I have added the North American yearlings to the database. There are 8.970 registered to date in North America, down from 9,534 last year. In the last five years the number of yearlings has dropped from 11,870 - 24.5%. The pacing yearlings represent 59.7% of the ones registered to date versus 58.6% in 2007.
The number of sires active continues to drop with 68 sires in North America producing 75% of the current crop of yearlings. There are over 400 sires with yearling foals in 2012 but many of them have less than 5 foals.
The breeding industry is in freefall. The concentration of breedings into a select number of sires is a disaster in the making. While there are many sires in the industry that have something to offer, the breeders are increasingly leaning to the "flavour of the day" approach. Choosing a sire based on popularity rather than what is best for the mare is a scenario that guarantees failure.
The updated database now available includes the currently registered yearlings. There are a fair number of them unnamed which is, to me, unacceptable considering that the breeders have had over a year to pick a name.
The current crop of yearlings is probably one of the most interesting in recent years. On the pacing side we have Art Official, Artistic Fella, Artzina, Classic Card Shark, Driven To Win, Hot Rod Mindale, If I Can Dream, Major In Art, Mister Big, Palone Ranger, Quality Western, Shadow Play, Total Truth and Well Said, among others. The first crop trotting stallions include Explosive Matter, Federal Flex, Groton Hall, Lear Jetta, Muscle Hill, Swan For All, The Pres, and Windsong Espoir.
Over the next few weeks I will look at all of their offspring and offer some thoughts on which ones to look for in the 2012 yearling sales.