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US Breeders "Need To Broaden Global Appeal"

Thursday, 1st October 2009

Meanwhile as industry figures debate the implications of this week's conclusion to the 14-day Keeneland September yearling sale (gross receipts down 41.5%, average down 33.2% & median down 40.5%) Jocelyn De Moubray has written a provocative analysis for racingpost.com which asks bluntly: "Do US breeders need to broaden the global appeal of their produce?" Accompanying a detailed statistical examination over several decades, De Moubray declares: "The trends in the market are not just a normal business cycle reflecting broader economic trends. Over the last 25 years something has changed in the American breeding world. I am not talking about the internal problems of American racing, but the way the major farms & stallion owners regard the outside world. You only have to look at a yearling catalogue from a July sale in the 1980s to see that, at the time, many of the best sires in Kentucky had raced in Europe. American breeders, both commerical & non commercial, raced in Europe & followed racing & sales in Europe. Over the last 25 years circumstances have changed, but, above all, there has a been a change of generation & many of those running the major Kentucky farms have little knowledge, experience or interest in racing outside the US." As a result De Moubray asserts: "The US breeding business has turned in on itself & as a result, it is no longer in the pre-eminent position it was 25 years ago. In the 1980s if you wanted to buy the best yearlings or mares, whether to race in the US, in Europe or Japan or anywhere else, you had to go to Kentucky as that was where the best were on offer. This is no longer the case, which is why the value of the US yearling crop is in steady decline & why many of those who are looking for the best did not even go to Keeneland last week." (To read the full analysis, click on the link in The Great Debate panel on the right-hand side of this page.)

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