Breeders Book a longtime service to Standardbred industry
I’ve been working on annual stallion directories for more than 25 years, but this is my first under the Hoof Beats masthead. As you might recall, I joined Hoof Beats earlier this year, after The Horseman And Fair World magazine wrapped up its business and closed its doors following more than 143 years of service to the Standardbred industry.
Stallion directories are most certainly a service to the industry. Back in the mid-1990s, The Horseman made one of its 52 weekly editions a directory. The Horseman’s staff, led by the efforts of Advertising Director Greg Schuler, took the listing of stallions and expanded the directory into a comprehensive resource for Standardbred breeding. The Horseman’s directory, branded as the Breeders Book, always relied extensively on data from the USTA, so when T The Horseman ceased operations, it was a natural for the USTA to take over publishing the directory.
For a few years The Horseman produced the Breeders Book in the month of January, which at the time seemed to be necessary so stallions that were placed into stud late could be included. But we heard from breeders that they start thinking about the breeding season—and booking mares—much sooner, even as they are selling yearlings. Therefore, the Breeders Book is now published in December.
With a publication date of December, and a great deal of work to be done to produce the statistical reports and create pages for printing, data contained in this directory was not generated on a single day and may somewhat vary. The stallion pedigrees include Breeders Crown championship results but were created over a period of six weeks; thus data may not always be consistent between pedigrees and/or reports.
The Auction Report includes data from most yearling auctions conducted in North America in 2021. On average, prices rebounded in 2021 after falling in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Lexington Selected and Standardbred Horse Sale posted significant increases in both average price and median price not only over 2020 figures, but also in comparison to the record averages they attained in 2019. Median prices—the price point where half the horses sell for more and half for less—increased by double-digit percentages in both Lexington and Harrisburg (Standardbred Horse Sale), so that means more breeders did much better in 2021.
The breeding season is upon us and the sport’s future will be shaped. Best of luck to all!