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Rescue_Rider9
Feb. 23, 2010, 02:05 PM
Just wondering, if any of the upper level horses were bought with cheaper price tags? Maybe some OTTBs?
Just curious as to how true it is when people say you don't have to have an expensive horse to event.

tuppysmom
Feb. 23, 2010, 02:31 PM
It is true.

DD paid $300 for her **** OTTB horse and her dad traded the starting of a 2 yr old race horse for DDs Adv horse who is hopeful to do a *** soon.

It has been a long, interesting, adventure.

Blugal
Feb. 23, 2010, 02:32 PM
Many are.

However, the purchase price is a small factor in the overall scheme. Even a $10,000 difference in purchase price will be a drop in the bucket over the long haul. A $500 OTTB bought as a 3-y.o. may be just as expensive as a going 4-y.o. for $10,000 if you factor in the cost of keeping it, training and showing it, and vet bills for a year. The difference in price will also reflect a difference in risk, as the going 4-y.o. has proven something, soundness and temperament-wise, that the straight-off-the-track horse hasn't yet.

My "cheapest" horse so far was actually the one I paid the most in purchase price for - because he was already trained to a point that I could get on and compete immediately.

Highflyer
Feb. 23, 2010, 02:35 PM
There are plenty of horses that were cheap at one time, yes. You just need to be able to recognize UL potential, and be able to bring a horse up through the levels, AND have phenomenal luck so that the horse stays sound and sane.

I'm not actually sure you can GET a horse to the **** level without spending $75-$100k, actually. Maybe it's cheaper to buy one! :)

faybe
Feb. 23, 2010, 02:44 PM
Becky Holder's Courageous Comet who competed in the last Olympics was an OTTB, I think (I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong on that :)). And my fiance's horse is getting ready to move up to intermediate this year- if all goes well he's got the scope to do a 3* one day and he was a $1 OTTB "salvage". :-D

pegasusmom
Feb. 23, 2010, 03:27 PM
Purchase price is quite frankly the least of the expenses in getting a horse to 3* or 4* level. I quit adding it up at year end.

cllane1
Feb. 23, 2010, 03:28 PM
My trainer bought her Rolex horse for $1500. He was an Appendix and was barrel racing at the time!

yellowbritches
Feb. 23, 2010, 03:33 PM
Many are.

However, the purchase price is a small factor in the overall scheme. Even a $10,000 difference in purchase price will be a drop in the bucket over the long haul. A $500 OTTB bought as a 3-y.o. may be just as expensive as a going 4-y.o. for $10,000 if you factor in the cost of keeping it, training and showing it, and vet bills for a year. The difference in price will also reflect a difference in risk, as the going 4-y.o. has proven something, soundness and temperament-wise, that the straight-off-the-track horse hasn't yet.

My "cheapest" horse so far was actually the one I paid the most in purchase price for - because he was already trained to a point that I could get on and compete immediately.
Agreed. In the long run, getting a horse to the top (then KEEPING it there) is more the issue than how much the horse initially cost.

There are quite a few OTTBs that compete VERY successfully at the very top, not just Courage Comet. The Foreman and Bradenburg's Joshua are just two that pop immediately to mind. Tigger Too, who competed at the 4 star level with David O'Connor, then was ridden by Lauren Kieffer at the advanced level also came off the track.

Poggio had a funky history prior to his eventing stardom (can't remember if he raced, but he was found in the newspaper).

The expensive part is the competing and the upkeep. My horse was 1k when we bought him as a 3 yr. old. He is now a rising 6 year old who will hopefully be going prelim this year. He's not had any major issues (other than his allergies), but I know his vet bills alone already are at least TRIPLE what we spent on him! :lol: That doesn't include his farrier bills, his monthly massages, his daily upkeep, the entry fees, and the man hours we have put into him to help bring out his talent. This is a horse I hope will be an upper level horse...I shudder to think how much money will go into him to get him to his first advanced, let alone a 4 star!!! :lol:

That's why I don't think about it. ;)

And that's a big reason why GOING or FORMER UL horses DO come with a big price tag. :yes:

RAyers
Feb. 23, 2010, 04:04 PM
..I shudder to think how much money will go into him to get him to his first advanced, let alone a 4 star!!!

If you add everything in, including board, etc. around $100,000 from untrained to Advanced. That means solidly ready, e.g. more than the minimum number of qualifiers of Prelims, Intermediates.

Reed

mjrtango93
Feb. 23, 2010, 04:18 PM
Well here's another perspective on it as well. I made my **** guy from a just done a few novices in England coming 7 and um...interesting on the flat, paid $28K for him including shipping, did Rolex on him 3 years later. He took some finessing in areas though, not an easy horse to own! He is 17 this year and is retired in Hawaii due to some health issues, but sound as anything with not so much as a joint supplement.

Also someone in my barn bought a made 3/4* horse from England because he was older (13 yrs at the time) and got him for $25K which included shipping. Not the easiest ride at times but fabulous! Easy keeper too, he's 20 this year and is about to move back up to prelim with the 14 year old that is leasing him. He was going intermediate as late as last season with just minimal maintenance. Straight shoes with once a month adequan, once a year hock injections, and $40 a month in supplements in his feed. He has turned into a true saint of a packer in the last 3 years, wouldn't trade him for the world.

caffeinated
Feb. 23, 2010, 04:35 PM
Neville Bardos and Ying Yang Yo were also purchased pretty cheaply in the beginning. Neville Bardos cost Boyd $850 according to his website.

:)

Chaila
Feb. 23, 2010, 04:35 PM
I figure you're going to spend the same upkeep, vet bills etc on a "made" horse as a bargain one.

Unless you're a super rider, you'll probably need as much training or close to as you would for the OTTB with the basics, because if you are competing you probably train with a trainer...

My big price tag horse was a nightmare and my 1k ottb was lovely. I think there's almost as much luck as skill involved when buying the right horse. The perfect, expensive horse can develop a nightmare health condition over night. And that conformationally flawed rescue project could be the next Nirvanna (remember him in the '96 olympics... His 13 year old owner got him off a feed lot.)

GotSpots
Feb. 23, 2010, 04:42 PM
I know a horse who did well at Jersey last year who was for sale two years before for less than 25K. Not cheap, but not expensive for a horse with Advanced miles (which it had at that point). Also not necessarily an easy ride (though a lovely horse). Both of the horses I've owned who had Advanced miles were considerably less than that (one with the mileage already though a bit older and not a great bet to go do it at that level again, one younger and dead green). But as people have noted, the upfront price isn't what gets you. It's the care, conditioning, farrier, vet, campaigning, etc., let alone if you have any major issues or injuries come up. I try not to add up what it costs to get and keep a horse at the upper levels.

There aren't many successful OI or Advanced horses who are able to keep going strong at that level and who are cheap, except in friends/family circumstances, or a horse stepping down a level, since you know more about them once they get to that level. You can buy a Preliminary plus horse with respectable talent for a decent price, less if you can live with one who (a) is older; (b) is hard to keep sound; (c) is a donkey in the dressage; (d) has a stop; (e) may or may not go OI; (f) is a hard ride; (g) is made of glass. None of that guarantees the horse will be successful at OI or Advanced, let alone do a three or four star.

yellowbritches
Feb. 23, 2010, 04:51 PM
If you add everything in, including board, etc. around $100,000 from untrained to Advanced. That means solidly ready, e.g. more than the minimum number of qualifiers of Prelims, Intermediates.

Reed
Ugh. I could have probably guessed that, but I liked it better not having a good idea!!! :lol::lol: That does not shock me in the LEAST, though.

a_quick_one
Feb. 23, 2010, 06:10 PM
Interestingly, I heard about a **** horse changing hands late last year for under 15k. I don't know details - my trainer heard about it through a contact who would have wanted the commission on a sale, so no specifics. I was told it was a gelding, ran clear at Rolex, and the owner just had too many (!) **** horses going and was getting rid of the one least outstanding in dressage. Actually, I do wonder if anyone on this BB has an idea who it was, as there aren't too many horses fitting that criteria...

Chaila
Feb. 23, 2010, 06:41 PM
What's with the words being replaced by **** in this thread?

VicariousRider
Feb. 23, 2010, 06:42 PM
I just want to add that you can also easily spend the same amount of money on upkeep for a horse that only goes training level. It all has to do with how much per month and for how long.

It also totally depends on the horse. I have seen horses who can barely be kept sound enough to go novice and have racked up HUGE vet bills and I know a horse going to RK3DE this spring who is 16 and only gets his hocks done 1x per year.

The costs also have to do with how much training you have to pay for and how many events you enter, whether you have to pay board or factor in a fraction of your mortgage.

Put simply: Horses can be expensive on ANY level and it all depends on how you get there.

To answer the OP's question, there are a TON of OTTB's that have made it to the upper levels. As someone else mentioned, the big part is recognizing the potential and having the skill, talent and determination to get there (plus $ along the way, of course).

jn4jenny
Feb. 23, 2010, 06:42 PM
What's with the words being replaced by **** in this thread?

They're referring to a horse that competes at the 4-star level in eventing. It's not a replacement, just a shorthand for 4-star.

yellowbritches
Feb. 23, 2010, 06:57 PM
I just want to add that you can also easily spend the same amount of money on upkeep for a horse that only goes training level. It all has to do with how much per month and for how long.

Oh yes. Definitely. A lot of money can be spent on a much loved lower level horse! I know this for a fact, since we have a training level horse in our barn that has had ridiculous vet bills. Not necessarily all soundness stuff (lots, though), but he's kept our vets busy for awhile. :yes:

BigRuss1996
Feb. 23, 2010, 08:00 PM
And that conformationally flawed rescue project could be the next Nirvanna (remember him in the '96 olympics... His 13 year old owner got him off a feed lot.)

Actually "Nirvana" was a she. Her owner and rider who brought her up the ranks was Jill Henneberg who posts here from time to time. She was an amazing mare with nothing conformationally flawed about her. I believe she went on to have a few nice foals for Jill as well.
It is true though...if you have the eye to pick out a prospect and the ability and time to retrain it and bring it up the ranks it can be very rewarding and possibly slightly cheaper (definately cheaper intially) then buying a made upper level horse.

Threeday33
Feb. 23, 2010, 08:04 PM
I bought my advanced horse for $800 almost 7 years ago off the track. He had a good enough mind to do whatever I wanted to do with him. I swear, if I had wanted a cutting horse instead of an event horse, he'd be a great cutting horse. He is just eager to please. He has **** potential, but I'm not sure I'm going to push him that hard. He has done way more than I ever expected him to do. I don't want to even think about how much money I've spent on him to get him to the advanced level! But, it was my goal, he seemed to want to participate, and I don't regret 1 penny I've spent on him!

lily04
Feb. 23, 2010, 08:16 PM
Joan Goswell's Worth The Trust was pirchased for next to nothing at Mountaineer Rasetrack and went on to win Rolex with Karen O'Conner in 1997

ravenclaw
Feb. 24, 2010, 03:17 PM
Phillip Dutton bought True Blue Girdwood in Australia for about $1,500 (USD).

I believe Nick Larkin bought Red (they won Rolex together) for less than $1,000.

inquisitive
Feb. 24, 2010, 03:53 PM
Or how about my yearling who has already cost almost 20K :lol: Technically he was free? :confused:

I shudder to think how much my gelding has cost me so far... :no:

Duramax
Feb. 24, 2010, 04:06 PM
A girl I teach occassionally got a horse that was competing Advanced for $15k b/c she was such a difficult ride! She is now doing prelim with her and hopes to move her up soon. This is a horse that has done Red Hills and Bromont!

deltawave
Feb. 24, 2010, 04:33 PM
My trainer's current *** horse, ready for ****, was a CANTER horse, very VERY cheap as a 3yo. He is now beyond price. :)

subk
Feb. 24, 2010, 04:40 PM
When you buy something young for cheap they Are. Not. 4star. Horses. They MIGHT be someday but no one knows at the time if they are UL horses.

There are very, very few upper level horses out there that at one time in their life could not have been bought relatively cheap. Even a top caliber sportbred prospect can often be bought for less than 10K if you buy them young and or green enough! You don't spend money on a horse, what you are shelling out the big bucks for is the time someone put into him to get him there...

pegasusmom
Feb. 24, 2010, 04:54 PM
Guys, it ain't the purchase price. It's what the cost was to get Trueblue Girdwood, Red or Worth the Trust to 4* level. And, as a friend said to me at lunch today - we are all only a tendon away from nothing. . .

JER
Feb. 24, 2010, 06:38 PM
There are very, very few upper level horses out there that at one time in their life could not have been bought relatively cheap.

To add to this --

Even a cheap horse was usually someone's investment at some point in time.

Those horses you get off the track? Someone paid the stud fees to breed them. Then someone shelled out the bucks at the sales for them. And while they were on the track, someone was paying their day care and training fees.

deltawave
Feb. 24, 2010, 07:09 PM
And in case nobody's mentioned one of my favorite old adages:

"Cheap, sound, talented. Choose any two". :D

PhoenixFarm
Feb. 25, 2010, 12:12 AM
Can you buy a horse for very little $$ that is capable of going to the top levels? Absolutely. Our first CCI** horse was free, our second one was a homebred (stud fee $1000, mare cost $1500), Mr. PF's new project who is moving up to prelim this spring was $1, and the little mare who just jumped clean around her first prelim was also free (abandoned here by her owner). I had a friend who has ridden three horses around Fair Hill, and two of the three at Rolex, and they were free, $750, and $1000 respectively. However, these horses were all produced to those levels over time, and at great expense (vet, entries, lessons, trailering, showing, care, upkeep, vet, vet, and vet.)

However, as has been mentioned it ain't the buying that's expensive. I work very hard not to add up any of those horse's "true worth" as I suspect it would make me cry. But I also know that the $100,000 estimate isn't far off. By the time they are at the top cheap is a word you can no longer pronounce.

But are there cheap horses with the talent that just need the right rider and program and time? Sure.

lily04
Feb. 25, 2010, 06:07 AM
The cost of a made 4* horse = $100,000+
The reward of developing a 4* horse from a $1 horse = priceless

horsecents
Feb. 25, 2010, 07:09 AM
"Cheap, sound, talented. Choose any two".

Love it! :yes:

Mach Two
Feb. 25, 2010, 04:07 PM
Jim Graham's great Easter Parade "Rosie" was purchased, I think for around 5000.00, and he's been passed up by several other riders...and went on to a World Games.
Same with Dorothy Trapp's Molokai...not expensive, and had been passed up by several.
Linden Weisman's Anderoo (2000 Olympic team) was 2000.00 I think as a gangly funky moving 4 year old, but she loved him. None of us around him, except Linden, believed he would hold up to the training and stresses of the ULs, but he proved us wrong.

In the case of all of those, exceptional horsemen and women took on unproven horses, and using experience, good maintenance, and good luck, took them to the top...only one of those, and I won't say which, retired from eventing at that level, sound of leg, hoof, etc. It's a hard road.

As others have said, it's the money, time, and experience invested, and then you MIGHT get one there, if you have it all together. As an UL groom, I saw plenty of packer UL horses coming back to YR for a few more years, and toting riders that were in some cases up to the ** level, some that did not belong at Training level...scary, that their parents AND trainers thought they were ready for ** because the horse could do it...really scary!
The "pick two" quote...yeah, that's about right.
I had a horse I traded a 500.00 horse for, that I took to Prelim in the three years I competed him. He had the scope to jump intermediate, but was showing the wear and tear that indicated he'd done enough for what he was... I ended up pulling him out of eventing rather than break him down, before his first 3 day...