The AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program invests in RD&E that improves the sustainability, productivity and competitiveness of the Australian thoroughbred industry.
The program supports an efficient breeding system that aims to reduce the average number of serves per pregnancy, increase the number of live foals delivered per mare covered, and increase the DNA parentage count confirmed each year. The industry values durable horses with long racing careers.
The Australian thoroughbred industry is second in size only to the United States, with 660 stud farms predominantly in NSW, VIC and QLD, but also in WA, TAS, and SA. These stud farms supply thoroughbred horses to the domestic and overseas markets, and between 12,000 and 14,000 foals are produced per year. The thoroughbred breeding industry is worth more than $1.16 billion per annum to the Australian economy and employs close to 8,000 people, particularly in rural and regional areas.
The Australian thoroughbred breeding industry feeds directly into, and is a vital partner for, the Australian racing industry. Thoroughbred racing in Australia generates about $9.1 billion of value-add to the Australian economy. This includes employing about 72,000 people who are mostly in rural and regional areas, with about 38,000 horses in training.
This 2021 Research, Development and Extension Snapshot provides an overview of the Program and its RD&E investments, which aim to improve breeding outcomes, reduce the incidence and impact of diseases and parasites, improve safety for industry participants and welfare for horses, promote education and training, and industry planning, and reduce injuries in horses.