Fourth straight decline in thoroughbred breeding

Thoroughbred breeding activity fell for the fourth year, according to The Jockey Club.

The national breed registry reported Thursday that 4,741 fewer mares were brought to the breeding shed in 2010, a decline of 10.5 percent from similar figures reported last year. Since 2006, when mares bred reached 59,434, the number has dropped 31.7 percent.

This year, 40,576 mares have been reported as bred to at least one stallion in North America. The figures, which are preliminary, are based on "reports of mares bred" sent in by farms after this spring's breeding season.

Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, said the continued slide is "simply a matter of the financial challenges we're facing in breeding racing and selling in a very difficult economic environment."

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