- Japanese Society of Equine Science
- Journal of Equine Science (ISSN:13403516)
- vol.21, no.2, pp.11-16, 2010 (Released:2010-07-16)
To investigate the breeding structure in the Japanese Thoroughbred population, we applied a demographic analysis to the populations of foals produced from 1978 to 2005. The migration rate estimated from the proportion of foals produced by imported breeding horses was around 40% over the investigated period. After early 1990s, the migration rate through stallions imported from USA sharply increased. The average generation interval was within range of 10.5-11.5 years. The longer generation interval of Thoroughbred was considered to be a reflection of the fact that Thoroughbred horses begin breeding only after completing their performance in races. After the peak of 729 in 1993, the number of sires of foals progressively declined to 358 in 2005. Although the coefficient of variation of the progeny number of sires was within range of 1.0-1.2 until early 1990s, it gradually increased and reached the value of 1.6-1.7 in recent years. The effective number of sires consistently decreased after the peak of 302.6 in 1992, and reached 120-130 in recent years, which is 25-30% of the actual number of sires. In parallel, the demographic estimate of the effective population size declined after early 1990s. The main cause of the observed change in the breeding structure was inferred to be the intensive use of a limited number of stallions for breeding.