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  1. #1
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    Default Buying sight unseen...from Europe?

    I know most people go through agents, or their trainer if they have one that makes frequent trips across the pond...but has anyone bought their own horse sight unseen from Europe? If so, has it been a successful/positive experience? How do you go about vetting the horse, and the people I suppose, with language barriers and if you dont know anyone over there?

    Totally hypothetical at this point, but I often find myself perusing European sales websites on slow days at work. I have found some really lovely hunter prospects for not a ton of money with bloodlines I love, but the logistics scare/confuse me!



  2. #2
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    I have purchased sight unseen from Europe before, but never without having a trusted agent handling the transaction. Even though I consider myself an experienced horseman, I would never do that sort of transaction without a trainer or agent involved. Too expensive/too much risk for my taste.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    I have purchased sight unseen from Europe before, but never without having a trusted agent handling the transaction. Even though I consider myself an experienced horseman, I would never do that sort of transaction without a trainer or agent involved. Too expensive/too much risk for my taste.
    It's funny, because I'm the exact opposite! When I buy a horse I want it to be my decision only, except for the vetting.

    I have imported 4 over the past 5 years, used 3 different agents, one directly from Belgium. One from a really neat lady horse woman in North Carolina that is from Germany who has a website and will take you to Germany or you can buy off video, like I did.

    And the last 2 horses, I bought from another lady from Germany, has a website and lives in south carolina now.
    With each purchase, yes I was nervous that the horse wouldn't be what I was looking for, but according to my trainers and my horsey friends " you are soooo lucky".
    Well maybe, in the sense I was fortunate to deal with honest people, but also I didn't get evolved with the importing factory type, who have many,many horses to Import and do tend to have problems.
    My advice is to trust your instinct and your gut, you may hear, the old bait a switch story, which goes like this.
    You call on a horse, they tell you he has been sold, but we have others for you to look at, fine, look at what else they have but don't get into the well, they have helped me so I'll buy from them. Don't let someone draw you in so that you feel you owe them something.
    Yes I have relationships with these people I have bought from, but once I bought one horse from them and was happy, great, if they send me more horses to look at, fine, but I do not feel compelled to buy again from them, nor do I take their advice, when they say well, you liked x then you'll love this one. No, so not how I work. I only want my own opinion, that's when I make the right choice for me, every time I asked some else's opinion I made a mistake. So you have to be satisfied with your decision if you do it the way I do. You can see my imports in my sig line link, fwiw
    Last edited by Summit Springs Farm; Jul. 5, 2012 at 12:03 PM. Reason: Add info



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
    It's funny, because I'm the exact opposite! When I buy a horse I want it to be my decision only, except for the vetting.

    I have imported 4 over the past 5 years, used 3 different agents, one directly from Belgium. One from a really neat lady horse woman in North Carolina that is from Germany who has a website and will take you to Germany or you can buy off video, like I did.

    And the last 2 horses, I bought from another lady from Germany, has a website and lives in south carolina now.
    With each purchase, yes I was nervous that the horse wouldn't be what I was looking for, but according to my trainers and my horsey friends " you are soooo lucky".
    Well maybe, in the sense I was fortunate to deal with honest people, but also I didn't get evolved with the importing factory type, who have many,many horses to Import and do tend to have problems.
    My advice is to trust your instinct and your gut, you may hear, the old bait a switch story, which goes like this.
    You call on a horse, they tell you he has been sold, but we have others for you to look at, fine, look at what else they have but don't get into the well, they have helped me so I'll buy from them. Don't let someone draw you in so that you feel you owe them something.
    Yes I have relationships with these people I have bought from, but once I bought one horse from them and was happy, great, if they send me more horses to look at, fine, but I do not feel compelled to buy again from them, nor do I take their advice, when they say well, you liked x then you'll love this one. No, so not how I work. I only want my own opinion, that's when I make the right choice for me, every time I asked some else's opinion I made a mistake. So you have to be satisfied with your decision if you do it the way I do. You can see my imports in my sig line link, fwiw
    Actually I think we are saying the same thing. You are using agents or contacts with whom you have a relationship. I do the same thing - and I make my own mind up about what I like (or don't like) about the horse. When I said, "sight unseen," I meant in person - not that I had never seen the horse on video, or whatever. The agent's function is to facilitate the transaction, not select the horse.
    **********
    We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
    -PaulaEdwina



  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    Actually I think we are saying the same thing. You are using agents or contacts with whom you have a relationship. I do the same thing - and I make my own mind up about what I like (or don't like) about the horse. When I said, "sight unseen," I meant in person - not that I had never seen the horse on video, or whatever. The agent's function is to facilitate the transaction, not select the horse.
    Right!!



  6. #6
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    So are there agents that you can send to see a horse you found yourself? Or do they find all of the horses and then you pick from their 'pool'?



  7. #7
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    I've a friend who sells a lot of horses in Ireland and what happens quite often in his business is that some buyers will contact him and ask him to send over a horses just like Bubbles.. so those buyers pretty much trust him that much and will have a horse sent over sight unseen based on his word & their relationship.

    Unless I had my own barn or a bottomless wallet and to add I am not that talented of a rider where I could hop on anything and ride it well. I'd have to give it a test drive.



  8. #8
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    SSF-- Redford is just gorgeous! Wow!



  9. #9
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    There are quite a few independent agencies by now who offer evaluation services. I personally prefer this concept to any type of commission arrangement as a) my effort and my expertise are the same whether I look at a 15K or a 150K horse and b) I feel I should be making more money if I help my client find the best deal out there not if I make him spend the max...

    If buying sight unseen feels creepy feel free to let me know where your prospect is located, it might work out well if I am in vicinity

    I once had a young colt to look at about 5h East of us on behalf of a client from the UK. The horse looked lovely in the advert and was very reasonably priced. Well I got there and it turned out not only was he not a gelding but a rigg and he also had a heart murmur that was quite pronounced and increased with exercise. Good thing she had someone go and physically check him out she would have had a lot of aggravation expecting a gelding and getting a cryptorchid instead...


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucassb View Post
    Actually I think we are saying the same thing. You are using agents or contacts with whom you have a relationship. I do the same thing - and I make my own mind up about what I like (or don't like) about the horse. When I said, "sight unseen," I meant in person - not that I had never seen the horse on video, or whatever. The agent's function is to facilitate the transaction, not select the horse.
    This. I think I used the same woman in NC as SummitSprings for my new gelding. She had the info and offered options, but my trainer and I made the call about what we liked and what we didn't. It's a gamble getting one sight unseen, but if you work with a good agent, you are pretty safe because misrepresenting horses will kill their business, and fast. Word travels quickly among horse folk.



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by shrpshooter View Post
    SSF-- Redford is just gorgeous! Wow!
    Thank you! I found his picture on Facebook, posted by the agent I mentioned, I had emailed her before about other horses, but had never spoken with her. When I saw his picture I called her ASAP, had video in a hour, vetting within a day or two, she said she had never had so many calls on one horse!
    He was circuit champion in ocala this past winter, I was so proud, he's going to do pregreens next year, maybe that new pregreen final in Lexington at the derby finals in august 2013!



  12. #12
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    I finally got to see the pictures....Redford is like my dream horse to a T! I would buy one of those sight unseen without question, haha.



  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by baymarewithflair View Post
    This. I think I used the same woman in NC as SummitSprings for my new gelding. She had the info and offered options, but my trainer and I made the call about what we liked and what we didn't. It's a gamble getting one sight unseen, but if you work with a good agent, you are pretty safe because misrepresenting horses will kill their business, and fast. Word travels quickly among horse folk.
    Pictures?! If you used Karin, isn't she awesome? She has been great to work with and she has been to my farm several times to visit us. We love her!



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by authentic pony View Post
    I finally got to see the pictures....Redford is like my dream horse to a T! I would buy one of those sight unseen without question, haha.
    Thanks, authentic pony, we feel very lucky to have him.



  15. #15
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    Escudero is amazing too.
    Don't saw on your horses mouth it's not a piece of wood! ~ GM



  16. #16
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    Ha ha yes, I edited my post to say "nevermind, Escudero is definitely my dream horse" but it didn't save.

    Is he a stallion, SSF? Did you use Karin?



  17. #17
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    SS or anyone with a good agent, could you PM me with contact info? I am looking for 2 equitation prospects to import. Thanks!



  18. #18
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    I bought my mare through an agent. All we saw was a video, pedigree, and vet results/ x rays. Best decision I ever made. She was a little harder to ride than the way she appeared in the video, but once I figured her out, it all worked well. I would definitely go through an agent if you have never imported before.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
    Pictures?! If you used Karin, isn't she awesome? She has been great to work with and she has been to my farm several times to visit us. We love her!
    We did use Karin. She is honest and the horse came exactly as described. No great pictures yet, letting my boy put on some more weight and muscle first! Just turned four, so he has a lot of maturing to do. I am taking to a show soon just to hang out, I'll be sure the get pictures then.

    BTW, Redford is beautiful!!



  20. #20
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    I do it myself and have been told I've done well.



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