LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) -- The number of mares bred to Kentucky stallions is off significantly this year.

Statistics released Thursday by The Jockey Club show at least 2,258 fewer mares bred this year than last year -- a 10.6 percent drop.

The Lexington Herald-Leader quoted Dan Metzger, president of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association, who said the numbers might not have bottomed out. Metzger said horse industry people he respects tell him there's "probably another year of pain."

Metzger said the loss of about 2,300 foals will cut into economic factors as feed sales, farrier services and horse farm employment.

Still, the figures show Kentucky continues to dominate the market with a 42.1 percent share.

Nationally, the number of mares bred fell 13.5 percent.

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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader, http://www.kentucky.com

Copyright 2009 The AP.

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