I'm curious if anyone here has bought a horse at auction in Europe and imported them to the US. I've been browsing the youngsters at the Hanoverian auctions as I start to think about getting my next horse and have seen some really great horses so far. I will be looking here in the US as well but if a horse popped up at auction that looks like what I want I wouldn't hesitate to go that route.
So if I ended up buying at auction, what are the real costs of purchase and import? From the people I've spoken to, importing is running around $10k right now. I'm on the west coast. Does that sound about right for importing a gelding? Are there other fees associated with purchasing at auction outside of the import cost? Any input would be greatly appreciated!
This is an old article but goes into great detail about the person's experience and many things that I wouldn't have thought of - like the bidding process. Where to stay. Who helps you there. Not much about costs.
I'm guessing the $10k will get the horse into this country and thru quarantine, but maybe not all the way to west coast.
I flew a horse from West Coast to East, about 1 1/2 yrs ago; the flight cost was about $4400, but then there was shipping to the LA airport from up the coast, and the shipping from West Palm to central florida.
Thank you 2tempe! That article is super informative, exactly the kind of info I'm looking for! Do all imports have to travel through NY or can you fly to L.A. and go through quarantine at the center there to avoid the "layover" in NY?
You might want to contact the author of that article to see how her purchase worked out for her once she got him home.
I have imported 3 horses for myself (not for resale). I would not do it without the assistance of someone I trust who speaks fluent German. I recommend contacting Linda Woltz at Walnut Farm. walnut-farm.com She can help you.
Redmond - I honestly don't know if any fly to the west coast. I know of someone who imported several over the past 4-5 years who used Dutta Corp; their website indicates they only land in NY or Miami, (and leave from Frankfurt or Amsterdam) but it might be worth a conversation w/ them. They do lots of the transport for the "big guys" and I'm sure would be happy to answer questions, give you ideas, etc.
There are other shippers as well, obviously, but I dont know of them.
Yes they fly into LAX...then they are handled by Jet Pets for quick quarantine for geldings and the stallions and mares go for their extended quarantine elsewhere(UC Davis is one option I believe) The auctions also help arrange everything to my knowledge...It was $10Kish in 2008...
The above posters are correct ...Honeylips can fill you in best!
Unless buying at auction, I think a big name trainer would be my last choice for help shopping in Germany as you might as well arrive with a banner saying "rich American" seeking expensive horse. I would want someone very knowledgeable with good contacts who is more low profile. And I can't imagine it would be cost effective to bring him over for an auction (and does he even speak German?)
Also bear in mind at the auction it is very difficult (unless of course if you have unlimited funds available) to pick 1 horse and go ahead and buy it. Chances are there will be more than just you bidding on that certain horse so you want to rather have a list of all the ones you think you would like to bring home, then wade through testriding and vetting info, best talk to your vet at home and let them have a shot at the results as x-ray standards may grossly vary from vet practice to vet practice
If you set your bet on just one horse you are setting yourself up for failure as prices can easily get 'out of control' at an auction which is why European breeders like to sell there...
I have purchased or help purchase about 30 horses at the german auctions, including the one in the article referenced. In 2012 I have bought 4 already. Including the usef fei 4yo national champion.
All "west coast" bound horses come nonstop on wednesdays from Amsterdam to lax. Lax is the only port of entry west of the mississippi. The current price (as of 4 weeks ago) is about $6000 us dollars for the air freight. Then add on the mandatory 48 hour USDA quarantine at the jet pets facility which is $2900. If a gelding then he is done and is released.. You have shipping to your location. If a mare or stallion then you add on more quarantine at UC Davis and that cost.
We just (this week) bought a weanling filly, NOT at an auction, in Germany. We set up a trip involving looking at 20 foals in 2 days, including the day we flew in. We flew from JFK to Amsterdam. We were standby on the way over. Rented a car in Amsterdam, drove to see many foals the first day, then others the second day. Takes a long time. The third day, we saw the foal we purchased, and then stayed several more days to mess around with her. During this time paperwork was done and blood drawn for testing. That was last Thursday. I had set up most of it in advance over the internet, looking at videos online, etc. Contacted Klatte re getting the horse back here. The people we bought her from are very experienced breeders and sell a lot of horses. The smaller breeders might not be so knowledgable about how to get the bloodwork etc done in short time. But Christina at Klatte is good and helpful.
We flew back with her as grooms, in cargo KLM. Last night we left her at JFK and flew home to Maryland. She was shipped to quarantine in Newburgh NY and will arrive her on Friday probably evening--quarantine is 3 days.
Doing it all myself (with the very generous help of a bunch of people here in the US in terms of giving me advice), it was a lot of work and organization. We spent at least $8K to get her home, it was hectic and tiring to go to all the places. Then you have to factor in of course the purchase price, your tickets over there and back. I even made an excel spreadsheet. Some of the breeders didn't get back to me until AFTER we were in Germany and had already started executing the schedule, which was VERY tight. We had to figure out lots of stuff for ourselves and were very careful that none of the process broke down.
I don't recommend it for the faint of heart. If you are willing to spend more I would imagine you can get an agent to help you set things up. Look on fohlenboerse.de you will see some foals. There are lots of foals still available in Germany but more colts than fillies. Lots of them get sold in the spring. We happened to get lucky.
We got a VERY VERY special 2011 Quaterback filly. She stood out above the rest. Then there were a couple of close runners-up, and others that were good foals but not as good as we were looking for.
I wouldn't have done it any other way for the world. It was the experience of a lifetime. But not easy and not cheap.
If your question is what is the difference for quarantine under two years, you would have to check with the USDA quarantine website re times. I believe that if under two years, the quarantine period is only 3 days. After that, longer, price goes up for the quarantine.
As far as I know, no difference in quarantine requirement for ponies. There were 11 equines on the flight back with us--four pony foals; a mare and her foal; our filly and a quarter horse colt; and three adult horses. The foals were four in a container, with the container divided into two halves and two foals in each half. The mare and foal were in one half of a container, with two foals in the other half. The adult horses were three in a container, divided into three standing stalls.
For the flight, you pay for the portion of the container, not "per horse" really. If you want your horse to have an entire container to itself, you can do that but it costs more.
You can contact Klatte to find out exact prices.
A REAL HIGHLIGHT was going to a stallion testing/show/auction at Neustadt-Dosse and seeing Quaterback himself (!!!!!!) exhibited under saddle.