Kentucky House introduces bill to overturn Jockey Club stud book cap – Horse Racing News
Capitol Building in Frankfort, Ky.
The Kentucky House of Representatives introduced a bill Feb. 14 that would effectively override the Jockey Club stud book cap, which has been in effect since spring 2020 for foals born that year or later.
House Bill 496 states that “A Thoroughbred Registrar shall not restrict the number of mares that may be bred to a stallion or otherwise refuse to register a foal based on the number of mares bred to the stallion of the foal subject to registration”.
The bill would also direct the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission to select an entity to serve as the state’s official Thoroughbred Registrar, who would comply with state rules on limiting or not limiting the number of mares. that a stallion can raise.
House Speaker David Osborne sponsored the bill with Rep. Matthew Koch, co-owner of Shawhan Place in Paris, Ky.
The Jockey Club studbook cap limits stallions born in 2020 or later to books of 140 mares per year. Stallions born before this cut-off point can continue to breed mares without limitation for the rest of their lives.
The rule has been divisive in the Thoroughbred breeding community, particularly in Kentucky where major stallion operations Spendthrift Farm, Ashford Stud and Three Chimneys Farm have filed a lawsuit against the Jockey Club and KHRC members in February 2021 challenging various aspects of the rule, and the legality of its creation.
According to the Jockey Club report on Mares Bred, 45 stallions bred 140 or more mares in 2021, and all of them were in Kentucky.
While the court battle will settle the legality of the herdbook cap, the success or failure of HR 496 could be a critical moment in the struggle between the authority of the Jockey Club as the national, but private, governing body of the thoroughbred breeding industry against the authority of the various state governments.