Breeding & Nominations

The breeding industry is the cornerstone of the Breeders’ Cup program, the very foundation of our Championships and Challenge series. All horses have to be nominated in order to compete in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and it all begins with the stallions.


North American stallions are nominated annually to the Breeders’ Cup, the nomination is for the upcoming breeding season and the fee to be eligible is equal to the stud’s advertised breeding fee. Once the stallion is nominated and begins breeding (covering mares) all of his progeny (foals) from that breeding season are then eligible to be nominated the year they are born. If a stallion is really popular and has more than 50 foals born each year, then he pays more in nomination fees.


Foals born in North America only have to be nominated once to the Breeders’ Cup, by October 15 of the year they are born, their breeder pays a one-time $400 nomination fee and that foal is then is fully eligible to run in any Breeders’ Cup World Championships race for its entire racing career. For the nominator, a Breeders’ Cup nomination pays off in the sales ring with nominated foals bringing six times on average what non-nominated foals sell for and it pays off in nominator awards earned through the Challenge Series and in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.


Stallions that stand outside of North America can participate too, international stallions standing in the Northern Hemisphere pay 50% of their stud fee and stallions standing in the Southern Hemisphere pay 25% of their stud fee. Once an international stallion is nominated for a breeding season, all his foals that are born the following year receive free nominations to the Breeders’ Cup.



Learn more about breeding and the Breeders' Cup Nominations program

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