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Trying to sell a nice horse in a crappy market

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  • Trying to sell a nice horse in a crappy market

    Hello all,

    Posting under my alter so that this doesn't come across as a sales ad of any sort. I have a horse for sale right now that is a winning junior/a/o hunter with high performance/regular hunter experience as well in very good company. Her show record is extensive and her vetting record is clean. She's simple as hell and has no vices. The problem is, where I live, hunters are so unpopular that the juniors and a/os are combined, and even then we're lucky if we get 5 entries. There just isn't a market for it around here.

    With the three big winter circuits coming up (Ocala, Thermal and WEF), I'm wondering if it's worth it to send the horse down there to try and sell. My trainer is going to Thermal, so sending the horse wouldn't be too difficult logistically, I just don't know what the market is like down there. I don't want to spend 10k, not even go to the show myself, and have the horse walk back off the truck come spring. That sounds pretty nightmare-ish to me, and then I'm back to square one in a sh*tty market with the horse.

    Do any of you have experience sending a horse to be sold? My trainer is well connected and I think she could get it done, but I just don't want it to end up costing me more in the end than it would to just sell the horse around here at a reduced price.

  • #2
    We sent my hunter off to WEF to get sold.. Won champion a few weeks in a row and had people making offers on him. Unfortunately, he had complications from a previous injury, and therefore was unable to finish out the circuit, but there are definitely opportunities to sell a horse at WEF, especially if your horse is nice enough to stand out in that crowd.


    • #3
      The only thing is that I wouldn't say that you are in an area that is not into hunters and such. Just since it can come across as the horse does well in company where there isn't much turn out, but is un tested for showing where the hunters are larger. Not saying that is true! Just saying that it could come across that way. Also, take a look at videos and prices of horses that are selling down where you want to send your horse and see how your horse stacks up to them. Remember a big fancy gelding will sell for more then a small mare.


      • #4
        If you don't send it, you KNOW it's not going to get sold. So yes it's a gamble but if the horse is everything you say it is and priced appropriately then you've got a good chance to sell it at thermal. The other option is if you had someone who wanted to lease it for the circuit, then you can get some of the bills paid. Good luck, sounds like a great horse!


        • #5
          Originally posted by HJStyleReport View Post
          If you don't send it, you KNOW it's not going to get sold. So yes it's a gamble but if the horse is everything you say it is and priced appropriately then you've got a good chance to sell it at thermal. The other option is if you had someone who wanted to lease it for the circuit, then you can get some of the bills paid. Good luck, sounds like a great horse!
          Yes, I personally would check around the barn, or friends of friends to lease the horse out for free for the circuit and have them pay the showing bills (or you pay stall and lessons, they pay classes/other fees). You want the horse to go to be sold, so I feel like you should pay for some part of the venture. It sounds like the horse would be competitive and it would be a worthwhile show experience for someone. Advertise on as many different websites (Thermal-area as well) as you can that the horse will be available for potential buyers to see at Thermal. I would have your trainer supervise that part. I think you'll have minimal bills this way.


          • #6
            Sending a horse to those circuits is expensive and as you know - no guarantee that the horse will get sold.

            A friend of mine sent her horse years ago to WEF when the market was much better. It came home. She found out after the fact that the horse was being marketed at a significantly higher price (like 1/3 higher). Gee, why didn't it sell? 8 months later - the horse sold after putting in a zillion dollars into showing it.

            I had a horse that I was going to send to Ocala to sell. Someone offered me significantly less about 2 weeks before it got on the truck. I thought about how much money I was going to save by not sending the horse. I took the offer and ran.

            Really, you need to send it to the right PERSON to sell, not place. Some place where they have talented juniors or adult ammy's that would be willing to pick up the show expenses - so the horse can be seen while the trainer talks it up to the locals and markets it. Because many of these horses sell at the shows and its not just the Ocala and WEF circuits. In my opinion, only horses that place and win ribbons at WEF sell pretty well there. So, you have to figure out who your target buyer is and market your horse to that type of person.

            A few good videos up on You Tube help a lot. People will travel, but before they do - they want to know what they are going to see.

            And price the horse realistically. A friend of mine is actively looking, but she will not look at a horses that seem overpriced for what they are (online videos and show records). The leasing market is stronger than the sales market, so if you are trying to sell - you are starting at a disadvantage.

            Good luck!