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Pricing Question

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  • Pricing Question

    I am looking at an OTTB from a local CA rescue/rehab. He is a 10 y/o imported New Zealand TB with five years of racing (fairly light schedule, one owner, one trainer) and 38 starts (no gaps in history). He has really incredible conformation (far and away the nicest I've seen in my price range), which is probably why he stayed sound for a full-length career. He had a year and a half of pasture time (while the rehab was in between trainers and facilities) and has had several months of somewhat consistent saddle time. He is very green, but has a go and a whoa and two leads.

    Assuming he is sound/healthy (PPE this Friday), does $3500 seem like a reasonable "donation" fee?

    When I told my friend that number, she voiced the strong opinion that I could find more "bang for my buck" out there. She thinks I could find something with A) more training, B) less "mileage," or C) younger. However, in all my searching in this price range he is the nicest quality horse I have found. Yes, he is a little older than I was looking for and he has less saddle time then I'd like, but he has the most sport horse potential IMO. Everything I've seen with "training" in the $3500 price range has had major vices, poor conformation, or soundness issues.

    I was feeling pretty good about the purchase, but now I'm a little insecure. I know I could probably get OTTB fresh off the track for much less, but I think I would wind up paying a lot of let-down costs that have already been handled by the rescue. Wouldn't it wind up evening out in the end?

    I'd love to hear your thoughts! Outrageous or reasonable?

  • #2
    I think it is a heck of a deal for a nice horse who has been let down and properly restarted. Take "rescue" out of the equation and just look at it like any other seller. I work with CANTER Mid Atlantic and we sell our horses for similar prices and there are very good reasons for the prices. They aren't just shoved right out the door. Horses have been let down, gotten all the necessary care (feet, teeth, chiro and more) and then they are properly retrained. Not just getting on and fooling around but proper flatwork, well started over fences, trips off the farm, trail riding and more. Horses are evaluated to figure out what types of jobs they want to do and what type of rider they will fit. Pricing them at market value ensures they are valued by the people that end up buying them. They are as nice as horses as what everybody else is selling so why shouldn't the prices reflect the quality of the horse? I guess it is all in how you look at it.

    I am constantly shopping the market for NICE young prospects and I find it difficult to find big, sound, geldings at the track for cheap prices let alone horses that have been let down and restarted. Sure, they are out there but you have to really search.

    He may be a bit older than your typical prospect but I don't find a bad thing. I personally LOVE an older horse who has ran quite a bit. As long as they are sound you are buying something that has been around the block a bit. They typically are very easy to retrain and agreeable to new careers. They have been exposed to so much that it is often like buying a horse with mileage. Yes, it isn't show mileage but it easily converts (for most of them in my experience).

    If you are comfortable with the price than don't let others make you second guess it. I bought two recently that I paid a good chunk of $ for considering they were right off the track (over $2k) but my gut said they were really nice horses that were going to blow people away. A few people told me that I paid way too much..there are tons of cheap horses..it would be hard to profit on them. Let's just say that I couldn't even keep them in my barn that long because they were so nice that people had no problem paying the price that I asked for them. I was okay with the price because if the horses stood out to me than I was sure they would stand out to others as well. If you think this guy is a class above the rest than there is your answer. He is worth it to you! That is all that matters


    • #3
      At that price point you are splitting hairs IMO. And how do you think these rescues operate? Is the donation fee tax deductible on top of it?
      On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog


      • #4
        That is a steal


        • #5
          I think it's a great deal, too!


          • #6
            Not all OTTBs are created equal. If it's a nice horse, it's a steal of a price. The older guy, Declan's Moon in the RTTP 100 day challenge - I'd bring him home in a heart beat. He may have lots of race mileage and be a 10 year old, but he just oozes quality!!!
            The rebel in the grey shirt


            • #7
              A couple of things....

              I have worked with TROTT as a volunteer and they are a great organization. They really strive to find quality horses that they can adopt out successfully. What I like most about them is that they seem to have a good eye for finding the really sane ones - several have gone on to children and teens and thrived.

              I am also in Southern California and can tell you that $3500 is a very tight budget, for any locale, but especially this area. Unless those people who think you can get something better than this guy are lining up offering you quality horses ready to start an eventing career for this amount or less, I would be inclined to ignore them.

              I understand the whole "cold feet" thing when in the final steps of making a horse purchase, but you really just have to trust yourself and listen to your vet.


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by TuxWink View Post

                I have worked with TROTT as a volunteer and they are a great organization. They really strive to find quality horses that they can adopt out successfully.
                I have been SOOOO impressed with this organization. I have only the warmest feelings and strongest recommendations for them. If I adopt this guy (vet check tomorrow!!!), I want all kinds of TROTT gear to wear proudly


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by TuxWink View Post
                  A couple of things....

                  I am also in Southern California and can tell you that $3500 is a very tight budget, for any locale, but especially this area. Unless those people who think you can get something better than this guy are lining up offering you quality horses ready to start an eventing career for this amount or less, I would be inclined to ignore them.
                  Your response made me laugh out loud. Thank you for the good advice. It makes me feel a lot better. Buying a horse is always a little scary, but I feel a lot better about my decision now.


                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by Jleegriffith View Post
                    I was okay with the price because if the horses stood out to me than I was sure they would stand out to others as well. If you think this guy is a class above the rest than there is your answer. He is worth it to you! That is all that matters
                    Great advice. Thank you for telling me about your experience paying a little more for an OTTB. He is worth is to me and that's what matters. Jimmy Wofford has this great quote about how the horse you want is the one that makes you happy when you see it's head hanging over the stall door every morning.


                    • #11
                      What's his breeding? Might be interesting to see if there are siblings eventing here.