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thinking about buying a foal in utero, advice or pros and cons please.

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  • thinking about buying a foal in utero, advice or pros and cons please.

    I am a rider/trainer that is thinking about buying an in utero foal. I was going to breed a mare this season, but due to complications it will not be possible. I have seen full siblings from the cross and have really liked them. Does anyone have any pros or cons. I think my biggest hurdle on this is buying something that is unknown and also the long wait before it is ridable.

    Advice please, has anyone ever done this and regretted it? I love the idea of getting a foal and raising it up in my program. I also am hooked on the dam and stallion as I know them them both. The mare is getting up there, and I am not sure how many more foals she will put on the ground.

  • #2
    I have also considered buying a mare to breed, then thought about a foal in utero. But after doing some searching I found that for a little more money I can buy a weanling or yearling and I already know what they look like. I think the extra money is worth being able to see what I am buying.
    Derby Lyn Farms Website

    Derby Lyn Farms on Facebook!

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    • #3
      would you, if you owned the mare and stallion, breed them and take the risks of getting a colt/filly, unknown color, etc?

      If so, not that much different buying in utero.. except most contracts you are guaranteed a foal.. or the breeding will be repeated.
      "Sadly, some people's greatest skill, is being an idiot". (facebook profile pic I saw).

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      • #4
        I would wait and buy an on-the-ground foal because the price is seldom much more than an in-utero and, not only can you see what you are buying, but you have a chance to meet the foal and have the opportunity to shop til you drop because there are so many, many lovely foals to see! I'm a breeder but I bought two foals last year, not having a mare due in 2010, and was able to buy two foals that really excited me. Buy in-utero is you are in love with the foal's pedigree but otherwise just enjoy shopping the many beautiful foals who have safely landed.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          I would breed the two and not care about color or gender. That is a good way to look at the situation. The previous two foals were outstanding, and I would be happy with either of them (although they are not for sale) hence why I would want the in utero option.

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          • #6
            The way the market is right now, it doesn't make economic sense to buy an in utero foal. An in utero foal is a very risky purchase. Having bred and raised plenty of foals I can tell you that they all turn out different. Full sibs are not always as similar as you'd think--sometimes they are VERY different and excel at different disciplines. And a LOT can go wrong in those first three years. Raising a foal from birth to being rideable takes a lot of money and work as well. It absolutely is cheaper to buy a two or three year old when you take that into account. Also, are you set up to raise a baby? Do you have another baby to turn this one out with?

            The only reason I would do it would be if I had my heart set on a foal with those particular parents. But even that doesn't make sense, because you would be more likely to end up with what you wanted by picking out a two or three year old that had the characteristics you wanted.

            I'm not saying don't do it since I don't know the particulars of the horses in question or the prices. But realistically in most cases in utero foals aren't a good financial deal. In utero foals appeal to people because of the great promise of the "perfect match" of two fabulous horses producing some fabulous imaginary foal. There's no real live horse with any conformation flaws or health issues or even just average looks or average movement standing in the way to make the buyer think sensibly. But the reality of breeding is that two fabulous parents can absolutely produce an average--or worse--baby. And if you end up with a baby you don't like, don't think you are going to get your money back, because the market for young stock is very poor right now.

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            • #7
              There are pros and cons for both the buyer of the in-utero and also the breeder (seller). I have seen it work both ways in pros and cons for both the good and the not so good. Much will depend on how your contract is written and basically also depend on fate. You cannot expect the breeder to take all the risks as usually in a in-utero contract, there is a substantial price reduction. And again, the buyer cannot be expected to take all the risks either and should end up with a healthy foal who can perform well.

              I had one in-utero contract foal born with serious problems. We though we were past the worst when it turned out the foal was septic at 3 weeks of age. The baby ended up a UC Davis for extenisive intervention and died anyway. The owners of that baby had to choose whether to treat the foal, as it was theirs, or whether to let her go. They chose to treat and cost them a lot of money. They did end up with another foal, at no additional cost, which I made sure of!

              Another in-utero died from the dam having a uterine bleed (Older mare). In that case I lost both the dam and the baby!!! So the buyer had to pick another dam and wait an additional year!

              I've also had it work out where everything went perfect and the buyer ended up with their dream foal which they couldn't have afforded to buy otherwise. They are still absolutely thrilled today.

              As a breeder, I choose not to sell in utero anymore as it can draw out the contracts for a very long time. It puts me in a position where I must breed to fullfill an agreement as opposed to just evaluating each year as it presents itself. I would rather take one year at a time and one foal at a time and make choices based on what is best for me and my mares rather than be indebted to someone and being forced to breed to finish obligations.

              Right now my mares and I are completely obligation free and I only bred 2 mares this year. It feels very good not to be under obligation to anybody! :-)
              Chris Misita
              www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
              To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
              Victor Hugo

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              • #8
                Of course there are cons to it, but one of the biggest pros is that you get your foot in the door and nobody else gets in ahead of you to buy the foal that you would have wanted!

                I have not purchased in utero only because I only want a specific gender, but I have been on waiting lists before, and then had first option to purchase a foal, and it has worked out very well for me.

                Personally, I like raising foals, whether ones I've bred or purchased. I like knowing their whole history, and teaching them the manners I want them to have. Being in charge of their care, training, etc in those early, formative stages is a huge plus, as far as I'm concerned.
                Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
                Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by rideagoldenpony View Post
                  Personally, I like raising foals, whether ones I've bred or purchased. I like knowing their whole history, and teaching them the manners I want them to have. Being in charge of their care, training, etc in those early, formative stages is a huge plus, as far as I'm concerned.
                  Me too!
                  Chris Misita
                  www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                  To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                  Victor Hugo

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                  • #10
                    thinking about

                    I bought an inutero filly option in 2007. It is a risk,,,so must be priced accordingly,,,you are buying the good, the bad and the maybe ugly. So an inutero should reflect that. As others said,,,you can go out and buy a nice baby for 8 - 15k,,,,so the inutero option should be priced much less,,,

                    I had a good outcome,,,nice healthy filly,,,who now is 4 and is in training. She turned out to be a delight and beautiful and I love her.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RTF View Post
                      I am a rider/trainer that is thinking about buying an in utero foal. I was going to breed a mare this season, but due to complications it will not be possible. I have seen full siblings from the cross and have really liked them. Does anyone have any pros or cons. I think my biggest hurdle on this is buying something that is unknown and also the long wait before it is ridable.

                      Advice please, has anyone ever done this and regretted it? I love the idea of getting a foal and raising it up in my program. I also am hooked on the dam and stallion as I know them them both. The mare is getting up there, and I am not sure how many more foals she will put on the ground.
                      I would say in your case the pros might out weigh the cons, because you like both the sire & the dam AND what they have produced prior.

                      But are you ready to take whatever gender/color you get? And, as others have noted, once you put the time & $$ into raising them up, it's not much cheaper than buying a 2-3 yr old. OBviously horses can hurt themselves at any time, but if your yearling hurts themselves, you are SOOL, whereas at least if you buy a 3yr old, you start from Ground Zero in this department.

                      That being said, I think there is nothing quite as satisfying as raising a foal from birth to riding age yourself. You know then who exactly is responsible for all they know (and don't know!)...YOU!

                      If you decide to proceed, just make sure your contract is well-spelled out, and covers stuff like gender, health issues (what you are willing to accept as a "healthy" foal), etc.

                      Good Luck!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        IMHO, your situation is an example of a great time to buy in utero. You know and love both parents, it is a proven combination, and you have seen more than one full sibling that you like. I would not hesitate to pursue an in utero contract under these conditions, assuming the terms are otherwise acceptable to you.

                        Good luck with whatever you decide!
                        Liz
                        Ainninn House Stud
                        Irish Draughts and Connemaras
                        Co. Westmeath, Ireland

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          There are some great pros and cons mentioned by posters above, however from a purely financial standpoint, purchasing in-utero can be very cost effective.

                          The standard is generally 25%-30% off the "on the ground" foal price when purchasing in-utero and depending on the particular contract, flexible payment terms are available until either birth of the foal or sometimes even until weaning.

                          We have purchased in-utero as well as sold foals in-utero and find that it is a great way to obtain the quality that we/clients are seeking without breaking the bank.
                          Ryu Equestrian & Facebook Page
                          Breeding Horses Today, for the Equestrian Sport of Tomorrow.
                          Osteen & Gainesville, Florida.

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                          • #14
                            Do it!

                            I just did it! I purchased an in utero and I was in your exact position. I LOVED the mare and stallion and the mare is getting older and who knows if I would have the chance again. I can see the argument of buying a foal who is already on the ground, but if you are attached to that match, you will probably be comparing them and you still might not find exactly what you want. When I was looking at foals before I went the in utero route I just couldn't find anything I really liked. I looked at a lot of foals out of stallions I liked and almost every single one I found were out of mares that I really didn't like. I found that the really quality foals I wanted to buy were already purchased. The foal I got from my purchase wasn't what I dreamed of as far as color and gender but I was flexible on both and my foal is amazing and I wouldn't change my decision for anything. That being said, I had a great contract and a fantastic breeder. I was comfortable with my contract. I put down a deposit and essentially my contract said I would lose my deposit if the foal was healthy and I changed my mind. I was willing to take the gamble as I didn't see myself doing that and in the world of horses, it wasn't that much to lose. I also see the argument of waiting to see what you have and buy the three year old. I like raising babies though so I wanted a baby. I really enjoy teaching them and playing with them as they grow up. Really I think the question you have to ask yourself is if someone beat you to the punch and bought the baby in utero when you could have, would you kick yourself or would you say, meh, there are tons of this stallion's babies out there, I will find another one. Good luck and feel free to PM me if you want any details about my process.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Can you put down a deposit to have "first dibs" so to speak, without actually committing to a full in-utero contract? Especially the way the market is right now you might get the best of both worlds like that. Good luck either way!
                              Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan

                              http://www.halcyon-hill.com

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