’s best horses were summer foals. Amongst them is the champion two-year-old pacing colt, Bling It On, Changeover, Mysta Magical Mach, Smiling Shard, The Gold Ace, De Lovely, and champion trotter, I Can Doosit.
“If your mare this season has still not conceived, persevere. Ring your stud master, and organise for her to be served for several more cycles.
“A pregnant mare is no burden. An empty mare at the end of the breeding season is a wasted opportunity.
“With the recently announced increase to $7,000 in the first win bonus for Vicbred eligible horses, new races for lucrative prizemoney under the Vicbred Platinum banner, and further benefits for breeders in the pipeline, this is the season to get your mare in foal.”