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non-race buyers at the auctions

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  • non-race buyers at the auctions

    I recently attended the Oregon TB breeders auction and was amazed at how low the prices were, especially on the broodmares checked in foal. Is this typical for the region or are prices plummeting? There were several people there who did not want me to purchase their prospects, understandably as it helps neither their mare nor stallion to have offspring that are not running. I don't know how you can come close to making a living when your stock are selling for 300-1500 a pop. I purchased a lovely yearling gelding by Snowbound and am thrilled with him. I'm wondering if marketing to the sporthorse people might not help the situation, especially out west.

  • #2
    The prices were pretty typical of the Oregon sale. It's always a "buyer's market", especially for the mares. From what I understand, most race breeders don't want to youngsters going to show homes due to the loss of potential breeders bonuses. If this is incorrect information, someone please feel free to correct me. I know that I've run into the same problem when looking for a new show horse, but as soon as the youngsters hit the track and don't do well, you can get them for very low prices.

    Which hip number did you get?
    www.StoneLilyFarm.net

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      hip no. 12 by Snowbound out of Shake em up I think her name was. I am thrilled with him so far. Very nice disposition. Seems to take everything in stride. I think will make a very nice hunter as he is very typey. I spent 10,000 trying to get my mares pregnant this year and have no babies coming. It's tempting to never want to breed again when you can pick up decent prospects for so little $$$$. Do you know anything of the Snowbound offspring?

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by incahoots View Post
        Do you know anything of the Snowbound offspring?
        Congrats on your new fella Snowbound has as sporthorse son, Snowbound Paisley standing stud as a dual registered sabino TB/Paint:

        http://www.ahshling-stables.com/index.shtml

        Comment


        • #5
          Congratulations on your new purchase!
          You're absolutely correct in that race breeders would prefer their foals to go to racing homes. When you're selling horses for $300, breeders' awards are about the only chance you have to make up some money. And, UR foals don't help mares at all.

          Did sellers actually ask you want your plans for the horse were? Some of the polo guys I know frequent some of these smaller sales and seem to be welcomed with open arms. And, they are definitely shopping for horses that would have a decent shot on the track.

          The thing is, there is a sort of uneasy relationship between sport TB breeders and racing TB breeders. I see this first hand as an officer of our state TOBA chapter. Things are just different between sport and racing and while I think each group supports the other one, the racing group doesn't want too much co-mingling. My point being, marketing to the sport horse buyers (which does make sense) would also open the sale to sport horse sellers and the fear would be (whether realistic or not) that race buyers would not want to weed thru a bunch of sport pedigrees and would just not attend the sale.

          As for $300 - $1,500 horses, I don't see how the sellers do it, either. It's very sad.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            they didn't actually ask me, but I offered it a couple of times and "Please don't buy my filly" kind of frantically was what I got. I totally understand that though and decided to honor her request, not bidding on her very nice filly. I then kept my mouth shut. It's too bad the relationship between sporthorse breeders and racing breeders wasn't better, I saw some very nice horses at this sale and it was shocking they were going for those prices. I wonder if fewer and fewer horses will be going to these auctions if the pricing continues at this level. It does seem sad to me.....

            Comment


            • #7
              Great purchase incahoots! He's lovely! My husband had his eye on that gelding, but we ended up taking a couple of others home.
              www.StoneLilyFarm.net

              Comment


              • #8
                This seems to be the case in many of the auctions in states where racing is not popular and lucrative. It makes no sense why these breeders breed mares who have no pedigree and who've done nothing, to stallions who are pretty much the same way. I guess they just get their kicks from playing with foals because they sure aren't making money. Its a shame with so many unwanted Tbs out there already.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by saratoga View Post
                  This seems to be the case in many of the auctions in states where racing is not popular and lucrative. It makes no sense why these breeders breed mares who have no pedigree and who've done nothing, to stallions who are pretty much the same way. I guess they just get their kicks from playing with foals because they sure aren't making money. Its a shame with so many unwanted Tbs out there already.

                  My guess is that these owners and breeders are hoping to get lucky, that's what keeps so many people in the racing business, owners, trainers and breeders...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    There were several people there who did not want me to purchase their prospects
                    These breeders certainly don't have a clue.... Even when a horse is sold at a Fasig-Tipton sale it doesn't assure that the horse will make it to the track. A lot of horse people shop at the better sales to get prospects for the line, partly because they are assured of getting the registration papers with the purchase (unlike private purchases where the seller typically uses the papers as leverage to extort more money out of the buyer) .

                    If I were a breeder I would be more than thrilled if a foal of mine just went to a great home (because most of the time they don't even make enough money to cover the cost of the breeding) . Let's face it--Oregon is simply not the racing capitol of the U.S. If they want their foals to race only then they should either send the foals to the East to a better recognized sales, cultivate connections in the racing industry or breed for more "fashionable" foals so racing folks fall over themselves bidding on them.

                    Hey, it's still a "free" country. In the future I would ignore the requests of the breeders and bid on the foal if you really like it.... Of course it would help the breeders pocketbooks if they pandered to the sporthorse crowd but I suspect there are a lot of deluded Thoroughbred breeders in Oregon who think they are selling the next Secretariat...

                    Congrats on your new purchase!!!!
                    "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by saratoga View Post
                      This seems to be the case in many of the auctions in states where racing is not popular and lucrative. It makes no sense why these breeders breed mares who have no pedigree and who've done nothing, to stallions who are pretty much the same way. I guess they just get their kicks from playing with foals because they sure aren't making money. Its a shame with so many unwanted Tbs out there already.

                      Yeah I don't understand it either. Most of these horses sell so cheap because in racing parlance they ARE cheap. They have no pedigree at all, not even the own son of an own son in some cases. When someone has a good pedigree it usually sells well (well assuming the legs aren't on at right angles). They'd be better off sending their breeding stock to show homes and going and picking up better bred mares in foal at some of the larger state sales (like Keeneland Jan) or OBS where you can find good pedigrees in foal to good stallions for a song because they aren't quite as fashionable or the mare is older. Heck if you haunt the canter pages or the backstretch you can find better breeding in horses they are getting ready to can! Those can be had for a song too!

                      But as a buyer I'd just buy what I want. If they want to control where the horses go they should sell privately. Otherwise be happy that the horses SOLD and to a good home. Most of those horses will nver be successful on the track anyway. Most RACEhorses are not successful wherever they are.
                      Every mighty oak was once a nut that stood its ground.

                      Proud Closet Canterer! Member Riders with Fibromyalgia clique.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by SleepyFox View Post
                        You're absolutely correct in that race breeders would prefer their foals to go to racing homes. When you're selling horses for $300, breeders' awards are about the only chance you have to make up some money. And, UR foals don't help mares at all.
                        This was my amateur guess. Not only do the breeders' awards generate income, but selling foals that are going to be unraced is a vicious cycle - the mare never has any foals that race (and possibly win) to increase her value as a broodmare.

                        Again, just an amateur, detatched opinion...

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          If show horse buyers can outbid the race buyers, then the race buyers didn't want the horse that much. I think it is excellent that show buyers come to the yearling sales, good for the show buyers AND for the sales, to give the race buyers a bit of competition. At least the show buyers can give the intial bid, maybe get the bidding rolling a bit until the race buyers realize that the horse is actually being sold. If the show buyer ends up with the horse, good for them. That's an auction.

                          Half the time, show buyers buying off the track do nothing but complain about race training, potential injuries that the horse may have, the retraining that they need to do to change the way the horse carries himself. And they don't want to pay much for an OTTB. But for young unbroke WBs, they pay. Solution... buy TB yearlings that the race buyers won't pay big money for, and do the training themselves. The breeders may whine a bit sometimes, but when you are breeding unproven lines, that is the way of the world, and the chance of an auction.
                          www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If it's any consolation, I would have been thrilled to have you buy my mom's colt. Congrats on the Snowbound, he was stalled just down from us and is a looker. The Snowbounds I've dealt with have been very smart and easy going.

                            A couple that did bid (and thankfully did not buy as my mom ended up keeping him) on the colt bought his sister two years ago. She is still unraced so I asked how she was doing. They went into a long tirade about how she was really fast, showed a lot of promise, grew a ton after they got her broke and on and on. They really liked her and they really wanted the colt. Then I asked how come she hadn't started or had any works and they "sadly" told me that they couldn't afford to keep her and they took her to the Enumclaw auction.

                            First off, I work really hard to make sure anyone who buys horses from me knows that I will ALWAYS buy them back, but second, WTF are they doing looking to buy horses if they couldn't afford the two that they had (they also took a Danjur colt to the auction)??????? I was unhappy to see my mom keep her horse, but THANK GOODNESS she did not sell him to those people. Sorry for the vent. They too, bought a snowbound at the sale. People drive me crazy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I don't think it's fair to say that the breeders don't have a clue. It's not just the breeder's awards, it's trying to "make" your mare and get her offspring out there to race. For regional stallions and mares they are looking for regional racing stock - it may seem low-end to you, and sometimes it is, but we low-enders often have contingency plans and can race them or sell them as hunters ourselves. I personally want to see my babies go to good racing homes and would be disappointed to not have a chance to prove certain mares. For instance, I have a mare who is pregnant with her first foal. I have put a lot of time and money into getting her in foal as well as the stud fee and the cost of raising the foal to sell as a weanling or yearling and put it through the sale. If that baby does not make enough at the sale to make a profit, I can either keep the foal (put a reserve on it) and race it myself, or I can let it go cheaply and hope that a good racing outfit can bring out the best and get a regional stakes winner or better to put some more black type on my mare. This will make her next foal and her more valuable. In the meantime, I have to wait basically 3 or 4 years from conception to see if that foal is a success, so if that one gets sold to a non-racing home, I have no shot and have to start from scratch. I know that can happen even if they do go to a racing home (injuries etc), but I usually have more information (was the foal too slow, was it a bad trainer, what type of injury and how) - alll things to improve my breeding pland or to determine whether to breed at all. I have no information if the horse goes on to be a hunter (unless it's a great hunter and I can market that way, but have to wait even longer and market to a different crowd - I'd be better off with warmbloods at that point imo).

                              On the other hand, I do the hunters myself and have had plenty of worries about those babies as well, so it;s not necessarily a matter of knowing that they are going to a good home. It's also such a different market - I recently sold a yearling that got no bid at the sales for $20K to a show home, so obviously the marketing aspect is different. Anyway, I would say your best bet is to not say you are buying for other than a racing home when you are looking at an auction - it depresses the owners/breeders lol. On the other hand, I like to follow my babies and step in if needed, so I'd find out anyway and cheer you on after my first bit of disappointment.

                              Not trying to be too defensive here, but this is the Racing board and I have to say that regional breeders are not all stupid lol, and that this is a passion/hobby/business to us just like hunters, dressage and eventing are to others, so to make judgements you need to look at what may be involved. In our case we are very small (4 mares and some youngstock), and we stay regional and try to get lucky or make our own luck or do the right thing if we have no luck ).

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by summerhorse View Post
                                the own son of an own son
                                what does this mean? two phrases I can't figure out are:

                                own son
                                and
                                three parts of a length.

                                perhaps someone can educate me.
                                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

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Three parts of a length is 3/4 I would guess.

                                  Own son is used to identify, well, own sons (or daughters) of noteworthy and prolific sires. Sort of separates them from the grandsons, uncles, cousins and what not that get touted as a "famous name" when they are 3-6 generations down the line.

                                  For example, in the Pony world you hear "oh, he's a Blue Rain" for something that does have him back there...somewhere. Likewise we say "Oh he's Nashrulla" and it is there waaay back thru all kinds of sometimes no name descendents.

                                  Think of it as saying you have an own son of Secretariat who is an own son of Bold Ruler. Both very popular in their day and both prolific with lots of generations on the ground.
                                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    it's trying to "make" your mare and get her offspring out there to race. For regional stallions and mares they are looking for regional racing stock
                                    What witherbee says. A lot of it is proving your stock. If a mare's produce record shows 'unraced' for an offspring, particularly full siblings, then people will wonder why that particular baby didn't get to the races. It may be that s/he was too slow, didn't hold up, died, became a family pet, whatever, but it sort of 'stains' the produce record. Ditto for stallions - if a chunk of their get isn't making it to the track, people will question it. I know of free stallion services being offered to people who are breeding to race purely because the stallion owner wants to prove the stallion's offspring on the track.

                                    Yes, a good home is the best thing, but racing homes can be good too. Although if the horse can't race/doesn't want to race, then other career options should be explored.

                                    Just a little input from the other side.
                                    Delicious strawberry flavored death!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by witherbee View Post
                                      For instance, I have a mare who is pregnant with her first foal. I have put a lot of time and money into getting her in foal as well as the stud fee and the cost of raising the foal to sell as a weanling or yearling and put it through the sale. If that baby does not make enough at the sale to make a profit, I can either keep the foal (put a reserve on it) and race it myself, or I can let it go cheaply and hope that a good racing outfit can bring out the best and get a regional stakes winner or better to put some more black type on my mare. This will make her next foal and her more valuable.
                                      Something to be considered here: If you are trying to make your mare, even for a regional program, you really need to be able to afford to keep the baby and race it yourself, rather than relying on the market to do it for you. And I don't mean that as an insult in any way, because from what you said in your post, I suspect that you have this contingincy taken care of.
                                      But what usually happens with really cheap TBs of any breeding is that even when racing people buy them, those folks don't have the money to actually get them to the races in a proper fashion so they choose the cheapest trainer available regardless of ability, or they can't pay a trainer, so they decide to learn to train their new purchase on their own, or they give the horse to a trainer on a "deal", which usually means the trainer can't really afford to keep the horse properly, either.
                                      That is generally why they were buying cheap prospects to begin with. They have little money to spend, so they want a bargain, and as everyone knows, the purchase price is the least expensive part of owning a racehorse.
                                      I've sold a ton of horses privately, and at the sale, from close to a million dollars, down to barely over a thousand, and I've seen it happen time after time. The high priced horses go to the good trainers and get every advantage, and the low dollar ones go to the bargain basement types, and are rarely ever seen again. Which is not to say that the cheap horses didn't have great potential, just that they didn't wind up with owners who could afford to bring that potential out. The poor horses had three strikes against them before they even got out of the gate.
                                      Sometimes it works out differently, and the cheap horse gets good owners who take their time and spend the money needed to get him to the races the right way, but if you are depending on that baby to make your mare, do you want to take that chance?
                                      Last edited by SkyBeauty; Oct. 10, 2007, 05:14 PM. Reason: quote feature didn't work correctly
                                      ~ Stephanie

                                      If ignorance is bliss, why aren\'t a lot more people happy?

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Thank you Sky Beauty for your post--that was part of the message I was trying to get across but couldn't quite hit on.

                                        The other thing is--breeding is supposed to be a business. If you don't sell your foals then you don't have the money to do other things. It's great that some people keep their foals if they don't sell and race them themselves, but how many people can actually afford to do that???

                                        As far as buying low end foals--you could have purchased the next Secretariat but if you don't have a decent person to train it and a trailer to get it to the races who's going to know that???? You have to have the financial wherewithall to actually get that foal trained and to the races!

                                        And how many foals does it take to "prove" your mare??? Is winning a couple races at Penn National going to actually prove anything???? Now, if it won a Grade 3 or a Grade 1 race I'd say "Yeah, that's proof!".

                                        I'm able to see both sides but when it comes to making money it wouldn't upset me if someone would buy a foal to race or to show. But, if it bothers you why would you send the foal to an auction where either could happen? Why would you not try to sell the foal privately or at a different venue???
                                        "I'm not much into conspiracy theories but if everyone thinks alike you don't need a plot!" ~person from another bulletin board whose name has been long forgotten~

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