Opinions on the Cap: Antony Beck

Antony Beck pose for portraits at their home, Tuesday, July 23, 2013 at Gainesway Farm in Lexington.

Editor’s Note: The Jockey Club has asked for public comment on their proposal to cap at 140 the number of mares a stallion can breed annually. In this ongoing series, we will publish the perspectives of breeders, stallion farms and others on the proposal.

Antony Beck, Gainesway Farm
It’s a matter of equilibrium. Horsemen at every level need to strike a balance between, on the one hand, the commercial imperatives on which their livelihoods depend; and, on the other, the long-term interests of the breed. Sometimes the free market can develop its own restraints. But sometimes it requires a disinterested intervention of this kind to get everyone on the same page. And, in the end, we may well find that apparently opposed agendas will be reconciled by outcomes that satisfy both. We know that commercial support for certain types of stallion will tend not only to be premature but also, very often, too impatient. And, with that in mind, we should welcome this challenge as an opportunity. Farms should recognize that greater equilibrium will ultimately bring commercial benefits to their stallion rosters–quite apart from the manifest benefits to the breed, in terms of genetic diversity. Because the bottom line is always that whatever serves the interests of the Thoroughbred, in the long term, will ultimately serve our interests as well.

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