Fit to foal: Managing the pregnant mare for maximum foal survival

  • 25 pages

  • Published: 7 May 2024

  • Author(s): AgriFutures Australia

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The Australian thoroughbred breeding industry is second in size only to that of the United States, with 660 stud farms predominantly in New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland, but also in Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania.

Currently, the industry produces approximately 12,000 foals per year and contributes more than $1.16 billion per annum to the Australian economy.

Despite these impressive figures, between 5–15% of mares abort their pregnancies each season, resulting in financial loss to the mare owner and, in some cases, a health and safety risk to horses and humans.

To help thoroughbred breeders manage pregnant mares to maximise foal survival, the AgriFutures Thoroughbred Horses Program has invested in a suite of tools. The resources in this toolkit include:

(1) Fit to foal: Managing the pregnant mare for maximum foal survival

(2) A series of technical factsheets on equine pregnancy risks

(3) A series of practical posters for stud farm staff

(4) Online videos and learning materials on the TBA Learning website.

The fit-to-foal resources are available on the AgriFutures and TBA Learning websites and breeders and stud staff can use them as either standalone resources, or as a combined resource when managing pregnant mares.