I was recently asked how many thoroughbred foals were registered annually in the United States. According to the Jockey Club , the 2009 foal crop is projected to be 35,400, indicating an estimated 3.3% decline from the 2008 estimate of 36,600 foals. RMB's, or Reports of (Thoroughbred) Mares Bred, are referenced in these estimates. It should also be noted that there are late registration procedures and requirements detailed on the Jockey Club's website. Estimates are estimates,of course, but it is also estimated than more than 98,000 horses went to slaughterhouses in 2008 and that more than 17,000 have so been dispatched through March of 2009, and it is estimated that one-third of those slaughter-bound horses on the kill trucks to Mexico and Canada are thoroughbreds.
Thoroughbred breeders and owners are not slaughtering every years' registered foal crop. Ex-racers, broodmares and stallions who are no longer productive and or/profitable factor into these estimates along with thoroughbreds ending their performance and pleasure careers. A number of thoroughbreds that won't be directed towards the sale barns and racing may not be registered at all. It was brought to my attention that some horse owners are unaware of the role nurse mares fill in breeding and re-breeding. There are thoroughbred nurse mares who may produce unreported and often disposable progeny. It is both statistically and economically unlikely that the foal of a thoroughbred nurse mare, if considered a superfluous "orphan", will be registered. It's not easy to calculate the numbers of thoroughbred nurse mares and foals, but it is not insignificant. Some organizations focus on the plights of Premarin mares their foals of all breeds. Premarin farms in the United States and Canada are not publishing the statistics on any sites I can find.
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Friday, May 8, 2009
It's wonderful when a rescue saga for each and every animal has a happy ending. Molly showed fine form as she was lucky enough to gallop away from a New York slaughterhouse and reach a safe and caring sanctuary. Many thoroughbred horses bred to run and so doing on America's racetracks today, are not, and will not, be so lucky. Other slower thoroughbreds who are nonetheless young and sound, who don't make it into the starting gate or the daily racing program will, along with pleasure/performance horses, regrettably board the kill trucks with them bound for slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico too. Hopefully, as well written by Bonnie Erbe, the state of Montana will not continue to seek to compound equine suffering and misery. Horses ought not be considered livestock in any event. The United States of America does not have "livestock" Olympic teams-They are Equestrian, as in EQUINE, competitors. To my knowledge, the Kentucky Derby, The Triple Crown, and the Breeders Cup races, with wagering, of course, are open only to qualified thoroughbred horses-not general "livestock".
at 12:15 PM