Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Average Starts Per Horse By Crop

Well, this isn’t exactly what I expected to find.  I took a look at the average number of starts per horse in each crop.  I was expecting to see a gradual steady decline over the past 15 years.  However, it appears that there hasn’t been much decrease since the 2002 crop.

For the 2011 crop, keep in mind that this data was gathered mid-way through their five year old season, so they will likely end up with a similar number of starts to previous crops.

These results definitely make the very high average number of starts that I found for some of the ‘old time’ sires’ offspring even more impressive, since it appears that the game hasn’t changed quite as much as I’d imagined.


John C said...

I would say that the perceived "lack of durability" is at least partly due to a change in the way that high-level horses are managed to "protect" value - fewer starts, cranking them all the way up, trying to keep winning percentage as high as possible, and retiring once they've done enough to be a stallion (or valuable broodmare prospect). So while the average starts of graded stakes horses might decline, these are such a small portion of the overall horse population that it might not make a dent.

Alex said...

John - I suspect that you're right. Also, I suspect that most of the big changes in how average horses are trained probably happened earlier than the period included in my database.