To describe the industry structure and breeding efficiency of the Thoroughbred and Standardbred populations in New Zealand retrospective reproductive data for the 1989/90 to 2004/05 breeding seasons were obtained from online industry databases and collated for analysis. Data were examined using descriptive statistics, and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. From 1989/90 to 2004/05 breeding season there was a 36% and 37% reduction in the national broodmare herd and 45% and 40% reduction in foal crop for the Standardbred and Thoroughbred populations, respectively. During this period the number of sires decreased but there was an associated increase in the mean number of mares served by a sire. The mean end of season fertility was 77.9 ± 0.3 % for Thoroughbreds and 86 ± 0.2 % for Standardbreds. The commercial life of a stallion was estimated to be 3 and 4 years for Thoroughbred and Standardbred sires, respectively. Shuttle sires were younger, and covered larger books of younger mares than other sire categories. Expensive and shuttle sires cover larger books of younger mares and therefore may have an advantage compared to low or medium priced sires in producing larger numbers of potentially successful progeny.
Proceedings of the New Zealand Society of Animal Production, Volume 69, Christchurch, 126-131, 2009
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