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How much would you spend on an OTTB?

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  • How much would you spend on an OTTB?

    Just in general, I know it depends on the horse. Say it has been raced, retired sound but no other training. Going to be used as a hunter or jumper of course

    Just looking for a general range more or less


  • #2
    My max is $3k, though a lot of the horses I get are given to me by their trainers who just like to know they are going to have a useful life after racing.


    • #3
      If the conformation is good and horse is sound and seems sane the price might be anyplace from FREE! to maybe a couple of thousand. I know that there are plenty available on the low end of the scale and if the horse was on the high side, but perfect and I was eager to start a project, I might pay the higher price, esp. if he was very nice and might have higher end resale value with a few months of work.
      What you pay obviously hinges on quality of the horse and how much you care to pay and what you hope to do with him. For a resale, I'd say, look for a cheaper one with the same quality and get the vet check. If it's a horse to keep, use you best judgement.
      Edit: Don't always assume that cost and quality are the same. When it comes to OTTB's, alot of trainers with stock to sell don't know anything about what a hunter/jumper of pleasure rider considers "quality." To them, an open stall might have more value than a slow horse. Some trainers will try to maximize every off track sale, others just want a horse out.
      F O.B
      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


      • #4
        $1000 or less. There are SOOOO many horses and the market is so bad right now that GREAT horses are going for meat market prices.

        (In Loving Memory of 'My Escort' 3/25/1985 - 3/17/2007)


        • #5
          It really depends on the horse! If an OTTB was retired sound, and was nicer than an unbroke warmblood....then I would pay more for the OTTB. I dont think I could put a price limit on one. There are some NICE race horses out there!! However, there are a lot of problem horses too....

          I know a girl who bought one for $8,000. He raced, three or four times. Vetted clean. Super horse, the same year took him straight into the baby greens and sold him for just under $80,000. He was 17.2hh, and huge. Won every hack he did. So, for an OTTB he was super expensive, but for a "HUNTER" he was dirt cheap.
          Last edited by SquishTheBunny; Jan. 7, 2009, 11:27 PM.


          • #6
            About 3 years ago (aka better market!) in a very fairly horse-saturated area (esp w/ Finger Lakes Race Track not too far away!), I paid $3,500 for an OTTB who didn't ever race, was the soundest horse the head vet in a large local practice had ever vetted, and had the work-ethic of a warmblood. And that price was 2 agents removed from the original seller!!

            So... I'd say no more than 2k.


            • #7
              I paid $2,500 and it was the best $2,500 I have ever spent!
              My CANTER cutie Chip and IHSA shows!


              • #8
                Wow...I know a seller who sold two OTTB, as in, she bought them less than a month before off the track: sold one for $12,000 and one for $15,000. Pretty good business!


                • #9
                  Around $3000 or less, depending on all sorts of things, obviously.

                  And, as equino points out- once there is some training put on and the horse is evaluated for hunter/jumper/whatever, all bets are off as far as the original track price is concerned. For example, if you have the whole package for a fancy hunter except training (conformation/looks, movement, mind, jump), well- that one is going to almost immediately be worth more in the hands of a good hunter trainer than a more average joe.
                  You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


                  • #10
                    I was lucky to see part of the OBS Sale in Ocala the other day, there were some BEAUTIFUL babies and mares going through. There were great buys to be had.

                    I had to sit on my hands, I really wanted to bid on a couple!!!
                    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


                    • #11
                      The days of a fresh-OTTB being sold for over $5k are long gone. They RESELL for $2500-$7500 normally. The problem is the cost of upkeep-- let me walk you thru the steps of an OTTB "investment":

                      Purchase: $2500
                      Vetting: $800
                      Shipping: $350
                      Total: $3650

                      Board: $400
                      Shoeing: $100
                      Deworm/Misc.: $20
                      Total Monthly bill: $520 x (3 months? 6 months? = $1560-$3120)

                      So, you already have well over $5,000 into your OTTB and

                      That does not include:

                      1. YOUR TIME
                      2. Any tack, equipment, blankets, etc. the horse needs
                      3. Show fees/trailering/misc. show expenses
                      4. Lessons or training fees
                      5. YOUR TIME TO SHOW THE HORSE TO BUYERS & MARKET/keeping the horse in show shape/market-shape
                      6. Marketing expenses
                      7. Emergency vet expenses, if applicable
                      8. The possibility the OTTB will not be what you wanted it to be

                      You better get more than $10k for your OTTB and or you go bust. A risky investment, if you ask me!

                      As for the OP - spend whatever you feel the horse you are looking at is worth to you. Pick any budget and you'll find something that you like.


                      • #12
                        For the average bear? Not more than 1-2K. For a fancy thing, maybe more, but generally not over 5K. I spent something in the middle of that range for my current TB. If I had more than that to spend, I might, but it would have to be something I was reeeeally sure about (and had 2nd and 3rd opinions who agreed) and it would be a horse like Squish's example. And for that much, it wouldn't be for a horse I was going to keep for myself, it would be a resale project.

                        I'd also have zero problem with spending little to nothing on a good horse that a trainer needed to get rid of. There's no such thing as "too cheap" for an OTTB. However, I wouldn't skip the vetting. I've gotten lucky before with that, but I would expect to get burned if I tried that again.


                        • #13
                          $900 adoption fee.


                          • #14
                            Got mine a year ago for $1,400.00. Knock on wood so far so good and he had very little training on him.


                            • #15
                              It depends on the horse

                              To me, it would be the same as buying any breed of horse... A young, sound horse that I liked and got along with- would take it for free, or pay what I thought it was worth. I don't like the idea that a horse is worth less because it's a racehorse, so it's a difficult question for me. Yes, you can find nice ones dirt cheap if you look hard enough, or adopt one for a reasonable price. But that doesn't necessarily mean to me that a horse they want $4K for isn't worth 4K, either, just because it's at the track.

                              I know, that's a non-answer. But I've seen horses at the track advertised for over $3500, that if they were at a different location people wouldn't hesitate at that price. But since they're at the track, a lot of folks think it's too much and a rip-off, or whatever.

                              So my real answer is... depends on how much I have to spend and what I stumble on
                              "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

                              My CANTER blog.


                              • #16
                                You need to clarify..are you buying right from the track...or the farm?

                                Are you buying from someone who has already bought the OTTB from the track and let it down??

                                At the track you cannot ride it or see it jump a stick, but you can get it vetted.

                                Off the track you can at least see it be ridden andhopefull jump a cross rail.

                                "The free part is putting the shank in your hand" "The rest still costs the same"


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Equino View Post
                                  Wow...I know a seller who sold two OTTB, as in, she bought them less than a month before off the track: sold one for $12,000 and one for $15,000. Pretty good business!
                                  Well, some people have a history of picking the really good ones off the track as well as good networks with track trainers to get access to them. Plus every day it is off the track in a barn that specializes in this adds to the price. Or she got lucky.

                                  Right off the track untouched by non track personnel? 3500 TOPS and that one would be pretty spectacular. Just looking at a year to let down, get the feet straightened out, get some weight on them and then start your training with no guarantees.

                                  The really dirt cheap ones-like under 1k or free? Be careful, you might get lucky but sometimes there are reasons.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


                                  • #18
                                    I wouldn't pay more than $2500. I paid $1300 for my horse and he's got some issues and has had alot of time and money put into him.

                                    he was a project and that's how I looked at him. Not an investment. there's really no seeing green on these bad boys unless like previously mentioned you have a good eye and you are in the situation where you know people willing to shell out that kind of money.

                                    Personally I just like to pick them up, train them for awhile and sell them off. Of course I love every single one of them, but they all need to find a forever home that is not in my stable!


                                    • #19
                                      I really dont understand why someone could say xxx is the max for a racehorse. Why?

                                      That would be like me saying I would never pay more than $2500 for a 3 year old warmblood, regardless of breeding, soundness, how it goes and its suitability for the future.

                                      Stupid. People think because they race, that they need "untraining" I have ridden many race horses and most have BETTER ground manners, BETTER conformation and BETTER basic flatwork than a cheap warmblood!!

                                      Not to say TB's are better, AT ALL. I owned many warmbloods. But, compare horses to horses, not racehorses to non-racers.

                                      I think on average, MOST nice OTTBS do go under 3500, why someone would say 1000 TOPS for a race horse is rediculous...much NICER ottb's around that are going for more than 1k. You realistically cant group ALL race horses into a price categorie. Some are not great, some are stellar.

                                      If the price is right for the individual horse in question, that should be your only concern.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by findeight View Post
                                        Right off the track untouched by non track personnel? 3500 TOPS and that one would be pretty spectacular.

                                        I do expect to pay less for a TB that is still at the track. There are differences that you need to factor in that go with the territory - with a good one they are minor but there nonetheless and I expect to pay accordingly.

                                        But I feel this way with any horse purchase...I wouldn't pay strictly for quality. There are other things that I consider when purchasing especially since I usually have to sell after a year or so to be able to keep up my habit. If I could afford to buy a forever horse; it would be a different story but as it stands, there are other things that I have to consider...temperament and the amount of retraining being paramount.
                                        \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River