R. Bras. Zootec.01/Apr/2014;43(4):188-96.
Selective breeding of Arabian and Thoroughbred racehorses in Algeria: perceptions, objectives and practices of owners-breeders
This survey, conducted with 461 racehorse owners-breeders in Algeria between 2009 and 2011, investigates their perceptions, objectives and practices regarding selective breeding. Racehorse breeding is a full-time professional activity for a third of interviewees. The holdings are small-sized with 77% owning one or two mares. The regular practice of mating is here used to categorize breeders according to their degree of professionalization (38.4% professional vs. 61.6% occasional breeders). Experience in the sector was also used to classify breeders, considering as “junior” the breeders under 10 years experience (38.8%) and as “senior” those above 10 years (61.2%). More than professionalization, experience shows a significant impact on practices and objectives. Thus, experience influences breed choice (junior breeders tend to specialize while senior own both Arabian and Thoroughbreds), age at first foaling (sooner among senior breeders), information sources considered for selecting stallions (senior use more diversified sources), the importance granted to the price of mating (greater for junior breeders), the importance granted to the ranking compared to earnings (the ranking being more important to junior breeders), and the priority given to breeding (junior breeders give higher priority to a buy-race-resell activity). Finally, racehorse breeding is poorly professionalized, the only financial goal being cost coverage. Despite inappropriate practices, an interest for selection is noticed.