View Full Version : If your aspirations are bigger than your pocket is deep...a solution?

Sep. 10, 2009, 02:11 PM
I know the "riding on a tight budget" topic has been done to death, but here's another spin. Through a thread on this board I followed a fellow COTHer's web page and found a program that I've never seen before and wanted to get some thoughts. Sakura Hill Farm in FL offers a competition/training partnership that is really interesting. You pay a percentage of the mare's sale price and go into partnership with the breeder. You train/show the horse and the breeder continues to use the mare in the breeding program (embryo transfer). There is more to it, but I'll just post the link if you want to read about it: http://sakurahillfarm.com/horses.php?HOID=53

I'm curious as to whether or not you would consider an arrangement like this or if anyone knows of other breeders doing something similar? I will be in the market for a jumper prospect soon so doing something like this may allow me to buy a horse with greater potential than I would otherwise be able to afford. Thoughts?

Sep. 10, 2009, 02:17 PM
I believe that farm posts on here. I bet they can give some insight into their program.

Sep. 10, 2009, 07:43 PM
My coach used to work for a gmentleman in CT who did something similar. They had some phenomenal homebreds that consistently showed and won in the year end EQ's. (Sorry, I'm an eventer, so all I can relate to is competing at the Garden and Year end finals.) They had kids who were good riders but couldn't afford a good horse, so they would do essentially a free lease commiting to competing and bringing this talented young horse along... all the while the horse was guaranteed for them to compete through the end of their JR career. During the time they rode the horse, they had the opportunity to buy the horse anywhere along the way. Many didn't have the money to do so, but they had a guaranteed quality ride to the end of their JR career, at which point the horse was sold, the owner made money off the horse and the rider had the experience and ability to put said horse on their resume as a ride they've brought along to the top.

I just buy really talented ones off the track who are from the same breeder. They've sent a couple my way that I've bought sight unseen. So far, I haven't spent more than $2500 and my 4 year old has people from all over the eq and hunter barns that want him. My 7 year old is competing in Level 6 jumpers and at the 2* level and was the most expensive horse I have ever bought. With any luck, they'll send me a 3 year old this spring that has more talent in one tail hair than both of mine have together, which is exciting. Be patient and you can find a good ride... being a good rider is more than half the battle!

Sep. 10, 2009, 10:42 PM
I think that there should be a market out there for this kind of situation. You could perhaps pay off the horse over a few years and in return either as mentioned let her do embryo transfers or if you are interested in a gelding from a breeder, f ex pay his purchase price over two years and pay your financing fees by riding and showing 2 of their horses for the 2 years. Gives you miles in the ring and them exposure. Might get you a good in on a great future deal too if you get along with them you could possibly get in on a piece of more of their horses in echancge for training and showing them!

If you buy elsewhere they might still be interested in embryo on a mare with nice bloodlines and cut you a deal some other way? 1/3 in every foal? Who knows.

Just know that embryo sounds simple but can be hard on the donor mare. There will be hormone injections and many checkups. Since winter season could easily end in March and summer season doesn't usually start until May you could probably show early WEF or Ocala (they would prob want to start early) then give your horse March-April off from showing and continue again once the eggs are extracted.

There's a bumch of breeders out there with nobody to ride or show their horse and a bunch of riders who can't afford to buy a nice horse to show. I think more of them should try to get together in some way. It would benefit all!

Sep. 11, 2009, 01:01 AM
I think this type of partnership could be very beneficial for all involved, but probably not for a rider on a really tight budget. The breeder wants to get those horses out on the A circuit to promote the business so the rider needs to be able to afford board and training with a GP level pro and be able to show in venues large enough to have YJC classes. That's an expensive year even without the payments on the horse.

Great idea though! I think there are other breeders who would set up a similar deal with the right rider.

Sep. 11, 2009, 08:48 AM
It sounds like it could be a good thing, but I agree that if the breeders want the horses to be shown it might not work for somebody with a really tight budget. How much training & competing needs to be done? How many shows per year? What types of shows? That would need to be addressed upfront so both parties are on the same page.

Sep. 11, 2009, 02:05 PM
I definitely hear what you're all saying. In my case, I think it may work because I live really close to about 9 shows that have YJC qualifiers (I can haul-in if I need to in order to save money on a week-long show). When I say "tight budget" I mean, realistically speaking (in the horse world), being able to show enough to gain exposure and qualify for the YJCs but maybe not able to put the cash up up-front to afford a capable and talented mount able to do the big stuff. Also, the egg extractions would take place every other year, in this case. Appreciate the feedback.

Sep. 11, 2009, 02:26 PM
I read the website further & interesting.

Do you actually own the mare then? How long do they continue to have egg/breeding rights? If they egg extract every other year are you free to breed the mare in the off years? What if you decide to not show anymore or say the horse doesn't have the ability to keep moving up the chain in YJC or what if the mare gets hurt & isn't rideable--do you return the horse? Get a new one? Curious how that works.

Sep. 11, 2009, 03:08 PM
I will let Monica and/or Michele chime in if I get this wrong, but as I understand it...yes, you own 50% of the horse. If the horse is sold (pending both parties agree), profits are split 50/50. If the horse retires, the rider gets the right to every other foal that the horse produces, and the rider gets first refusal on any colt foals that the mare produces. Insurance on the horse is also split 50/50. If, God-forbid, the horse is injured and cannot compete, she can hopefully still be used as a broodmare and can continue to produce for both parties. I think I covered it.

Not sure how it works if you decide not to show anymore...it's definitely a situation that requires very specific, open communication up-front to avoid any difficulties down the road. As I see it, that is the biggest issue...just making sure both parties are on the same page every step of the way.

Across Sicily
Sep. 12, 2009, 01:14 AM
I have actually done something similar. It's worked out so that it's cost effective for me, and doesn't cost the 'partner' hardly anything.

Sakura Hill Farm
Sep. 13, 2009, 05:54 PM
Jumper has posted so cogently that there really has been no need to add anything. This concept actually flows from several things--there was once a program in Colorado in the early 60s whereby a well-known Arabian ranch gave competent young riders their mares to train and show for two years before the mares were either sold or put in the broodmare band. This gave the junior riders quality horses to ride and compete with and gave the ranch exposure as well as mileage and training for their horses. For ourselves, we believe that it is important to put training on our mares before they are bred if only to help us chose sires for them. We do not breed every mare every year in any case, and try to keep one or two in competition ourselves. However, logistics, school and funds make it impossible to keep more than two going to the shows. We are in the Ocala area which helps immeasurably, but school still cuts into our time.By the same token, we are unwilling to lose the irreplaceable bloodlines that we have carefully acquired.

One of the key requirements in this program is a competent trainer. We have one mare that we have in partnership at this time and it has worked beautifully, in part because of the excellent communication we have with our partner and in part because of the total trust we have in her trainer. We did turn down one candidate as we did not feel that communication was at an appropriate level. Clearly, it is a partnership and not a one-way street! We essentially stay out of any training or competition issues, but then again we have total trust in the trainer that is working with the mare in the program..

The vet that was doing the PPE on the mare that we have in partnership was so impressed with this program and its positive impact on the horse industry...it puts good horses into the good hands of those who might otherwise been unable to train, compete, and eventually, have high-quality progeny available to them upon the retirement of the mare.

Dec. 14, 2009, 08:14 PM
Wow, that sounds like a wonderful program. It would be nice if more breeding farms moved in that direction (or at least had some show records on their mares). I hope the program works out and catches on with others!

Dec. 14, 2009, 08:28 PM
What a fantastic concept! I wish something like that was available in my neck of the woods!

It's great to give people a chance, even if other factors might be working against them.

Dec. 14, 2009, 10:55 PM
That's a really great program. It is definitely something I would like look into down the road.

Dec. 15, 2009, 08:26 PM
Just an update on this post, Sakura Hill Farm just went into a training/competition partnership with Aaron Vale! He will be riding their beautiful mare, Zorriola. So...looks like this program is up and running. :-)

Dec. 16, 2009, 05:32 PM
You are too kind! Yes, as Jumper posted, Zorriola is in full training with her new Competition Partner Aaron Vale and we look forward to seeing great things from the pair in the YJC this upcoming Florida circuit.

Dec. 17, 2009, 12:15 PM
Maybe it's a rhetorical question, but how does one find this kind of support if one has the talent, drive, and access to succceed in this kind of venture, but none of those factors have been proven in past actions?

It almost seems that these ventures work best, or both parties are willing to take the risks, when the rider/trainer has already proven their ability to train up a young horse and campaign it at the desired level. What about those who can ride/train to the desired level but for budget or other reasons has not shown/campaigned at the desired level?

Not to put you on the spot, but how would you approach this kind of situation MCS? I would think it encompasses too much risk, but at the same time seems to defeat the purpose of giving riders who otherwise could not afford a YJC prospect the opportunity to take on the day-to-day costs of said YJC prospect.


Dec. 17, 2009, 12:46 PM
For us, it is crucial, that the partner in mind is able to show us that they are able to produce a YJC prospect, or, if they haven't had the opportunity yet, for one reason or another, we require them to be in training with a capable trainer who we can trust to oversee the process.

It is very important to us that the trainer be involved in the process as well, this is what ultimately reassures us that the horse is progressing as it should and is shown appropriately.

If you have any further questions feel free to email me or pm.

Dec. 17, 2009, 12:59 PM
Hmmmm Vale would not be my first choice for training babies but that is JMHO. He can ride the unconventional ones for sure, just not so sure he can put a good program in a young one. Hope it all works out for you!

Dec. 17, 2009, 03:53 PM
Very interesting. I can see how being closely aligned with a respected trainer of that caliber would help to mitigate the risk. Thanks for your perspective.

Dec. 17, 2009, 03:58 PM
While I think this sounds like a great program (bravo to the farm for taking the initative to try it) & I am sure for some will be a great opportunity, it still isn't for those with no budget. The showing & training on a young horse for the YJC classes isn't going to be cheap. Yes, the farm is generously giving the rider a huge boost by matching them with a good quality horse they couldn't afford, but there are still the day to day costs plus the showing & training bills to pay.

Dec. 17, 2009, 06:44 PM
Agreed! Add up stall fees,class fees,office fees,day care,shoeing,vet,etc. and you will still have a whopper of a bill at the end of the horse show:eek:

Dec. 17, 2009, 07:04 PM
I think this sounds like an interesting program. I wish I could afford to ride with someone who could lend the credibility and offer the help. Until then, I will be pulling on my own bootstraps, training babies as a no name. Cool idea though, good luck!

Dec. 17, 2009, 10:34 PM
Zorriola is a lovely, lovely mare and I'm a huge Aaron Vale fan. I'll follow their progress with interest, and I wish them great success.

Dec. 18, 2009, 05:02 PM
To each their own...like I said...Much luck with the mare...I love to watch the YJ classes.

Summit Springs Farm
Dec. 18, 2009, 05:20 PM
Aaron Vale is an awesome rider and a nice guy, don't know why anyone wouldn't want him in the saddle of a jumper...some people.

Dec. 18, 2009, 10:21 PM
Perhaps some people should comprehend what they read...I never said he was a bad rider just that he is not for every type of horse. He is a rocket scientist on a unconventional type of horse and does well with hot horses. I DID say he would not be my choice to ride a baby. I know for a fact he does not do the majority of the "flat" work on the horses. I have two friends who have horses with him(well now just one). If you want to send a young horse out for training and have it come back broke so you can ride it, Vale would not be my choice.

P.S. I could not find where I said Aaron was a bad guy????