Foal Reduction Slows, But Percentage Still High

The rate of reduction in foal losses in Kentucky is slowing, but it is still staggering. The latest figures from The Jockey Club show 32.4 percent less foals dropped in Kentucky this year through April 3 compared with a year ago. In an earlier

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The rate of reduction in foal losses in Kentucky is slowing, but it is still staggering. The latest figures from The Jockey Club show 32.4 percent less foals dropped in Kentucky this year through April 3 compared with a year ago. In an earlier report, the rate was 42.7 percent through March 5.


That the rate was higher for early-season foals was not unexpected. Mare reproductive loss syndrome, which hit Kentucky last spring, mostly affected mares bred early in the year. They were due to foal in January, February, and March. Many of them were maiden and barren mares bred just after the breeding season opened around Feb. 10.


For just the period between the two reports–March 6 through April 3–the number of Kentucky-bred foals decreased by 21.7 percent, from 2,080 to 1,629.


A University of Louisville economic impact study predicted 30 percent of the entire Kentucky foal crop of 2002 would be lost to the mysterious syndrome, which caused late-term fetal loss and early-term abortions in 2001

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Written by:

Dan Liebman is a former Editor-in-Chief of The Blood-Horse as well as a past President of Blood-Horse Publications.

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