Knowing Foetal Sex at Sales Time

Knowing Foetal Sex at Sales Time

by Bernard Kenny

Vinery Yearlings

“Breeders have been losing million of dollars annually for far too long, from not knowing the Foetal Sex that their mares are carrying,” said Dr Kevin Doyle, Veterinary Surgeon of In Equine Practice at Scone NSW in the ‘Benefits from Knowing Foetal Sex at Sales Time.’

“Decile ranking is a statistic that is informative and helps to easier understand the market value of Yearling Colts and Fillies, and Broodmares,” states Dr Doyle. “The Median is the most common used statistic, arguably it’s the most significant figure and most would agree that it’s more informative than the Average.”

“The Decile Ranking is easier to determine for Yearling Colts and Fillies, however it’s a little more complicated when referring to ‘mare carry a colt foal’ and ‘mare carrying a filly foal.”

The aggregate for the 2018 Australian Easter Yearling Sale topped $116.84 million, with the top price yearling Colt selling for $2.3 million and the top price yearling Filly for $1.3 million. The Sale’s aggregate price for Colts was $64.74 million and $52.10 million for Fillies.

The Sale’s yearling Colts averaged $376,395 and the Fillies $315,803, with the median price for Colts being $260,000 and for Fillies $250,000.

In determining this Yearling Sale’s Decile 8 rating for the 21-30% top sales, the Median Price for Colts was $480,000 and $400,00 for Fillies, being a difference of $80,000.

The D8 Average for Colts was $465,294 and for Fillies $420,000 being a $45,294 difference. The D8 top price for Colts was $530,000, a $70,000 difference to the top priced D8 Filly at $460,000.

In determining the D8 Decile ranking of 380 Broodmares, with 182 carrying a Colt Foal foetus, and 198 carrying a Filly Foetus, the 21-30% D8 Median for Colt carrying Foetus was $140,000 and $400,000 for a Filly Foetus, a difference of $260,000 in favour of the resulting filly foal.

The Average for a Colt Foetus was $149,444 and a Filly Foetus at $148,250, a difference of $1,194. The top lot Colt Foetus was $190,000, a top lot Filly Foetus $180,000 and a difference of $11,000.

The above comparisons show that Colts are considerably more valuable than Fillies, and disappointingly, that the opposite is true after the retrospective analysis of broodmares carrying a Colt foal and mares carrying a Filly foal is calculated.

“The significance of all of this is if breeders knew the foetal sex before sales transpire, they would reap many benefits through being able to realistically value their broodmares,” said Dr Doyle.

Dr Doyle emphasises that it makes sense to sex test pregnant mares and not just have luck determine whether you buy or sell value at the broodmare sales. Equine Foetal Sex Determination can be carried out between 60 and 250 days after last date service, and beyond if required.

Reproductive equine veterinarians with a knowledge of ultrasonographical foetal anatomy can become skilled performing Equine Foetal Sex Determination and Ultrasonography scans for Placentitis and Foetal Wellbeing through mid-gestation and the last trimester of high-risk pregnancies.

“High risk pregnancies and Fetal Distress can be assessed when performing Equine Foetal Sex Determination and vice versa. If a placentitis or a distressed foal is detected, some ‘enchanted treatments’ may result in an improved outcome, i.e., to prevent an abortion,” Dr Doyle further added.

“If a breeder is going to sell a pregnant mare, the most optimum time to know the Foetal Sex for maximum financial benefit is before he sells her. Selecting a stallion for the upcoming season can also influence by knowing what the mare is currently carrying.”

Choice to sell or retain a weanling when knowing the foetal sex of the forth coming foal is an important issue, along with adjusting the insurance valuations on determining the forthcoming foal’s foetal sex, and can help manage the next year’s estimated cash flows.

Breeders may race foals of one sex and might sell foals of the other sex, while the polo fraternity prefer female polo ponies with male draft horses being preferred.