Final figures show fifth year of growth in foal numbers in Britain and Ireland
The number of foals born in Britain and Ireland has increased for the fifth consecutive year according to final figures for the 2017 breeding season published in the Supplement to the Return of Mares by Weatherbys on Monday.
After late registrations, the number of foals born in Britain and Ireland combined stood at 14,468, a rise of three per cent on 2016.
The combined total hit its lowest point during the past ten years in 2012, when the figure stood at 11,913, though renewed market confidence has seen that figure rise steadily over the past five years, including when it leaped from 12,328 to 13,350 - an increase of more than eight per cent - in 2015.
Ireland, which produced the third largest number of live foals in 2016, saw an extra 308 foals born in 2017, bringing its total up to 9,689, an increase of more than three per cent.
The Irish foal crop fell to 7,546 in 2012, though that figure has also risen over the past five years, with a near ten per cent increase in 2015 from 7,999 to 8,780.
Britain, meanwhile, saw a slightly smaller increase - up by about 2.5 per cent from 4,663 to 4,778.
A good indication of the steady levels of foal production in Britain is that its foal crop has remained between 4,000 and 5,000 during the past eight years, though it has continued to increase, following three years of growth.
Monday's figures are still some way off pre-recession levels, when 5,920 foals were born in Britain and 12,419 in Ireland, for a combined total of 18,339.
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