I recently wrote an article related to Iowa Thoroughbred breeding, which was published by the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association. Several people viewed and commented on it, and many messaged me asking for more information. As a result, I extracted a couple tables of Jockey Club public data from my spreadsheets which illustrate broader breeding comparisons.
Following is the link to the complete article, which explains the illustrated chart:
Recently, I received several messages regarding breeding in Iowa. A few folks asked where they could find the article I wrote on this subject, which was recently published by the Iowa Thoroughbred Breeders and Owners Association.
The article focused on breeding activity (mares bred) in Iowa and the surrounding states. It also covered the reasons Iowa true breeding results are positive, while other jurisdictions seem to only celebrate expenditures and activity as their state results reach historical lows.
There are only a handful of states bucking declining Thoroughbred breeding trends. They seem to be populated with progressive breeder organizations, which long ago progressed to understand that they needed to effectively design and integrate elements of their breeding system. Those breeding system elements typically include a working combination of meaningful state breeders funds, tangible and specific breeder incentives, state standing stallion quality, Black Type race quality, quality associated with state bred horses being largely capable of winning outside of their state bred restricted races, requirements that force breeders to commit economic involvement in their states (broodmare residency, stallion bred backs or bred versus foaled distinctions), and a competitive percentage of their purses going toward their state bred population of horses which appear in the form of comparably higher purses.
As I said, there are only a handful of states which are bucking the declining breeding trends, and Iowa is one of them. The direct link to the article follows:
I was asked a question regarding how different people seem to see breeding very differently in this state. Some see things as going great while others see things in decline. The answer is as simple as understanding the ancient Indian parable of blind men describing an elephant, with each focused on different parts.
Some people are at the front of the elephant describing Minnesota Thoroughbred breeding as inputs and process. In other words, they believe the more you spend or put into the elephant the better things are. As breeding awards and purses go up people rejoice in the process and meetings related to increasing inputs. These folks honestly think they have produced results, and that inputs (processes, committees, meetings, increased budgets, increased purses and discussions) are results.
The other group of people focus on the other side of the elephant, or the crap coming out. In other words, they believe the inputs are only relevant if they produce the desired output or results. Those outputs in Thoroughbred breeding relate to breeder optimism, breeding activity (mares bred) and foaling activity.
The first group will celebrate increasing expeditures and all the efforts made to increase the inputs. The second group on the other hand will want the inputs changed and know that there is a systemic problem if breeder rewards (inputs) have doubled while breeding activity (outputs) have dramatically declined.
Like I said, just different sides of the elephant.
Dave Astar is a race horse owner, stallion owner, breeder, 40 year business executive, and 50 year handicapper.