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Should A.I. be permitted in Thoroughbreds? Bulletin Board » Breeding Methods » Should A.I. be permitted in Thoroughbreds? « Previous Next »

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Posted on Monday, April 02, 2001 - 12:57 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dear HorsePro and Jos, I read with great interest some of your posts on the Jockey Club and their rules against Artificial Insemination, and very much agree with your feelings on the matter.

Actually, I am in a position now where I may have to go to court with the JC over a related matter, and am very much feeling that while I am at it I might go ahead and try to fight the archaic AI rule for the benefit of everyone citing restriction of Trade, etc.. Might anyone have any suggestions or contacts for me? I need all the help I can get. Please give me contact info sent to or on this board. I would really appreciate any info you might be able to provide, such as if you know of any situations where the JC has prosecuted or removed papers for AI, etc or even looked the other way.

Horse Pro
Posted on Friday, April 06, 2001 - 08:34 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

They would never admit that AI even takes place within the industry, and I am not aware of any cases where any substantive action has ever been taken in this regard. I seriously doubt that it would withstand the scrutiny of a court of law. Restriction of trade being the primary reason. I am aware however of many thoroughbred breeders who have stated to me personally that they will sure be happy when "the old school people on the board pass on and the rules can be changed to reflect the real world of breeding in this day and age".

I just spoke with one today as a matter of fact. He has a horse who will breed 150 mares this season, and at this point has already bred about half of them. The horse is already showing signs of slowing down, and other signs that are very disturbing to the breeder. Like slow to tease up enough to be washed and a dramatic increase in the amount of gel produced. Which can be a red flag indicator of coming problems. It´s very sad that a horse is forced to cover mares as often as three times a day with only an occasional day off. Often the result is a early retirement of a stallion who would otherwise have a long and productive reproductive life. This horse could easily breed the same number of mares and need only to be collected once every other day to accomplish it.

It´s a very sad state of affairs for popular stallions now days.


very concerned about AI
Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 09:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

well think about what AI would do to the industry, the tb stallions who have made millions have extrememly high breeding fees right, well if AI and shipped cooled semen were available the people who owned the stallion would have to drop the price of breeding, right??? i hope tb's never change and anyway the tb's have it made the high dollar stallions with all the money made the offspring of those stallions are worth alot of money b/c there are that many of them, the more mares bred the more offspring the less the offspring are right????

Posted on Wednesday, March 05, 2003 - 11:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"very concerned about AI" says: "if AI and shipped cooled semen were available the people who owned the stallion would have to drop the price of breeding, right???"


It's entirely up to the stallion owner how much they charge. Simply because a horse is or isn't available for service by AI doesn't alter the price of the stud fee. The stallion owner does that! If the horse is of quality, the stud fee reflects it, whether breeding by AI or live cover.

So - let's look at what AI would do to the industry:

  • Diversify the gene pool this has been proven by research conducted for the Australian Jockey Club the limitation of which is becoming an issue in the TB breed - look at how many North American horses have "Northern Dancer" blood in them!
  • Allow people to breed to stallions from other regions thereby increasing options for mare owners;
  • Assist in preventing overworking of the already popular stallions who may be required to breed as many as 120-140 mares now by live cover (some stallions currently do!) - the use of AI would allow a single ejaculate to be split between multiple mares.

There are other benefits too, but those are just a few.

So let's continue with the discussion...

As far as the possibility of offspring being reduced in price (at least, I think that's the point that's being made) - the stallion owner can limit the number of mares they choose to breed even though the Registry can't. Therefore if a stallion owner chooses to breed a lot of mares, and has resulting increased numbers of foals with a reduction in their value as a result, people will not be so inclined to breed to the stallion the following year. The market sets the prices and the values, and it's up to the stallion owners not to get too greedy.

I think that's all the points you've made here, but if I missed something, please clarify it and I'll be happy to continue the discussion.

The bottom line is still - in my opinion - that the Thoroughbred breed, horses, and breeders are all being hurt badly (literally in the case of horses that get hurt during live cover!) by the restrictions placed upon them by their governing body in refusing to allow AI.

Posted on Thursday, March 06, 2003 - 02:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Regarding the falling of TB Stallion fees if AI is adopted by the JC, I think not! A Derby winner's fees will start high, but will fall in in direct relationship to his inability to produce money winners. There are, sadly, instances of Derby winning stallions going to the slaughter house after repeated crops failed in $ earnings. Fees are related to projected performance of offspring, then later, actual performance - period.
However, how many TB mare owners can or will pay those type of fees? The greatest harm is done by making mare owners choose between affordable local stallions who do not fit their mares attributes and bloodlines or having to travel at extra risk and expense to the stallion they like.
The small farm or mare owner is being damaged by politics. TB stallions CAN be AI'd and are. Just not to TB mares - the larger # of mares my TB services are from other registries - who allow shipped semen. As the owner of a TB stallion, I lose bookings to good TB mares due to the distance of travel. I have kept mares out of my own stallion and admire a number of fine TB stallions and those farms lose bookings to my mares - too far away - for me to consider crossing to my bloodlines.How does this improve the breed?
With West Nile and other old and new transmittable illness, my stallion, booking mares and their foals are put at risk by live cover - for no reason when shipped semen has proved to be such an excellent and safe option. Hazzards of shipping fever, risk to horses and handlers in live cover situations and the liability of damage to stallion or booking mare/foals is a nightmare to all involved.
Although breeding season is a small part of an operation, stalls and paddocks must be built to handle a short-term rise in animals being housed. These costs are passed on in stud fees.
The strange thing is that the JC tests every stallion, every mare and every resulting foal. It is the one registry that would be protected against fraud in shipped semen. Every mare will be serviced by the stallion booked, every stallion will only produce offspring of paid mare bookings.
I have heard the argument that AI would hurt the owners of lesser known stallions. Not so. I own a lesser known stallion and have a niche market based upon exceptional traits of my stallion. Since when do we all like the same animals, admire the same bloodlines, breed for the same event, have the same money to spend on fees or start with the same quality of mare? The breed is owned, loved and used by a huge diversity of people. A truely free market would winnow out poor quality stallions or unethical owners by sheer true competition. Why would the owner of a wonderful stallion fear this outcome?
The future reality may be more in line with what happend to the AQHA (on AI and Embryo registry) via the law suit in Texas - it was judged to be based upon an attempt to control the breed by a select few and was judged to be an illegal restriction on free trade. JC restrictions may end up falling for the same reason. As I have never been given an opportunity to vote on the issue for the TB, I wonder if thorse owners do not own the JC registry - who des?

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Posted on Tuesday, March 15, 2005 - 12:28 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just noticed this thread the other day and as someone who breeds TB's and warmbloods, I would definitely love AI being permitted with TB's. Case in point, I have aquired a 4 time winning flat mare who lost her foal last year through bad management. This year I planned on breeding her to a very good horse, however, through the grapevine heard the farm has a mystery virus going around that sounds a lot like strangles, but isn't confirmed. So now I have to pick a new stallion as there is no way in hell I'm taking my now healthy mare down there so she can come back sick and make everyone else sick. AI would solve all this hassel. Also everyone saying you couldn't control the number of horses bred-a load of crap when you look at the numbers some stallions are covering in both hemishperes in the same year. It is long overdue in the TB industry and it needs to be addressed!

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