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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versão On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versão impressa ISSN 1019-9128


SCHOLTZ, M; GUTHRIE, AJ; FOSGATE, GT  e  SCHULMAN, ML. Predictors of foaling outcomes in barren and maiden Thoroughbred mares in South Africa. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2022, vol.93, n.2, pp.168-175. ISSN 2224-9435.

Population demographics and reproductive performance of Thoroughbred populations have been described, but the most recent assessment of the South African Thoroughbred population was reported two decades ago. Objectives of this study were to report demographic data for selected Thoroughbred breeding populations and to analyse selected mare-level variables in association with foaling outcomes, as predictors of reproductive performance. The National Horseracing Authority of Southern Africa's stud health scheme requires annual screening of Thoroughbred stallions, maiden and barren mares for venereal pathogens prior to breeding. In 2018 and 2019, 1 065 and 1 207 horses were sampled, respectively. Demographic data were sourced from laboratory sample submission forms that accompanied samples and supplemented by data gathered from the annual Thoroughbred foal identification programme. Univariate analysis of candidate predictors of successful foaling outcomes was performed followed by assessment in a multivariable model. Median ages of mares and stallions tested in 2018 and 2019 were nine and 11 years, respectively. Nearly twice the number of barren compared to maiden mares were tested in each year, and failure to conceive was the most common reported reason for classification as barren. Of mares tested in 2018 and 2019, 68.1% (95% CI 65.1-70.9) and 63.3% (95% CI 60.4-66.1), respectively, subsequently produced foals that were presented for identification. Mare age, rather than reproductive status, was a significant predictor of having a foal presented for identification. In conclusion, novel demographic data were described for South African Thoroughbred populations. Seasonal foaling rate as the selected measure of reproductive performance for sampled mares ranged from 63.3% to 68.1% and declined with increasing mare age.

Palavras-chave : horse; Thoroughbred; reproduction; maiden; barren; mare; foaling outcomes; predictors.

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