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Musings - Will eventers ever buy youngsters bred for the sport?

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  • #41
    Well said, excellent points. And there are 4 buyers for $15,000 horses for every one buying a $25,000 horse.

    Comment


    • #42
      Just happened on this terrific discussion. I breed for fun (and I hope to break even when I sell one), and I have a couple of OTTBs I'm playing with. I find it easier to sell my homebreds if they aren't perfect for me as I can get a better price. If the OTTbs don't suit me, it's because they are too difficult, and that limits those who would be interested in them.

      BUT... I'm not really breeding for the upper level market, although I'd be thrilled of one of my darlings made it to that point. I'm breeding for people like me: probably a little more (ahem) mature, looking to have fun, safe rides that are competitive at the lower levels. I think there is a strong market for those horses, and that the people in that position are willing and able to pay a bit more for the horse that will be their partner for many years, if not forever.

      Heck, I don't have the skill or guts to go around even Prelim anymore (ah, sweet bird of youth!), not to mention higher. But I do have the skill and patience to make a sweet-tempered, cooperative horse that likes its job, does it well, and nickers when its owner comes to the barn. And while buyers for those horses may not come in droves, they do come at a steady enough pace that my young'uns find wonderful homes.

      Loved the economic analyses being done, but won't be showing them to Mr. Frugal anytime soon!
      They don't call me frugal for nothing.
      Proud and achy member of the Eventing Grannies clique.

      Comment


      • #43
        To the Ocala Fla breeder-- I hope there is a market for tb sporthorses. I would expect them to be wonderful. Personally I would prefer them for eventing. And you have some real deals in great bloodlines in Fla. We would love to get another Skip Trial, for example. But as others have said, it is hard to make $$ breeding for sport.

        OTTBs are just hard to beat as they are very high quality breeding efforts sold at a great loss. You get a very classy horse at way below his actual production cost. We personally have found there are more great-minded,clean-legged,athletic and pretty ready to go ones than we could ever buy.We don't try to get a $500 deal, tho I know there are really good horses at that price as well. We pay the $2500 asking price without trying to bargain, as it seems more than fair for a really nice prospect. We are in Pa near several tracks, so that helps of course.

        My mother successfully bred a few tb's as eventers, because that was the sport she liked. She also bought tb's off the track and we retrained and sold them for a better profit margin.

        My daughter and I have , knock wood, yet to have a bad ottb. We have also bred one full tb (rising 3), have a Dutch/tb due in 2007, and bought a 7/8 tb yearling because we wanted A Fine Romance (TB) baby. We don't expect to make $ on babies-- they are hopefully to keep, unless they really really want to do dressage, hunters or jumpers instead of eventin, or those OTTB's are just too nice and we have to sell something because there are too many horses. BUT...having some warmblood in the babies is an insurance policy making resale easier if they don't want to be eventers. And the full tb is by a race sire whose babies win online as hunters at Devon. Nevertheless, I personally like a full, or at least mostly full, tb as an upper-level event prospect, and hope for the day when thoroughbred lines that make good eventers are as well respected as warmbloods.

        Comment


        • #44
          mbj- hi, i am one of the ocala all tb breeders. i have a skip trial grand daughter. my weanling is by skip to the stone out of my tb unraced mare daring lady. she is fancy,fancy, fancy. but i really do not get along with mares. but this one is special. she just has been so easy to handle since day one. she is now 9 months old on dec.30th. she is beautiful. this will be my first skip trial line.she is going to be big to. looks like she might be able to do upper level dressage. i do hope whoever buys her does at least try to event her as i think she would be great at it. she is unfazed by water,puddles noise and other stuff. just an all around nice baby.
          www.camaloufarms.com

          ride it like you stole it! "ralph hill"

          Comment


          • #45
            Maxtrot,
            One of our absolute favorite OTTB horses is by Skip Trial. He was too small for my daughter and he is now a loved young rider horse (I cried when we sold him tho I knew he was going to a great home) who has a permanent offer for a retirement home with us. Gorgeous little guy, super athletic and the best mind and personality in the world! Super clean legs (on the track til 6) too. Good luck with your girl. I'm envious!

            Comment


            • #46
              Panelists

              Pwynn, the panelists I am referring to attended and spoke at the Area II annual meeting. This was a very affordable meeting, located at a very central location, in Leesburg, VA., at an excellent hotel, had superb food and very nice meeting rooms. The topics were all well presented, and included experts like Wendy Murdoch; one of the topics was stem cell therapy and another, shockwave therapy; there were rules and other topics in addition to a very entertaining awards ceremony complete with a superb slide show of the Young Riders AND even a surprise marriage proposal!!!. I highly recommend to anyone in eventing they attend their area meetings that way they can hear the speakers firsthand. To say that people who sell hundreds of horses to eventers all over the world don't know what amateurs need is ridiculous. Phyllis Dawson, Courtney Cooper and Kim Meier have all made horses to advanced level, sell TONS of amateur and young rider horses and all three have bred young horses as well. And all of them have trained and ridden probably between them maybe 300-400 horses off the track? (Just GUESSING JANET..) So I think they definitely have a very good idea of what people can spend, what ams/jrs want to ride, and what they SHOULD be buying to ride. They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget. In addition to that they all felt that Americans need to start riding mares, start looking at horses under 16 hands, and buy good jumpers over good movers, especially amateurs.
              Look at the kids in our area that event on all kinds of horses. There's too much doom and gloom here. Eventing is still a sport where you can make your own horse and get somewhere, and kids can ride backyard ponies and do well, and rescues end up champions! It's nothing like dressage or hunters...lest we scare away any converts!
              Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
              Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

              Comment


              • #47
                Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget.
                Well of course they did--that's how they make their living! Perhaps I'm being cynical, but professionals have to make a living--they want to encourage people to buy horses that have to come to them for "training."

                Sure, I'd love to buy a fancy $10,000+ youngster and then have it trained by a pro for $1000+ a month, but how realistic is that financially for most of us? Plus, the horses are my sanity and the high point of my day is getting out to the barn to ride--why would I buy something that the professional gets to ride all the time while I foot the big bills? Of course, I don't aspire to the upper levels--I'd be happy to just do a one star one day.

                I know there are plenty of clients that buy the horses and let the professionals do the riding, but for everyone one of those, there are 10 people who do this on their own and don't have the big bucks that the professionals seem to think you need to do this sport. Reminds me too much of h/j or dressage--the pros telling you what you have to spend to get a "good" horse and "good" training.

                Comment


                • #48
                  It sounds like it was a very useful discussion, retread, and hearing only part of it doesn't help in reacting to a point someone made. However, I'll repeat that, IF (and maybe? it's a big "if"--I dunno about that either) online bulletin boards are in any way representative of reality, then even if a few breeders (like one who posted here) sell babies and a few buyers buy them, the vast majority do not. Look, I'm a breeder but I absolutely, positively cannot deny reality--no, not just as I see it, but as I research it. One thing I don't do is rely on a few folks experiences to make a decision--sorry, but that's no matter who they are. Maybe it's because I'm an academic at heart. A ton of people can convince themselves of something that simply isn't true.

                  I think there have been a ton of convincing arguments on this great thread about why for most people, buying a baby, while IDEAL, is simply not ever going to be reality.

                  Oh, and whoa a minute about what the panelists were saying: how many folks are even buying to find that Advanced horse anyway? IF the discussion was how to find that Advanced horse, then, sure, buying the breeding if you can afford to makes sense. But if the discussion was "how to find your next event horse," it really doesn't make sense for MOST people, does it? Again, getting it out of context doesn't help one be fair about what was said. I haven't really heard yet, but would like to, about the "vs. hunter-jumper-dressage" angle here because, as I implied earlier, knowledge of those markets should include indicating that a great baby is an expensive baby (Did they mention the cost? Y'know, the more I think about it, the more I'd LOVE to hear more details!!! )--and there's just no evidence that eventers are willing to compete with h-j-d'ers in buying babies to get to the top of their sport (no, not "no eventers," but yes, not "many eventers"). Indeed, I dare say I've gotten the sense that most eventers take GREAT PRIDE in NOT PAYING the prices h-j-d pays, not even for made horses.

                  So I think they definitely have a very good idea of what people can spend, what ams/jrs want to ride, and what they SHOULD be buying to ride.
                  Uhm, no disrespect intended, but unless they base their business on selling four-figure horses, which looking at the horses they advertise they do not (and why would they? They, too, can't make enough off the cheaper horse--it takes as much time and $$$ to develop a cheap horse as an expensive one, after all), I don't think this statement can be supported. It isn't their business (as the previous poster stated) to work out how to sell a horse cheaply; it isn't their business to show that "you don't need this to do that" (and pelase note: "don't need" is the operable phrase there). Ergo, no, I don't think they DO account for the competition (from other sports) for a good young horse and how that influences it's price, availability and/or suitability for eventing.

                  Y'see, the thing is, about those "other" sports? They are specialized sports. It's a heck of a lot easier to recognize the specialized talent than the generalized talent--and that's also the difference between the UL event horse prospect (if we're back to considering it again) and the UL dressage, jumper or hunter prospect. That, too, MUST MUST factor into the cost and risk of buying one (and the advisability thereof). Meanwhile, amateur horses? Whoa a minute, there, too: Who needs to buy a baby to get a nice amateur horse? Someone correct me, but do you really need to spend $8500-$10,000 on a baby that, two to five years down the line, is going to take you safely around prelim? Or only training level? Who needs to do that, realisticall speaking again? Who?

                  Indeed, more guidance for the amateur on how to pick that off-breed horse, horse from a different sport, or OTTB--given the numbers who have no choice but to go that route AND for whom that route simply makes more SENSE--would be a better use of some folks' expertise...IMO.

                  [BTW, SUPER KUDOS to the person who talked about how racing TBs have the very best information available on how to produce a great horse--and one with a relatively simple job compared to eventing: just run fast--and how rarely they succeed. This, too, is one of those "people can convince themselves of anything even if it isn't true" examples, I think. It is no more true for eventers than for racers that great breeding will produce a great horse--or even a suitable one. A far better predictor of producing a suitable eventing prospect is how much money the owner is willing to invest in it--by both buying it AND developing it. Put the nicely bred baby under a pro, and you up your chances considerably. Develop it yourself, and are your odds any better with that baby than with an OTTB, from-another-sport or off-breed horse? Did the panelist consider these issues/options?]
                  Last edited by pwynnnorman; Dec. 29, 2006, 08:12 AM.
                  Sportponies Unlimited
                  Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    I think you are conusing two separate issues
                    A - Buying an OTTB vs. buying a well bred yearling
                    B- Riding/training yourself vs sending it off to a trainer.

                    My question was definitely A, not B. I may even have said "assuming you can do the training yourself"- but I may have just thought it and not said it.

                    Originally posted by KellyS View Post
                    Well of course they did--that's how they make their living! Perhaps I'm being cynical, but professionals have to make a living--they want to encourage people to buy horses that have to come to them for "training."
                    That seems a complete non-sequitor to me. Why would you "have to" send a yearling to a trainer? And why would you "NOT have to" send an OTTB to a trainer? It seems to me that an OTTB is going to be MORE likely to "need" professional training.

                    They DID talk about the fact that is was going to cost $5000/ year (seems a bit high to me) to keep the yearling until it grows up (WITHOUT any training). But they still felt it was a "better gamble."


                    Sure, I'd love to buy a fancy $10,000+ youngster and then have it trained by a pro for $1000+ a month, but how realistic is that financially for most of us? Plus, the horses are my sanity and the high point of my day is getting out to the barn to ride--why would I buy something that the professional gets to ride all the time while I foot the big bills? Of course, I don't aspire to the upper levels--I'd be happy to just do a one star one day.
                    Clearly the "cost of entry" is different, but that is different from "what are the odds?".

                    (And look at situations like PePo who had seveal OTTBs "flunk out" . Sure, it spreads out the expense, but it doesn't necessarily reduce the "cost of entry" significantly.)


                    But we were clearly talking about "a horse for the buyer to ride", not "a horse for the trainier to ride"

                    I know there are plenty of clients that buy the horses and let the professionals do the riding, but for everyone one of those, there are 10 people who do this on their own and don't have the big bucks that the professionals seem to think you need to do this sport. Reminds me too much of h/j or dressage--the pros telling you what you have to spend to get a "good" horse and "good" training.
                    Not sure how you got THAT out of the discussion.
                    Janet

                    chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      They all felt that buying a young horse, putting it in training with a professional, and waiting to ride it until it was capable was in the long run the best use of a horse buyers budget.
                      I certainly don'r remember "putting it in training with a profesional" as part of the recommendation. I DO remember "waiting for it to grow up, which will coat $5000 per year- and more if you put it in training". But I certainly didn't interpret that as a RECOMMENDATION to put it in training.
                      Janet

                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Oh, and whoa a minute about what the panelists were saying: how many folks are even buying to find that Advanced horse anyway? IF the discussion was how to find that Advanced horse, then, sure, buying the breeding if you can afford to makes sense. But if the discussion was "how to find your next event horse," it really doesn't make sense for MOST people, does it?
                        The discussion was CLEARLY focused on helping the Novice/Training rider find a horse to ride/competer themselves. In fact, quite a lot if the discusiion involved recommending an experienced horse over a green one.

                        But then someone ASKED about OTTBs.
                        Janet

                        chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          The argument claiming that breeders specializing in breeding racing TBs, ergo having only one goal, "speed", are failing to meet their goal (due to the high numbers of 'racetrack rejects' we are all painfully aware of), ergo breeding for even ONE quality is a tremendous gamble, is fallacious.

                          You have to keep in mind that each year the racing industry produces what, 40,000 or so foals (not sure of the exact figure, but A LOT). If we simply looked at an individual TB, compared to a fast horse of any other breed, you would probably find that the darn thing is pretty bloody fast, comparatively speaking. TB breeders ARE producing that skill, in abundance. Unfortunately, they are up against 40,000 other TBs of the same year model competing for the owners who can afford the best care, the most capable trainers, the best races, and the available wins. There is only a few seconds difference between Affirmed and the $2500 claimers. Does that mean the $2500 claimers aren't fast? No, they're just not the FASTEST. But by definition only a certain number can be the FASTEST, just like each graduating class only has one valedictorian. But in that industry whatever is not the fastest at a given time is disposable.

                          Jennifer
                          Third Charm Event Team

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Would it be possible to HOPE that the discussion at the Area II meeting by Phyliss and the rest was videoed? The dialogue by panelists and attendees would be so interesting and educational!
                            ~ it no longer matters what level I do, as long as I am doing it..~ with many thanks, to Elizabeth Callahan

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              Originally posted by Janet View Post

                              Sure, I'd love to buy a fancy $10,000+ youngster and then have it trained by a pro for $1000+ a month, but how realistic is that financially for most of us? Plus, the horses are my sanity and the high point of my day is getting out to the barn to ride--why would I buy something that the professional gets to ride all the time while I foot the big bills? Of course, I don't aspire to the upper levels--I'd be happy to just do a one star one day.
                              Clearly the "cost of entry" is different, but that is different from "what are the odds?".

                              (And look at situations like PePo who had seveal OTTBs "flunk out" . Sure, it spreads out the expense, but it doesn't necessarily reduce the "cost of entry" significantly.)
                              And to further elaborate on my experience - 2 out of 3 OTTBs I bought I ended up spending bucks sending to trainers because I really needed a break from them (and neither trainer was able to get any more out of them btw, so they were sold on to someone at a considerable loss to me to people who were willing to deal with the issues to "save money".

                              On the other hand, I could easily deal with my new mare 100% myself, I adore riding her and have no anxiety or fear that she'll melt down or blow up. And she just gets "it". I can actually work on things like my position and NOT worry about the basic things. I DO plan to work with a trainer (I am on her wait list) but that's only because she is such a lovely mare spending that $1000 a month feels like a good investment rather than a desperate attempt to salvage all the time and money I already put into the horse.

                              I KNOW there are some awesome OTTBs out there that people have done wonderful things with. My horse Vegas, had he not had a slab fracture in his knee, would have been one of those super stars I have no doubt. He was special, and I still get teary eyed thinking about him. But the gamble, for me, both financially and emotionally was too much. I don't think this is an either/or argument that can be won. But I do think the answer to the OP question is a resounding YES, I do think more and more eventers (or wanna be eventers) will buy youngsters.
                              On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Although I'm a breeder, Perfect Pony, I do have to hope your prediction won't come true (in great numbers, that is--otherwise, to each his own, of course!) because if it did, it would price the average rider right out of the sport.

                                Nevertheless, it's a great discussion. Flightcheck, that is a good point, too, about racebreds, but I'm not sure it addresses the 4 million dollar Fasig Tipton sale-topper failure(s) and its like. And, Janet, thanks for that clarification about the nature of the panel's comments. Did they mention off-breed horses (i.e. horses not bred for eventing specifically, but good horses nontheless: Connemaras, Morgans, Quarterhorses, assorted crossbreds--all of which are cheaper, even to buy young) and/or horses from other disciplines (an angle near and dear to my heart having heard more than a few times that this or that is "too much pony" or "too much horse" for the hunter rider or division it was under/in! )?
                                Sportponies Unlimited
                                Athletic Thoroughbred crosses for the highly motivated, smaller rider.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Originally posted by RunForIt View Post
                                  Would it be possible to HOPE that the discussion at the Area II meeting by Phyliss and the rest was videoed? The dialogue by panelists and attendees would be so interesting and educational!
                                  Not that I know of.
                                  Janet

                                  chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by szipi View Post
                                    To most eventers a very average warmblood is so much more comfortable, has more movement, have a lot better jump and more laid back than most OTTB's, so they will buy those, rather than the high quality warmbloods - just because they cost less.

                                    www.prairiepinesfarm.com
                                    Not everyone wants a WB you know - some people actually prefer a good TB.
                                    Julia in Nokesville, VA

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Did they mention off-breed horses (i.e. horses not bred for eventing specifically, but good horses nontheless: Connemaras, Morgans, Quarterhorses, assorted crossbreds--all of which are cheaper, even to buy young) and/or horses from other disciplines (an angle near and dear to my heart having heard more than a few times that this or that is "too much pony" or "too much horse" for the hunter rider or division it was under/in! )?
                                      Yes, but more in the context of buying a mature horse (at least "green broke") than buying a yearling.
                                      Janet

                                      chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by juliab View Post
                                        Not everyone wants a WB you know - some people actually prefer a good TB.
                                        And that is a good point. I considered any sport bred horses when I was searching. I looked at QHs, Paints, TBs, Appys, you name it I saw it! I found any nice young horse that could make a decent dressage horse, eventer or jumper, no matter the breed, was priced close to the same (with the exception of BIG WBs, which is why my mare is 15.1 and was in my budget

                                        But a really nice sport bred TB isn't that much cheaper than a WB IMO.
                                        On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Since we are talking about the panel, Courtney brought up a new (new to me and to the rest of the panelists, though she got it from an old horseman) "string test" to use on TBs you are looking at at the track.

                                          Use the string to measure

                                          A- from the poll to the withers (this is the least consistent measurement, and changing position will change the length).

                                          B- from the withers to the point of the hip

                                          C- from the point of the hip to the point of the hock.

                                          C (hip to hock) should be longest

                                          B (withers to hip) should be shortest

                                          A (poll to withers) should be in between.
                                          Janet

                                          chief feeder and mucker for Music, Spy, Belle and Tiara. Someone else is now feeding and mucking for Chief and Brain (both foxhunting now).

                                          Comment

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