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How difficult is it to resell an OTTB?

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  • How difficult is it to resell an OTTB?

    Are OTTBs difficult to resell? Assume it's a nice-moving, ammy friendly, younger hunter type with a few show miles.
    Last edited by Momateur; Aug. 15, 2019, 09:55 AM.

  • #2
    As is often the case with questions asked here, it depends.

    It depends on the horse (temperament, color, size, age etc.), the market you're targeting (rated shows vs local circuits, if rated shows, what level, etc.), what part of the country you're in, what price range you've got in mind, how well-connected you are to the market, whether the horse has the potential to be competitive in other disciplines (e.g. I have no interest in showing hunters, but might be interested in a horse that can haul me safely around a 2'6"-3' jumper course), and so on and so forth.

    "Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything
    that's even remotely true."

    Homer Simpson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Momateur View Post
      Are OTTBs difficult to resell?
      For show horse prices? Yes.
      EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Originally posted by dags View Post

        For show horse prices? Yes.
        Nah, let's say I'm not trying to fetch WB prices. I'm thinking more like lowest fives.

        Comment


        • #5
          Jewelry? Height? Needing maintenance? What kind of show miles and what market are you trying to sell to? What area are you in? Those will factor in. Yes, there are OTTBs that sell in low 5s ($10-15k or so, some more and definitely many less), but they have had a good amount of work put into them and have commendable show records.

          Are you looking for a horse as a fun project (I think based on your previous posts that is the case)? Are you looking for a quick flip? Are you just wanting to know if something happens in the future will you be able to sell and make profit? No, you probably won't make a whole lot of profit... but people in horses know that is more often than not the case. Find something enjoyable for you to bring along and don't expect a huge resale profit or any at all.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Momateur View Post

            Nah, let's say I'm not trying to fetch WB prices. I'm thinking more like lowest fives.
            That's doable. Easier if it is a 16.1/16.2ish bay gelding that looks like a WB and makes the lines quietly with a looping or at least soft rein. Some of the more TB typey types get stuck at that $7500 price point and can't seem to ever get past it.
            EHJ | FB | #140 | watch | #insta

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            • #7
              If you're a well-known person in your community and put a nice local A record on a bay/black, 16.1+, under 8 year old gelding who can pass a PPE, then I think low five figures is quite attainable. I even see horses that are selling for $10-15k in the eventing world with only a BN or two from popular sellers.

              Chestnuts, under 16h, mares, over 8, or any track jewelry are much slower to move in my area. An average mover is also very easily overlooked unless you have a good video of it packing a small kid around a course.

              It also seems that people are not terribly interested in lightly shown OTTBS being privately sold around here. I think the assumption, and it's often true, is that the horse was purchased from one of the reputable restarters in the area and either it was too tricky or not fancy enough so now it is on the market 1-3 years later. I see a lot of horses being listed for not much more than they would have been listed as prospects from a bigger name with the only difference is that the horse is now 8-12 and has a few local shows or horse trials under its belt.

              I am not saying that this is universally true by any stretch but as someone who has spent an embarrassing amount of time looking at horses lately, it seems to be true in my area.

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              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by rockonxox View Post
                Jewelry? Height? Needing maintenance? What kind of show miles and what market are you trying to sell to? What area are you in? Those will factor in. Yes, there are OTTBs that sell in low 5s ($10-15k or so, some more and definitely many less), but they have had a good amount of work put into them and have commendable show records.

                Are you looking for a horse as a fun project (I think based on your previous posts that is the case)? Are you looking for a quick flip? Are you just wanting to know if something happens in the future will you be able to sell and make profit? No, you probably won't make a whole lot of profit... but people in horses know that is more often than not the case. Find something enjoyable for you to bring along and don't expect a huge resale profit or any at all.
                Good observations and fair questions. I want a fun and safe project, but I fully plan on reselling down the road (like in a year). I don't need to make money, but I fear having the horse sit on the market for months on end and then having to basically give it away.

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                • #9
                  I'm in California. Spent months and months looking for a horse for my then-13 year old daughter coming off a pony. I would gladly have paid $12-15k for an OTTB who was easy, honest, sound and could hold its own on our local B circuit shows in the 2'6".

                  The key would be "easy." We were looking for a confidence-building ride for her, not something that would shake her confidence by being quirky or spooky. If you have that kind of good citizen, I think parents will pay.

                  When you say "younger," what age are you talking about?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Momateur View Post

                    Good observations and fair questions. I want a fun and safe project, but I fully plan on reselling down the road (like in a year). I don't need to make money, but I fear having the horse sit on the market for months on end and then having to basically give it away.
                    The TIP classes are fairly popular on some local circuits - do you have these in your area? If so, that helps your market quite a bit. If you get it going and put a little bit of a show record on it, that helps put some distance between the "OTTB" phase and what you then have. But if you aren't trying to get WB prices and you get a the right type/size gelding, what you want to do is achievable.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Momateur View Post
                      Are OTTBs difficult to resell? Assume it's a nice-moving, ammy friendly, younger hunter type with a few show miles.
                      In my area the TB division at local shows is very popular, and people are starting to buy and sell with that in mind. But if you are looking at prospects, I would only recommend buying one that is a great mover, not just good, and vets absolutely clean. And plan on getting more than just a few show miles if you want to move it down the road.
                      "Can you imagine what I would do if I could do all I can?" Sun Tzu
                      Semantics

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                      • #12
                        It's been proven very reliably proven that the best and most profitable moment to sell an OTTB is when it's fresh off the track, not restarted or barely restarted and people are only looking at free movement videos. That's when the "imagination factor" kicks in. The buyers can imagine it being a rock star at their disciplines. When you fast forward 12-24 months you're then into the reality of things and people notice:

                        Lack of perfect changes.

                        Lack of big movement.

                        Lack of fancy markings.

                        Now, this was all true 4 days off the track but further into training people want more for their money.

                        In the 5 days off the track videos the horses tend to move bigger with more step when in a new place etc. As with all horses who then become accustomed to a place the round pen, or ring isn't that exciting a place to throw out a huge trot step 35 days into regular work. And even less so 6 months later.

                        I had the world's coolest ottb gelding that I sold for $15000. It took me 5 years and while I didn't mind being 'stuck' with him I would say that the market of tb buyers for a horse with experience can, like many markets, be full of very frustrating and conflicted people. The "Ooooooo" and "Ahhhhh" crowd of the under 1 month off the track crowd are a bit easier to deal with because everyone understands that the horses don't know as much and the people haven't had the horse that long.

                        If I had to give any recommendations I would suggest buying off the track yourself, with a vetting no matter the price and then I would really research the comps on the market when it comes time to sell. And if you price it well and get no bites, INCREASE the price and take it to two shows with a pro photographer and buy the show pics and try again.


                        Em

                        "Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear. The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all." ~2001 The Princess Diaries

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Speaking from my recent horse buying experience here in Southern California, an OTTB who has been restarted but maybe low to no show miles, no prior injuries, nice mover and good temperament seem to sell in the $15k-$20k range.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would say (in addition to the factors of the exact horse), location matters a lot too. Especially what type of show circuits are popular and if there are well-attended Thoroughbred classes. I think on the East Coast Thoroughbreds sometimes sell a little bit better than where I am in the Midwest because there are very competitive local circuits where Thoroughbreds can thrive. Just my 2 cents :-)
                            Equestrian blog: The Printable Pony
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                            • #15
                              I could be remembering wrong, but I seem to remember a few threads started by you centering around project/investment/TBs. I thought on one thread you had indicated that resale wasn't as important than the process/experience, but I could be remembering wrong?

                              If I'm not remembering wrong, it sounds like you need to figure out what you really want from the horse you buy. Buying green for the process/experience the expectation of reselling at break-even is really different than approaching something with a true investment expectation which is different than buying something and needing it to sell eventually with no requirements on timeframe or making the investment back.

                              If you need to resell, even if it's at a break-even point, then you need to be careful with what you select. If you need to resell at a profit (though we all know that's not a given) then you need to be really specific and intentional with what you select. And if you want a fun project you will sell someday, you can be quite lenient, as long as you understand that a 15.1 chestnut OTTB with ankle jewelry will never be an easy sell.

                              Balancing budget and needs is always tricky. In general, OTTB require the smallest investment but also have the smallest guarantee of an easy sell or monetary return.

                              If I needed to resell and had a tiny budget, I'd honestly look more for an appendix type as they can be more dependable than an OTTB. Safe, quiet, cute, easy and sound will always sell, and there's plenty of people looking for that at the local level....but those things are a big of a gamble with an OTTB.

                              TBs are great athletes and there's plenty of nice ones to be sure, but they are their own breed and many of them are not the easiest...not to mention you're erasing track training and dealing with track wear-and-tear. The buyer pool for them is smaller.
                              Jennifer Baas
                              It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. (Aristotle)

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by EsqEquestrian View Post
                                Speaking from my recent horse buying experience here in Southern California, an OTTB who has been restarted but maybe low to no show miles, no prior injuries, nice mover and good temperament seem to sell in the $15k-$20k range.
                                Dowhat now? They're actually selling for $15k-$20k and not just being marketed at that price point?

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by Mac123 View Post
                                  I could be remembering wrong, but I seem to remember a few threads started by you centering around project/investment/TBs. I thought on one thread you had indicated that resale wasn't as important than the process/experience, but I could be remembering wrong?

                                  If I'm not remembering wrong, it sounds like you need to figure out what you really want from the horse you buy. Buying green for the process/experience the expectation of reselling at break-even is really different than approaching something with a true investment expectation which is different than buying something and needing it to sell eventually with no requirements on timeframe or making the investment back.

                                  If you need to resell, even if it's at a break-even point, then you need to be careful with what you select. If you need to resell at a profit (though we all know that's not a given) then you need to be really specific and intentional with what you select. And if you want a fun project you will sell someday, you can be quite lenient, as long as you understand that a 15.1 chestnut OTTB with ankle jewelry will never be an easy sell.

                                  Balancing budget and needs is always tricky. In general, OTTB require the smallest investment but also have the smallest guarantee of an easy sell or monetary return.

                                  If I needed to resell and had a tiny budget, I'd honestly look more for an appendix type as they can be more dependable than an OTTB. Safe, quiet, cute, easy and sound will always sell, and there's plenty of people looking for that at the local level....but those things are a big of a gamble with an OTTB.

                                  TBs are great athletes and there's plenty of nice ones to be sure, but they are their own breed and many of them are not the easiest...not to mention you're erasing track training and dealing with track wear-and-tear. The buyer pool for them is smaller.
                                  I really appreciate this advice. Yes, you remember correctly. My fear is not the monetary loss, but being stuck with a horse that takes a year to resell. I don't know why that freaks me out so much, but it does.

                                  Guess I'm having trouble figuring out what I want. Doesn't help that everything I've liked has gone sideways (seller disappeared, vices surfaced, horse was injured, oops horse is actually 2" shorter than we advertised, etc).

                                  Starting to lose faith and focus here. It was such an exciting idea at first, but now I'm confused and frustrated! Welcome to horse shopping, right?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Momateur View Post
                                    My fear is not the monetary loss, but being stuck with a horse that takes a year to resell. I don't know why that freaks me out so much, but it does.
                                    What about a 6 month or year lease? You can get experience with a green bean and not have to worry. There's no shortage of people who would love to have someone else pay the bills.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I am curious as to why you are looking for a horse that you will need to move in a year. Why will you need to sell so soon? Or are you just "what if"ing? Why not just buy a horse that you like and enjoy riding? Or if you think you have to sell, then I agree maybe look for a lease or care lease.
                                      Finding Cures, Saving Children. Sept. 29, 2019 Saddle Up for St. Jude event. Donate here.

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                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by EverElite View Post

                                        Dowhat now? They're actually selling for $15k-$20k and not just being marketed at that price point?
                                        Sadly, yes! Had a few that I was interested in get sold because the other buyer offered more than asking. I had severe sticker shock

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