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approaching a trainer re: buying a horse

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  • approaching a trainer re: buying a horse

    I was directed to this forum to post this question!

    If I were to see a horse on the track that I was interested in, how do I go about approaching its owner/trainer about a sale? Horse isn't on CANTER but was running in a $5000 claiming race (which was more than what I would have wanted to pay). Is it presumptuous and frowned upon to approach the trainer?
    "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

    www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
    www.useaiv.org

  • #2
    I would find out who the owner is, and contact them. The trainer is not always the owner, and a lot of trainers would rather not lose a horse and lose day money, all things considered. On the other hand, the owner might be ready to call it a day with the horse, and an offer for a new home might be considered.

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    • #3
      I don't think it's presumptuous or frowned upon at all. Many trainers really do care about their horses and enjoy finding good homes for them upon retirement. It's all going to depend on the trainer, but I would recommend just being tactful and respectful. Don't run to the trainer and tell him/her that you want to "rescue" his horse from the track or from the horrors of racing. Just tell him you're interested in giving the horse a home when the horse is ready to retire.

      When I decided I wanted my horse, I added him to my Virtual Stable so that I got notifications every time he was going to race. Each time I put together a small bag of apples, carrots and assorted horse treats along with a letter stating I was interested in giving the horse a home when he was done racing. I went to the track and gave the bag to the trainer and let him know I was interested. I got a phone call after about 2 months of the horse racing unsuccessfully.

      Keep in mind that trainers may not be ready to retire a horse just yet, but don't give up. On those same lines, though, a horse may still be running because the trainer has no other place for it to go, as not all trainers and owners have farms of their own.

      Just be patient and respectful but mildly persistent.

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      • #4
        As a trainer/owner I would love to hear from someone interested in one of my horses. Unfortunately I can't keep them all when they retire, and I am very particular about where they end up. I think it says alot a prospective owner if they are so interested that they would approach me while the horse is still racing

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        • #5
          It is up to the OWNER, not the trainer, if a horse is to be sold. Ive been an owner and a trainer. I pulled horses from a trainer when I found out someone had inquired on purchasing one of my horses, and he didnt tell me, because he didnt want me selling the horse. When I was a trainer, if someone asked me about buying a horse I had in my shedrow, I would contact the owner and find out if they wanted to sell him or not.

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          • #6
            The owner has final say but many times the trainer end up making decisions because the owners stop paying the day rate on a horse,leaving the trainer in a lurch as to the horse's care.

            One other note: Many times people contact trainers/owners saying that they'd like to have a horse upon his retirement because they think he'd make a nice hunter, jumper, eventer pleasure horse etc. The problem is that many times by the time they retire they are not suitable for their intended purpose and the trainer doesn't understand why you don't want a horse with a fractured knee or a bow as a cometition horse. If you want him for a PURPOSE please state that you are not just looking to add him to your collection of pasture puffs.
            F O.B
            Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
            Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I should have put trainer/owner. I definitely understand that the term isn't necessarily interchangeable.

              Thanks guys for the input!
              "Lord if we should fall, my horse and I, please pick my horse up first."

              www.thestartbox.wordpress.com
              www.useaiv.org

              Comment


              • #8
                Good luck and I agree - no harm to contact the trainer and/or the owner. Just don't say "rescue" lol! As an owner who is married to a trainer and whose BIL trains my horses, I would have no problem with you approaching either of us. If the horse is still competitive, we might not sell then, but would keep your contact info. If the horse is boarderline competitive and you seem like you would be a good home (I check references and talk to all prospective owners), then I might consider an early retirement!

                Hope you get the one you want!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ducky402 View Post
                  As a trainer/owner I would love to hear from someone interested in one of my horses. Unfortunately I can't keep them all when they retire, and I am very particular about where they end up. I think it says alot a prospective owner if they are so interested that they would approach me while the horse is still racing
                  This

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    If the horse is finishing in the money even for $5000 they very likely may not want to sell him. There is also the possibility of them hoping the horse will win and be claimed which will double the money for him.

                    As a trainer, I had no problem with someone asking me about a horse, I always took offers to the owner. Trainers act as agents for their owners, and many owners appreciate that. Most trainers are not making money off a horse that isnt running well and winning at least some of the time so wouldnt mind rehoming to make room for one that can.

                    It all depends on the dynamics in the barn where the horse is. Most trainers would appreciate being contacted first before someone calling one of their owners. Trainers can also be protective over their owners for various reasons, if you are interested in this horse I would advise talking to the trainer as a starting point.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Acertainsmile View Post
                      If the horse is finishing in the money even for $5000 they very likely may not want to sell him. There is also the possibility of them hoping the horse will win and be claimed which will double the money for him.

                      As a trainer, I had no problem with someone asking me about a horse, I always took offers to the owner. Trainers act as agents for their owners, and many owners appreciate that. Most trainers are not making money off a horse that isnt running well and winning at least some of the time so wouldnt mind rehoming to make room for one that can.

                      It all depends on the dynamics in the barn where the horse is. Most trainers would appreciate being contacted first before someone calling one of their owners. Trainers can also be protective over their owners for various reasons, if you are interested in this horse I would advise talking to the trainer as a starting point.
                      Have to agree to starting with the trainer. It's just a matter of respect and in most cases will go a long way in influencing the owner when the horse is to retire. You have to remember that many racing trainers do not have any idea of the level of soundness required to be even a pleasure horse. Many have had nonprofessionals make inaccurate comments to their owners which caused nothing but problems between the owner and trainer.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by alspharmd View Post
                        I don't think it's presumptuous or frowned upon at all. Many trainers really do care about their horses and enjoy finding good homes for them upon retirement. It's all going to depend on the trainer, but I would recommend just being tactful and respectful. Don't run to the trainer and tell him/her that you want to "rescue" his horse from the track or from the horrors of racing. Just tell him you're interested in giving the horse a home when the horse is ready to retire.

                        When I decided I wanted my horse, I added him to my Virtual Stable so that I got notifications every time he was going to race. Each time I put together a small bag of apples, carrots and assorted horse treats along with a letter stating I was interested in giving the horse a home when he was done racing. I went to the track and gave the bag to the trainer and let him know I was interested. I got a phone call after about 2 months of the horse racing unsuccessfully.

                        Keep in mind that trainers may not be ready to retire a horse just yet, but don't give up. On those same lines, though, a horse may still be running because the trainer has no other place for it to go, as not all trainers and owners have farms of their own.

                        Just be patient and respectful but mildly persistent.
                        I did about the same (no goody bag though!)...I got the call several years later.

                        Wished they had decided sooner to retire the horse. He is not rideable due to chips in a knee that is now very arthritic. I took him anyway; how could I not? Luckily, he is so easy to deal with and loves attention. He's a great turn out too and babysits another OTTB... I love him... I'll keep him forever.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          This occurs and it is so pitiful. When we were training, we tried to use our extra funds to help horses that were not competitive at the current meet. We found that trainers were willling to privately sell them, but they wanted to get as much money for them as possible. Sometimes this was because the owner had multiple horses and was behind on his training bill because of a shortage of funds or simply because they wanted the owner to purchase another horse and needed a way to fund the purchase.

                          What you maybe unaware of is that there always trainers and their agents from lower level meets scouting for these horses. As an example if a horse has shown courage in the past and is no longer competitive at the $5,000 level, they will approach the trainer about purchasing the horse to compete at a lower level track. They are certainly not going to pay the $5,000 or even $4,000 if they plan to run the horse for a $2,500-$4,000 tag since they are unlikely to make any money this way.

                          IMHO, horses racing at the lowest level at a racetrack are at the highest risk for future permanent unsoundness. If we want to help them we must intervene before they entire the downward spiral at the cheaper tracks. We have had to pay as much as $3,500 for a horse who is non competitive at the $5,000 level but by developing good relationships with the trainer, we have been allowed to physically examine the horse and even have a vet perform xrays.

                          We've also found that horses that we know are fit who run to the half and back up often have uncontrolled EIPH. With proper treatment and rest, these horses often transition really well into other careers.

                          You can certainly buy horses for less money or even free, but I found that you are going to spend that money one way or another if not purchasing the horse, then certainly in the vet bills.

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