These beautiful Standardbred horses are all pregnant. They’re carrying future racers.
“Every horse that I deliver here has a place in my heart and I can remember them,” said Concord Stud Farm Owner Robin Meirs.
The magnificent creatures are part of Concord Stud Farm in Cream Ridge. Meirs and her husband David have been breeding, raising and selling Standardbreds for nearly 40 years. Right now, there are about 350 horses on their farm. Statewide, the New Jersey Department of Agriculture indicates there are about 42,500 horses in New Jersey with 96,000 acres devoted to the horse industry.
“It keeps a lot of space open in our state for pasturing and for hay. We have a lot of significant breeding operations in the state that produce race horses that are national winners and treasures. It’s important because it’s also a big part of business in the state,” said Secretary of Agriculture Douglas Fisher.
The state Department of Agriculture says equine-related services add an estimated $3.2 billion annually to the New Jersey economy. The horse is the official state animal. Meirs is used to being surrounded by mares, female horses, and their babies, or foals. But their dads, or sires, aren’t on the property.
“All of the sires arrive in a box and we do artificial insemination on all of these horses. It allows the mares to stay in one place,” she said.
The farm’s veterinarian is performing an ultrasound on this horse’s reproductive tract, which will help him determine when she’s ready to breed again. The horses are pregnant a lot. They carry for 11 months.
“Ten days after they have the baby they can get breed back. Often we wait a whole month, give them a whole month before they get pregnant again,” Meirs said.
After they’re born, foals spend a year and a half here at Concord Stud Farm, that gives them time to grow, strengthen their muscles and then they’re ready to learn their job — racing. So far, 2,500 foals have gone through the farm’s program.
“Every year we produce at least two or three horses that are world champions,” said Meirs.
“I love how fast they can run and I love how they move,” said Chloe Meyers.
Meyers, Robin’s granddaughter, loves to ride. She says when it comes to competing it’s all about the partnership.
“I have to get to know my horses so that I know how to tell them what to do what they do,” Meyers said. “And they have to get to know me so that we understand each other when we’re running. And it really helps to have a good relationship with your horse.”
“There are many opportunities for people to interact with horses, whether it’s therapeutic horse riding or whether it’s just being able to have that time on a horse. With a horse there’s something magical about all that,” Fisher said.
Concord Stud Farm breeders look forward to more babies. These horses will give birth next year.