Season Influences Growth of ThoroughbredsBy Kentucky Equine Research Staff · September 3, 2015
Growth rates of Thoroughbred foals are dictated in part by season, according to studies completed by Kentucky Equine Research (KER). Results of the study were presented at the Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association annual seminar in the United Kingdom by Joe Pagan, Ph.D., president of KER.
In study of just under 4,000 mares and their foals on 50 Kentucky breeding farms, researchers found that foals born early in the year experience slow growth rates until spring with growth quickening when the grass came into season. Younger horses experienced less drastic changes at the start of spring. Substantial size differences between five-month-old foals born in January and five-month-old foals born in April were not documented by researchers.
Pagan said, “I think a lot of times May foals get discriminated against because they’re perceived as small, when in fact they’re young.”
Read a summary of the presentation in The Paulick Report.