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Crosspost: What is The Most You Would Pay For A Horse At The Track?

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  • Crosspost: What is The Most You Would Pay For A Horse At The Track?

    Cross posting this from the hunter/jumper forum for some alternative points-of-view:

    Hypothetically, what is the most you would pay for a horse still at the track? Let's assume big, pretty, nice color, correct, seems to have really nice movement, sane, sound (passes the PPE with flying colors), and lightly raced gelding. How much would you add if you were able to see him on a farm where you could get on him?

  • #2
    Originally posted by EAY View Post
    Cross posting this from the hunter/jumper forum for some alternative points-of-view:

    Hypothetically, what is the most you would pay for a horse still at the track? Let's assume big, pretty, nice color, correct, seems to have really nice movement, sane, sound (passes the PPE with flying colors), and lightly raced gelding. How much would you add if you were able to see him on a farm where you could get on him?
    Personally, I also want papers and there are still a lot of unanswered questions, like will he do the job, is he sane on a trail ride or does he want to jump. Having said that I will Pay $800.00.

    On a farm is a different matter and depending on how long they have had him, you can pay quite a bit more. My last OTTB I paid 800.00 for and she's worth waaaaaaay more to me now. It's still a gamble.
    RIP Kelly 1977-2007 "Wither thou goest, so shall I"

    "To tilt when you should withdraw is Knightly too."


    • #3
      This totally depends on the horse. Super fancy, super scopey, can jump the moon, and clean xrays? I'd pay real money for it...and the owner'd be foolish to let it go for low dollars. I've seen those horses go for north of 10K, particularly if they've been let down and started w/t/c. In contrast, small/unattractive/chips in the knees/paddles when it trots? You might have to give it away, if you could find anyone to take it.

      In short, educated buyers aren't going to care that much about the horse's provenance - a nice horse is a nice horse. Sure, there are folks (particularly in the hunter world) that might hold a horse's OTTB background against him, but it's their loss. I'll gladly buy one of those cheap and flip it to them with a few months training on it and its knees to its eyeballs over a small fence.


      • #4
        I'd say 3-4K if I really wanted the horse.

        Normally I haven't had to go that high, most of mine have been MUCH less, but if it were still running decently and I really wanted it I would pay that much.

        Kind of a drop in the bucket when you consider how much you will spend keeping and eventing them year after year. Might as well get one you really want.


        • #5
          If they are on the track you can't quantify their jump or scope or willingness to be bold to a jump. If you ask you might be able to get out to see him train and get an idea of how he moves and behaves, but that's it. Thus, on track = greater risk and a lower price.
          If they are still track owned but are on a farm you might be able to see more and possibly ride it. More info = less risk and higher price.
          If they have been started off the track and you can get on and see how you like it, jump it and spend a bit more time getting to know the horse, the price will be higher.

          On track, if you are in an area with alot of horses (Mid Atlantic for example) you can find a nice prospect for under $1k. There are tons of horses so you shouldn't have to settle. If you are in an area with fewer horses or tracks you might have to pay a bit to get the best ones because there might be several people interested.

          As your risk decreases you will have to pay more.
          F O.B
          Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
          Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


          • #6
            I have made my way back into the resale business this year (for myself) after taking a break while we built our farm. I work full-time too so I don't have a lot of time to go to the track. Instead I have relied on some very good contacts who at lay up farms or who already have connections with various trainers who are trustworthy. The best horses that I have found either at the track or right off the track have been at the top of my resale budget ($2500-$3k). I try not to pay that much if I can avoid it but I also don't mind if the horse is really special and I know it will sell. It is risky buying the higher priced horses but I have found that they often just stand above what else is available on the market. Big, sound, good conformation, good movers and excellent minds. These are horses who are just so sound and well cared for they don't need any time to recover mentally or physically. If you plan on having success finding nice horses than you don't low ball trainers. Those trainers that do have nice horses know exactly what they have and I have always found that if I am willing to pay a fair price they will keep calling me when they have more nice horses.

            Right now the market is super hot (at least in my area) and Tb's that are coming off the track to resellers are selling for very good prices. People are willing to spend more money if they can see a horse off the track and at least free moving/jumping and being ridden a few times. If the horse is big, sound and athletic than it isn't unreasonable to expect them to be priced pretty high.

            I think the Tb incentive shows are adding to the interest and that overall people are finding the Tb's to be a good value compared to the WB's.


            • #7
              It depends a lot. Sometimes I like horses who have raced a lot over ones who haven't and haven't proven themselves. But I would agree with Jess that I wouldn't pay more than about $3k if it was really special.
              Life doesn't have perfect footing.

              Bloggily entertain yourself with our adventures (and disasters):
              We Are Flying Solo


              • #8
                I think what people overlook are the smaller TBs that might not be so flashy. I bought a 15.3 hand gelding off the track for $300. No chrome, mild cribber, 65 starts. Three years later my boy is 100% sound, tries every time, has won in the hunter, equitation, and dressage rings and will event later this year. Hasn't seen a fence he didn't want to jump. Loyal through and through. He just needed a shot.
                "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
                as a thoroughbred horse."

                -JOHN GALSWORTHY


                • #9
                  2500-3000K if still at the track (and have gotten them for free...but I would go as high as 3000). 3500--7500--if at a farm, especially if let down already.

                  Once they have started back to work...they are priced like any other prospect and evaluated as such....so prices may vary depending on how nice and what they have done.
                  Last edited by bornfreenowexpensive; May. 20, 2013, 06:09 PM.
                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                  • #10
                    The most I HAVE paid at the track was 3500. Big, pretty, exceptional mover. Unfortunately also very spooky. Didn't make it as an event horse, but is now a successful hunter. Most recent purchase was OTTB, but was back at the farm where he was bred so I was able to ride him. Sound, but a cribber and had ulcers. Got him for 500 intending to resell. He's not going anywhere
                    "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                    • #11
                      I paid $4k one month home from the track and considered it a bargain for THAT horse. If I found one just like her at the track, I'd pay the same or even a little more, but it would have to be a really special horse.

                      Here's that horse the day she came home.

                      She's doing her first (unrated) BN next week. Here's her intro schooling show she did a few weeks ago (which she won BTW).
                      Dressage Video
                      SJ XC
                      The rebel in the grey shirt


                      • #12
                        I paid $2000.00 for Jay ... opps *hand slapping forehead*

                        Got Juice for free... I guess that evens it out!
                        http://www.clarkdesigngrouparchitects.com/index.html - Lets build your dream barn


                        • #13
                          I have paid as much as 6500. And the horse was well worth it.....as others stated big good looking clean legged sound horses well bred 16.2 up good conformation elegant movers do command top dollar. I was not shocked to be quoted 8k for a lovely horse the other day.
                          Average private sales seem to running 1500 to 3500.


                          • #14
                            3-4k if I really liked the horse and had a good feeling about it and it was still at the track/had no retraining.


                            • #15
                              I paid $2000 for my old stallion, he was running in $2500 claimers and was about to ship to Penn to do $2k claimers, so that was his price. A bargain.

                              That was about 20 years ago, so I guess $3-4k would not be unreasonable now.

                              Third Charm Event Team


                              • #16
                                I would pay up to 5k for the right horse. I got this guy for 2200. He had a minor bow in his last race. I also got there with my trailer the day after he posted on canter and his trainer pulled out an even nicer looking horse that wasn't posted yet but was more refined than I wanted. He sold sight unseen that day.

                                One of his CANTER pics
                                One year later, about his 5th hunt
                                Doubled Expectations (Roxy, 2001 APHA)
                                Al Amir (Al, 2005 OTTB)
                                Ten Purposes (Rosie, 2009 OTTB)


                                • #17
                                  The most if have paid wad 1k. But in my area resales go for much less. I have a much smaller budget. Since my resales tend to be under $1500 I have to keep costs down. I do have a lot of track connections and live close so that helps a lot. My current horse was a freebie. We raced him...I galloped him and I waited three years for him to retire. It worked out well. I'm hoping to get back I to resales again this summer.
                                  RIP Spider Murphy 4/20/02 - 10/31/10


                                  • #18
                                    I'm in New England and don't buy for resale.
                                    I bought one for 3500, one for 2500 and one for 1500.
                                    1st one I didn't get her directly from the track, a friend bought her first and put maybe 15 days on her.
                                    For the 2nd (current) one, 2500 was a bit much IMO (small, a mare, not the best build to say the least!) but the mare was such a sweetheart in her stall at the track, I couldn't help it (*sucker*) !!!!
                                    Next time I'll look for a freebie.
                                    Ottbs - The finish line is only the beginning!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by sophie View Post
                                      For the 2nd (current) one, 2500 was a bit much IMO (small, a mare, not the best build to say the least!) but the mare was such a sweetheart in her stall at the track, I couldn't help it (*sucker*) !!!!
                                      She was probably priced like that as that is what she was earning or the price of her claiming races. That's one of the hard things at the track...if they are earning their keep or potentially able to do that...those horses will often be priced higher. It isn't always about their looks or potential re-sale value.
                                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **


                                      • #20
                                        It depends on the horse. Are we talking Courageous Comet or Neville Bardos or a 15.1 hand nondescript generic OTTB? They would each get a different answer to this question. I suspect Neville didn't standout and say "I'm going to BE someone!!!" coming off the track as much as Comet must have. Some horses are going to say "Fancy$!!!" even immediately off the track.
                                        Hindsight bad, foresight good.