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Shopping for hunter at the Fasig Tipton Midlantic 2Yr Old Sale- Advice Please!

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  • Shopping for hunter at the Fasig Tipton Midlantic 2Yr Old Sale- Advice Please!

    Hello COTHers!

    I am currently on the search for a thoroughbred to become my future amateur owner/ working hunter show horse. I've owned ottb's my whole life, and the time has come for me to find my forever horse. While I regularly check CANTER and my trainer's connections at the track; I plan to expand my search to the Fasig Tipton Midlantic 2 year old sale in May. I am doing everything I can to look at all the options in front of me and find the perfect horse for my needs.

    Do any of you have recommendations on bloodlines I should check out for the youngstock at this sale? Any sires in particular? I know that bloodlines aren't everything, but they can be helpful! Ideally I am looking for: only colts/geldings that are well put together, will top out between 16.1-17.1 hands, move nice, jump nice, and have a great/ sensible personality?

    Thank you all for your help! Sorry if a thread like this has been done before, I am horrible at searching the forums effectively.

    The full catalog can be seen here if anyone cares to look:

    The index with just sire/dam can be seen here

  • #2
    I'm sure I will not be the only one to say this, but why would you shop for your next hunter at a 2 year old in training sale?

    A bit of perspective from the seller's side:
    The sale is meant for racing horses, and they have been in training to that end. The breeders are hopeful of breeders awards and hope to "make" their mare or stallion. A lot of time and money has ben invested to get them there, and to your deteriment, some have been pushed early to get good times. As a seller, I certainly would not be thrilled to have one of mine go to a hunter home from this sale.

    A bit of perspective from the buyer's side:
    You would be getting a young horse that has been effectively in race training to a certain extent, and possibly pushed too early, so may have issues the same as an OTTB would. Prices will most likely be higher than you'd find via private sale from farms that are culling their non-racing stock. The horses will look great, but once let down from that heavey work load will not look the same and will need retraining.

    I totally understand the excitement and thrill of buying a 2 year old at auction, and you'll do what you want, but personally, I'd want to either get a yearling or a 2 year old that has not been sale conditioned.

    Good luck in whatever you decide, and I hate to sound harsh, but times are tough all around and I sure would be unhappy if one of my babies went from that sale to a hunter home. If there are some that are bottom prices in the sale and their sellers set no reserve, then I guess they don't mind.

    No insult meant to you at at all, I am a hunter person too, and it's great that the horse would have a great home, just is not the ambition of most breeders. We wait so long for a mare that we are trying to make to get in foal, have the baby and for the baby to grow up and race, so it is frustrating when you lose all of that time and money with no return on either the foal or the mare's value.


    • #3
      I'm also in the FT is the wrong place camp.

      You would be better off going through a private farm and buying an unstarted 2 yr old. Or try CANTER, New Vocations etc, if you want a race bred TB. You'll likely pay less and get a horse that has been started in a new career.

      Sorry if that's not what you wanted to hear.

      I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

      R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed


      • #4
        I don't think it is a bad idea at all...the economy is bad right now, definitely a buyer's market, and that sale is not one of the top two-year-old sales in the country--you may get a great deal.

        If nothing else, it is fun to follow the sale, see as many horses as you can, and learn more about conformation.

        Sure, the breeders of these babies would like to see them race, but on the lower end of the price scale, you may get a decent horse with no real black-type pedigree, that is already broke to saddle. Most people are realistic--and if they really want to keep them in a racing situation, they'd RNA them, or sell them privately.

        Obviously, I'd rather have you provide a good home for one of our adoptees, but that is because I have so any to place with good homes...

        Go for it! (Just my opinion!)
        Turning For Home, Inc.
        Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


        • Original Poster

          Witherbee and LBR- Thank you for your honest input,I appreciate it. I understand that they have all been sales prepped and get that they will need retraining- that's not an issue and we have done this with several in the past. I do see what you mean from a breeder's perspective and I apologize.

          I don't mean to offend any breeders who aim for their stock to go onto to become racehorses. I'm really sorry to have offended anyone- that wasn't my intention. However like Barbra L. said- with how the economy is I didn't think it'd be a bad idea to pick up a well put together 2 year old who goes for the lower end of the price scale.

          Barbra L- I'm checking out your website now! I'm totally open to that option too.

          The whole idea of me checking out the FT sale is because I am trying to examine all options in order to find the perfect horse for me. I'm looking at private sales, CANTER, OTTB rescues, and the FT sales.

          If anyone has any suggestions on farms in the Maryland area to check out to go the private sales route please let me know.


          • #6
            I picked up my now three year old from the OBS yearling sale.

            I bought him AFTER he went through the ring and didn't get a bid and I got a good price on a NICE hunter.

            Buying from the TB sales is a tough game to play. The yearlings are walked never trotted and are stood for you to look at their conformation. The 2 year olds you might get a glimps of them trotting on the way to the track for the "under tack viewing".... and I will tell you...what makes a nice race horse...also makes a nice hunter sometimes and the bids will make your insides do a belly flop when the one you had your heart set on....goes through the ring for $200K!

            A good piece of horse flesh is a good piece of horse flesh! HOWEVER....just because its pretty standing there...doesn't mean its going to win the hack. Knowledge is power in this kind of situation and a whole lot of good luck.

            I am a forever fan of the TB in the hunter ring. (I love a good warmblood, but a TB makes my heart feel good!)


            • #7
              I would think you may get a great deal going this route, and (provided you're willing to take a little risk) it might be more fun than conventional routes to find thoroughbreds

              I went to a yearling sale there ages ago and fell head over heels for a big grey boy - if he hadn't gone for the mid-five figures, I certainly would have been plenty happy to try and snap him up at the auction

              Pricing can vary greatly at these things - but a sale is a sale. A lot of horses sell for a lot out of these sales and bust at the track or never make a start. Maybe a seller would be disappointed if the horse doesn't sell to a race home, but if they have the same amount of money in their pocket I can't see them complaining too much.

              I think it would be pretty cool to see what you get if you go this route, and how it works for you compared to more traditional channels

              (and oh! if only you were looking for a dainty little sweet mare, haha! the one I'm riding now is just so wonderful!)
              "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

              My CANTER blog.


              • #8
                I've got a TB gelding that I bred and is exactly what you are looking for, but he's not for sale because he's my dreamhorse. Good luck in your search.


                • #9
                  In light of how expensive it has gotten to get horses well started and broken and going under saddle (and the fact x rays would be on display?), this route is starting to look attractive and smart to me!


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks for all your replies! Like I said I'm trying to keep all my options open, knowing that the perfect horse will eventually come along. The FT sale appeals to me due to the fact that these horses are already started (although I'd be fine with breaking one too) and the fact that many have been scoped and x-rayed. That's a huge expense cut out for me and more I can put into buying the horse and into its care expenses. I've been to these sales many times in years past, so I know how they're run and thought they'd be a good place to expand my search.

                    I figured I'd come on here and ask for everyone's opinions on any stallions/ bloodlines to check out that produce nice sound, quiet, and big sporthorses.


                    • #11
                      Just remember that there is often a reason a horse is selling cheaply. A clean sound, correct, athletic great moving youngster is what race people want too.


                      • #12
                        Just remember that there is often a reason a horse is selling cheaply.
                        We were given a pregnant mare, the former owner was "upgrading" his broodstock and decided to stand his own stallion.

                        Two years later, I happened to check the FT Mid-Atlantic sales results and he'd sold two for under $2K each.

                        This is what came out of the mare we were given.

                        He jumps, too.
                        "If you would have only one day to live, you should spend at least half of it in the saddle."


                        • #13
                          I have some amazing ones at home that went through the sales for big money too and I was given after they failed to meet their expected potential. But I'm just saying you are going to a sale that costs thousands of dollars to prep horses for and sometimes the low end horses are there for a reason. Just like at Sport Horse Auctions with there are low end horses. They often have a reason for not getting the big bucks.
                          I visited several of the big 2yr old prep farms in ocala this spring. That is some very strenuous work to put on a baby. Most buyers turn them out for a couple months. Several of the horses came out of the sales works with chips. Just be careful.


                          • #14
                            Here's my $1,500 reject from the Keeneland yearling sales (didn't get him there but that's what he went for) (he is 5 in the video):



                            • #15
                              I took a quick look at the catalog....wish I could look at 29, 123, 151, 194, 261, 262, 299, 345, 454, 561 and 577....all of these bloodlines I have had wonderful hunters from. Will say that only a few were hack winners, but all had outstanding form and were easy to work with.

                              I have a Smoke Glacken grandson (Native Dancer on bottom) now....and he is amazing. 3 years old, dead quiet, moves great auto changes, outstanding form. I just love him.

                              Good luck in your search!


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Reminisce View Post
                                I am trying to examine all options in order to find the perfect horse for me
                                My experience (and my current horse is perfect for me), is that you don't find them, they find you.

                                And my definition of perfect has changed over the years!

                                I have had great luck taking those very expensive auction horses after they have proven they weren't worth the pricetag.
                                A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton


                                • #17
                                  If you check the prices from last year's 2 yr old in training sale, you'll see that they are much higher than the December mixed sale. If you have time to wait, I'd think you could get an awesome deal at the mixed sale on a nice young horse.


                                  • #18
                                    2YO sales are exciting- so many nice looking horses, and you can see them on the track. But- they have been pushed harder than I like, and the prices are high because hopes are soaring that they'll do well on the track.

                                    If you have the money, sure, why not shop those sales. But if you have a tighter budget and time to invest in training, there are much better places to shop, including most other TB auctions, dispersal sales, and the farms themselves.

                                    As far as what the breeder would like to see, if I were a breeder in this day, I'd be happy to see my colt go to a hunter home- it gives him a much better chance at longevity than the track does.


                                    • #19
                                      If you are looking for "cheap" this most likely is not the sale.
                                      As far as buying something out back or being given one...these breeders are looking for horses to race...preferably in the state they foaled so they can reap the breeder bonus moneys.
                                      Horses traded out back may well go on "cuff" or "deal" aimed to get breeder some % of race $$. earned.
                                      I would make sure I checked the repository fims and scopes before taking a "freebie" who no bids also....


                                      • #20
                                        My Mr. Greeley gelding sold at Keenland as a yearling for $150K....I picked him up as a 2 year old for $500.

                                        His issue....he thought galloping was for the birds!

                                        If the sale won't end up working for you.....a lot of the TB farms ....have babies that they know will not make it as race horses that they are selling or giving them away just to get them off the feed bill and into a productive homes. Guess at some point it all looks the same on the mare's produce record....un-raced or bombed at the track...I would probably rather see unraced!

                                        I am lucky enough to have a few trainers that know what I am looking for and when they call me I know it is a horse that will work for the training program.

                                        Your in Maryland.....and have LOTS of incredible places around you to get young TB stock from....