Teagasc targets breeding losses
LAST YEAR was a difficult one for breeders and the autumn's three-year-old and foal prices have given breeders much to think about.
Many involved in the industry consider it to be a necessary and overdue wake-up call, but the situation where hundreds of foals fail to reach the cost of their stud fee, never mind other production costs, cannot continue.
Far more worrying with the three-year-old trade was the fact that buyers did not find enough of the 'right sorts'. Whether they were seeking a showjumper or an eventer, too many returned home with their order books unfilled. Most felt that the quality of stock was poor.
The widening gap between the top and bottom end of the market shows that the professional breeders and producers who present good, correct stock from well-related mares were still rewarded, albeit less than in previous years. These individuals are in the minority. It is at the lower end of the market that problems arise.
These problems will be addressed at two upcoming Teagasc 'Steps to Successful Breeding' demonstrations.
Run in association with the Army Equitation School, the demonstration evenings are at Doyle's Equestrian Centre in Rathvilly, Carlow, on February 18 and Ravensdale Equestrian Centre, Dundalk, Co Louth, on February 24.
Beginning each evening at 7pm, the demonstrations aim to identify some of the issues which must be solved.
The Teagasc equine team will address the area of adding value to your produce. Advice will be offered and demonstrations provided on young horse production techniques.