The Australian Thoroughbred breeding season will begin on Monday, September 1 with the country’s stallions set to generate more than $300 million in income for their services.

In the 2013 breeding season, 637 individual sires across the nation covered some 20,060 mares, with more than 13,500 foals expected to be born this spring (67% of those covered).

Australia’s most expensive sire, Coolmore Stud’s Fastnet Rock, covered 212 mares at an advertised fee of $275,000 last year.   Although his fee is private for the 2014 season, it is expected he will generate approximately $40 million for his owners.

Basil Nolan, the chairman of Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, said the size of the fees for stallions demonstrates the breeding industry’s importance to the wider economy.  “This is a vitally important industry to Australia, especially in rural areas where these stud farms are based,” he said.

“The hundreds of millions generated in stallion fees is only one part of the economic input; there’s also the thousands of people who work in the breeding industry, the agistment  fees paid by breeders and, of course, the money spent on buying the horses.

“We are very fortunate to have one of the strongest breeding industries in the world, with Australian-bred horses recognised across the globe for their speed and toughness.”

Among the new sires for the 2014 breeding season, is local WA champion Playing God, a horse that earned over $1.60 million, will start covering mares at a fee of $6,600 at Mungrup Stud.

NSW had the most stallions last year (211) as well as the most thoroughbred mares covered (9,644), followed by Victoria (159 – 5,025), Queensland (150 – 2,752), Western Australia (67 – 1,752), SA (28 – 614) and Tasmania (21 – 271).