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Older Exracer?

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  • Older Exracer?

    Would you buy a 7 year old exracer who has had 32 starts? He's hot, looks really nicely put together. Aside from a little bit longish pasterns )and ears for that matter ) I like him a lot, but would like to know what you all would look for. He will be my next Eventer/Dressage horse.

    Also I know there are bloodlines to be wary of (breaking down bodily, or errant in the brain department, mean, etc)...but I don't know very much about them. Here is this guys pedigree:


    All your comments are really appreciated!
    Proud to be owned by Just Walter
    and member of the *Barefoot Eventers Clique*

  • #2

    Walter, assuming the guy has no obvious problems, I see no reason for you to be concerned about him. Is it the age you're concerned about? Number of starts?

    He had a fairly decent racing record and 32 starts isn't necessarily a lot.

    Of course, I have a 7 y.o. OTTB for sale and I would hope that his age isn't a red flag to potential buyers!


    • #3
      The number of starts a horse has should have no bearing on whether you buy them or not. I've had horses with 3 starts who are very fragile and not sound while I've had horses with 50 starts who are dead sound. You gotta examine each horse individually and ignore the number of starts they've had. If you want to look at anything, look at whether there were gaps of at least 6 months in their race record other than between the 2 and 3 year old years (when many babies buck shins or are simply given time off after a few starts).


      • #4
        We have a 12yo for adoption that raced until last year--he looks like a chubby quarter horse, and is very serious. I'd have no problem recommending him for a show career! If they make it through the racing wars until that age--then they are true war horses, and usually have great work ethics.

        We have found homes for an 11yo (who raced until he was 10 at about 9 different tracks) who is enroute to an eventing career, and a 10yo who is clean legged and sweet and a former stakes winner. Seven sounds like a baby to me!!!
        Turning For Home, Inc.
        Philadelphia Park Racehorse Retirement Program


        • #5
          I have a 10 year old

          Bought him from the track as an 8 year old with 61 starts! Just finishing up his first season of eventing.

          Go for it! They have a lot of try in them.
          In 1973, I got a 10 year old who had raced...... 172 times!! Yes, indeedy. He was my children's hunter and my father did dressage up to 1st level with him. And he had an old bow.
          My big man - April 27, 1986 - September 04, 2008-
          You're with me every moment, my big red horse.

          Be kinder than necessary, for everyone is fighting a battle of some kind.


          • #6
            I would have no objection to that...we currently have one in the barn that had 38 starts and I personally had a one I bought as a 4 yr old with over 45 starts...
            Look at them as individuals, some will hold up better than others...


            • #7
              Well heck. I bought one that was 10 years old with 130 races under his belt, and I wouldn't trade him for the world.

              By the way, if the horse you are looking at is Sendero born in 2002, that pedigree from pedigree query is quite incorrect.

              Here is the accurate pedigree: Sendero He's out of the Housebuster mare Ring of Kerry, not Ring by Spring.

              At current Sendero has 35 starts, 4 wins, 4 seconds, 5 thirds, $71,404 lifetime earnings with the bulk of that coming from his first year at the track. His starts have been spread out over 4 years; that's pretty conservative. That could mean he's just been raced lightly the last few years...or it could mean he's had something bugging him.

              All horses are individuals so go by what's in front of you. Get him vetted if you're concerned he hasn't held up.


              • #8
                Often the young lightly raced ones have more problems bc they weren't as fast and had to work harder to make it around the track resulting in injuries....
                My old war horse ran until he was 9, made a good bit of money, legs are not the prettiest but he has not taken a lame step in his new eventing career. As the other posters have advised, look at the individual.
                Be a part of the solution~ Adopt a thoroughbred!


                • #9
                  My OTTB raced until he was 13 with 120 starts (and finishes if I do say so myself). He's 25 now although no one told him that yet. He was being re-trained for dressage which would've been a good second career for him until his previous owner ran into financial troubles. I am a mere pleasure rider but my guy is SOLID. I agree that the ones with more starts are probably pretty darned tough physically.

                  One positive note to those who were on the track for longer than normal are very easy to work with when it comes to treating nicks/cuts/injuries. They are pros. I think they are used to people fawning over their legs.


                  • #10
                    ABSOLUTLY! Just last year, I purchased a 14 yr old who had just wrapped up racing. He has 145 starts and 275k in earnings. He is SOUND, SOUND, SOUND! If there are no major injuries, or issues, I say GO FOR IT!

                    My guy is now enjoying his new eventing career, and shows a ton of capability! I love the older warriors, as they are typically VERY professional, and know their jobs, and able to easily adapt.

                    Also, My former advanced event horse, Northlight (JC Diamondham) raced till he was 6, I got him when he was 7....he had 26 starts. He went on to have a very succesfull career as an event horse.

                    "Animals can sometimes take us to a place that we cannot reach ourself"

                    ** Support the classic Three Day Event! Ride a Long Format **


                    • #11
                      A long time ago, my trainer bought a horse that had 130+ starts. I believe he was 7. I don't even think she had him vetted. Crazy, but he was the soundest horse I've ever seen. The only time I ever remember him being lame was when he got kicked very badly during turnout.

                      I know for sure he did the modified jumpers, if not higher. He was passed around between several people in the barn over the years, and if I have my facts right, he just retired fully last year at 25.

                      I would never expect to get that lucky again, but it just goes to show that it can happen.

                      Today, I would vet the snot out of that horse, but if he looked good, and fit all my other requirements, I wouldn't hesitate to take him.


                      • #12
                        I've had 2 upper level event horses with 50+ starts (one had 100+ before switching to steeplechasing) and they were the soundest horses I've had, went for years, never an injection--oddly enough, more so than the unraced/lightly raced ones.

                        I guess there is something to be said for a body that holds up to all of that and retires sound.

                        If you are looking to resell, buying something older does put you (potentially) a couple years behind the competition, who came off the track and started their new careers at 3/4, but from a soundness perspective I wouldn't be more worried about that than I would be about any horse coming off the track (which I'd vet!)


                        • #13
                          Seven up- Why would you suggest "vetting the snot out of that horse" in particular? Yes, I always suggest having a vetting done, but a GOOD vet knows what to look for/at, and honestly, most of the times, the guys with that many starts tend to be iron horses. I bought my 14 yr old last year sight unseen (well, I had photos) and did not have a vetting done. Once he got down here, we had a PPE (Post purchase) and my vets comment (who is a sport horse lameness specialist) was "do you really want to see what the rads look like? You ride the horse, not the radiographs". Thomas was negative on all of his flexions even though he's got big front ankles. We know he's got calcification, but he's sound, and exceptionally athletic. We also know that he bowed LOW LOW when he was probably 2 and if he can run sound on it, and his ankle, then he's the kind of horse I want around.

                          If you "vet the snot" out of the horse, any vet will find some issue. Especially on an older campaigner. A good vet will know what you and the horse can live with for your chosen occupation.

                          Now, if you want the horse for resale, then, by all means, nit pick! as we all know how picky buyers can be.

                          Wanted to add.....My former Advanced horse never had injections done during his entire career. He never needed them. I see so many having to have them dome for maintaining soundness at the upper levels, but even my new guy hasn't needed anything done. They have iron legs apparently

                          "Animals can sometimes take us to a place that we cannot reach ourself"

                          ** Support the classic Three Day Event! Ride a Long Format **


                          • #14
                            The Exceller Fund took in a 9 year old horse with 138 starts. He is now a happy trail horse for his adoptive owner.


                            • #15
                              I have a campaigner of 70 starts and he turned eight in January (really he did - his birthday is indeed January 31st).

                              I didn't consider his age at all. The older campaigners are special!


                              • #16

                                I bought an 18 yr old ottb mare who had had 26 starts (3-4-5) and who had had 6 live foals.
                                Sound and well, a little hot, lol.

                                And she was the best horse I ever had, including the expensive German WB I still have.


                                • #17
                                  I am interested in a horse now that is 8 yrs old, 16.2hh, a mare and has had 68 starts over 6 yrs. She trotted out of her stall better than a lot younger ones!


                                  • #18

                                    If the horse has trained for just about anything as long as this guy has, a vet can find something unappealing about him.
                                    The nice thing about an old campaigner is that you usually know where the issues are instead of speculating about where they might be later. But, as other posters mentioned, what's even better is that the horse has already demonstrated that he uses himself well and stays sound enough to train and compete in a very demanding environment.
                                    I'd be a lot more interested in how he feels mentally about changing careers.
                                    "I never panic when I get lost. I just change where I want to go."
                                    -Rita Rudner


                                    • #19
                                      For my PERSONAL riding/show horses, I won't take an OTTB who is under 7. And frankly I prefer them even older than that!
                                      "The standard you walk by is the standard you accept."--Lt. Gen. David Morrison, Austalian Army Chief


                                      • #20
                                        Just a few I am thinking of off the top of my head that I got to know:

                                        Top Punch- (USA) gr/r. G, 1997 DP = 12-4-11-3-0 (30) DI = 2.53 CD = 0.83 - 50 Starts, 9 Wins, 5 Places, 8 Shows Career Earnings: $168,680

                                        He was donated to CANTER still racing sound as a 12yr. He was sound and well cared for and transitioned so quickly into his new career. My friend will be foxhunting him this winter but he has taken to everything she asks him to do. Solo trail rides, group trail rides, x-c schooling and more!

                                        Fleet Aint- dkb/br. G, 2000 DP = 10-0-10-4-0 (24) DI = 1.67 CD = 0.67 - 47 Starts, 5 Wins, 7 Places, 9 Shows Career Earnings: 88773

                                        I bought him from CANTER PA. He was sound with a bit of ankle osselets but he did have string halt. He was still sound and went on to a competitive event career.

                                        Craybaby Capt Sid- gr. G, 1994 DP = 8-11-19-1-1 (40) DI = 2.48 CD = 0.60 - 52 Starts, 5 Wins, 8 Places, 6 Shows Career Earnings: 101859

                                        He was a horse my mom bought later in his life but he raced a long career and was sound.

                                        I think these older horses have a lot to offer and if they can stay sound racing then a performance career is not likely to be anymore difficult.