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Registry ---- What would you do if?

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  • Registry ---- What would you do if?

    Sorry for the mystery here, but I have a very awkward and difficult decision to make regarding my current registry. Again, sorry but the background of my situation is a bit long…….but, I really do need some good advice and pitfalls of any decision I go with regarding the registry.

    I started breeding on the west coast a few years ago after purchasing a pregnant broodmare. I joined the registry that had inspected her the previous year. She has since had two additional foals for me. Two years ago, and after numerous years of discussions, my husband and I decided to move east with our herd. Unfortunately, I was still under contract and not able to move with my husband, and given we still had a property to sell, I needed to graduate a few students and pack up our shared laboratory it seemed like a good idea to place our horses with an established breeder/trainer near my husband’s workplace. I did my homework, called around talked to a number of individuals and one person stood out above the rest of pack. Like us, the individual had recently moved to the area, putatively had good reputation and certainly appeared competent to care for horses in all stages of growth and age based on what I was told. My husband checked out the place, liked the person, and in late fall I shipped 7 horses that included a pregnant mare, open broodmare, a yearling, a two-yr old, two retired elderly individuals and my husband’s competition horse. <there is a lot that goes here that I won’t bore people with> In short, my husband copied me on a number of emails between him and the owner of the farm that alerted me to a significant problem in March. I arrived in April to find all the horses underweight and the babies in significant stages of malnutrition (2yr old 2+, 1yrling = 3-). I took pictures, had a veterinarian out to do the body condition scores and observe the field behavior, and then promptly moved the horses off the property to a respected boarding facility using a local professional transporter. It was ugly scene and the horses were mentally as well as physically damaged. They are all fine now, but it took 6-9 months of doubling up on feed to correct the physical damage.

    Fast forward……. The individual hosted a registry inspection at the farm last year, but I declined to set foot on the property opting to transport the mare/foal six hours to a different inspection site. This year, I requested from the registry that an inspection be done at a neutral facility where there would be unlimited stalling and places for participants to eat and find lodging (not available at the current site). The registry wrote back and said thank you, but no thank you as they felt loyalty to the individual in question.

    So, I have three mare/foal combinations and two additional young mares for inspection this year including the poor, formerly starving 2yr old that is now 4. I just can’t bring myself to go back this farm that was partially built by withholding feed to my horses. Vanning the horses to another state is out of the question with fuel costs…

    What are my options: changing to a different registry or see if I can get a home site visit from inspectors (but then that will hurt my business),…….what would you do?

  • #2
    Why would it hurt your business to have a "home site visit" from the registry inspectors?


    • #3
      I think I would see about a home inspection or investigate other registries. Unless the registry you're associated with is one of what I would call a semi-closed (AHS, AHHA, ATA), then I think there are enough reputable registries that you would be happy with.
      Home of Sea Accounts xx
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      • #4
        Wow! I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience Hard to believe a reputable breeder would let that happen, but unfortunately it's not the first time I've read about that sort of thing on this BB.

        If I was happy with my registry, I think I would try to separate them from my personal feelings for this breeder. It's not as if you were putting your horses back in her care to attend an inspection for one day at her farm. I would hate to have to spend additional money having my mares re-inspected by a different registry just to avoid her. It's a difficult and awkward situation, but I would try to do what is best for me and my horses without allowing her to influence my decision.

        On the other hand, if I had eight horses needing inspection, I would be trying very hard to get a home site inspection for them. Seems like that would be so much easier on everyone. I'm not sure how that would hurt your business. Aren't the scores published in some from by the registry?

        Good luck to you whatever you decide!
        Last edited by tuckawayfarm; Jun. 20, 2008, 03:48 PM. Reason: typo


        • Original Poster

          Site visit -- good business?

          I get the impression that most of you feel requesting a site visit is the way to go.......

          The reason I suggested this might not be a good from the standpoint of the business are threefold:

          1) my understanding is that foals are not given a numerical score (which granted often doesn’t reflect quality, but people looking to buy seem to want to know the movement score or whether it was premium or not),

          2) if the option is not available for the foal to be consider “premium” by the registry then over the long run of a broodmare’s history – she will not be given the recognition by the registry (e.g. * award for quality of foals, etc.), and

          3) it’s not a public forum, no exposure to potential buyers.

          I'm trying to build a new business. Reputation seems to be everything in this field, and the inspection provides an avenue for me to meet prospective buyers, learn from other breeders all the while providing an opportunity for the horses to be seen and their temperaments evaluated under stressful, but controlled conditions.


          • #6
            [QUOTE=Derid;3303750]I get the impression that most of you feel requesting a site visit is the way to go.......

            The reason I suggested this might not be a good from the standpoint of the business are threefold:

            1) my understanding is that foals are not given a numerical score (which granted often doesn’t reflect quality, but people looking to buy seem to want to know the movement score or whether it was premium or not), "

            My comment is what is the difference then if the foal is looked at privately or in public if the foals are given no scores? I know many who are members of registries that have no scores for foals. They still sell.

            "2) if the option is not available for the foal to be consider “premium” by the registry then over the long run of a broodmare’s history – she will not be given the recognition by the registry (e.g. * award for quality of foals, etc.), and"

            It really doesn't matter what foal scores are. It's literally 1 day in the life of the foal. What matters is what the horse is at riding age. If your mares have offspring that are doing well under saddle or did well at their 3 yr old inspection if they are mares.

            "3) it’s not a public forum, no exposure to potential buyers."

            I've been to large and small site inspections for a couple of registries. Most folks who attend are breeders and not really buyers. At least that has been my experience. A good website, video footage and ads will do much more for you than a foal having 2 minutes of ring time. I understand networking helps but in all honesty, I think a home site inspection is the way to go for you.
            "Sometimes you just have to shut up and color."


            • #7
              I would do a home site visit or change registries. But bear in mind that changing registries could involve a lot of tedious paperwork, not insubstantial fees, and possibly, a requirement that the mares be re-inspected, depending on the registry.
              Roseknoll Sporthorses


              • #8
                Why would you join a club that does not want you as a member? Vote with your feet. There are lots of other registry options. They all have a somebody with a german accent who will give you a piece of paper in exchange for money.


                • Original Poster

                  Moving feet and business.....

                  Yes, facinated......I understand your point, my husband and I have spent a year literally agonizing over what we should have done differently and what we should do now…….this may sound stupid to some of you, but first we were embarrassed and humiliated for having placed our horses in the hands of this individual, since then we have tried avoiding any interaction (which clearly is not in our best interest or others that have since fallen into the clutches).

                  What’s done is done. If I had any power, I would try to persuade other breeders (as others have on this and other forums) that we start over with sport horse registries in the USA. I’ve had a lot of time to think this over….and some things bother me more than they should, such as:

                  - Why should I put a German brand on the hip of my USA bred individual?
                  - The registries have all been coming to the USA long enough that they could have chosen to diversify the nationalities of the inspectors. Why haven’t they?
                  - Many of the current inspectors have a clear conflict of interest, in that they breed and sell horses to clients in the USA.
                  - USA board member are chosen by the registries, I would like to have some say in who represents my interests, and my biggest pet peeve is
                  -Why are US-bred horses not better supported by USEF/USDF, etc.. Some days on their website or in an issue of their respective magazines there isn't a single US-bred horse to be found.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by facinated View Post
                    Why would you join a club that does not want you as a member? Vote with your feet. There are lots of other registry options. They all have a somebody with a german accent who will give you a piece of paper in exchange for money.
                    WOW - I don't think that I've ever heard a more cynical response!
                    Oldenburg foals and young prospects
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                    • #11
                      Originally Posted by facinated
                      Why would you join a club that does not want you as a member? Vote with your feet. There are lots of other registry options. They all have a somebody with a german accent who will give you a piece of paper in exchange for money.

                      Originally posted by Iron Horse Farm View Post
                      WOW - I don't think that I've ever heard a more cynical response!
                      ahhh, but SO true. Someone I know used to say "an accent and _ _ _ _ _" <certain anatomy>

                      We do need a North American organization run by an ELECTED board of breeders, riders, trainers, judges, and vets.


                      • #12
                        Sorry you had a tough time with your horses, and I do see your point now about how your business might be affected. I don't know what registry you are referring to, but the only ones that I can think of that use German inspectors, give numerical scores to foals, award foal premiums, and brand are ISR, RPSI, and WHA (are they even still operational in the U.S.?).

                        Sounds like your options are to either have the private inspection, change registries, or not register at all. I never recommend the latter because I think every horse should have a paper trail, and you obviously aren't keen on the idea of a private inspection. So why not change registries? You indicated that your mares need to be inspected anyway. Are they eligible for another registries mare books?


                        • Original Poster


                          Thanks to all that have responded thus far, my husband and I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions. I even feel better…..

                          To DownYonder – I agree with you that all horses need a paper trail, and so I don’t consider NOT registering an animal a viable option. As far as changing registries that remains an option, but as I sift through the alternative registry sites for information on qualifications and fees it’s clear that not all of my mares would be eligible for main mare books. So, I guess I’m warming to the idea of a private inspection. Now, I just need to see if the registry is willing to come to my farm. Hopefully, since it’s on the way to the airport and they don’t have another inspection listed for the day after they will be willing to help me out.


                          • #14
                            If I were in your shoes I personally would write a letter to the registry clearly detailing the negligence of the BO and include the veterinary report with the BCS and photo's.

                            I would, very nicely, explain that due to the interaction between you and BO that they may well feel it is in their benefit to hold inspections elsewhere. The registry would need a reason better then food and lodging to want to move the inspection and one would hope proof of abuse (although its a shame you didn't press charges) would taint the water enough to help them move to neutral ground.

                            I have horse to sell to you. Horse good for riding. Can pull cart. Horse good size. Eats carrots and apples. Likes attention. Move head to music. No like opera! You like you buy.


                            • #15
                              Personally, I think PHR, IHF nominations or any such documentation combined with DNA testing should be enough "paper trail" for anyone.


                              • #16
                                I would not continue to use that registry. In general, I think someone who is loyal to a sleezeball is not somebody I would associate with for free. To pay to be a member of this exclusive registry would cause me great angst, and I would leave. Sorry, there are plenty of great 'associations' and 'registries' who can satisfy my needs.


                                • #17
                                  I think it was Woody Allen "I would not want to be associated with any club which would allow me to become a member" or something like that.


                                  • #18
                                    I agree with JSM. Send the registry a letter explaining WHY you don't want to go to the scheduled inspection. Include the vet report, photos, etc. Then explain that you requested that they move the inspection, but since they declined, and since it is clear by the photos and vet reports that you do not want your horses on that property again nor do you want to associate with such breeders, would they please grant you a home inspection? If they say no, switch registries. But maybe this will convince them that they need to move their inspection (at least starting next year) and that they don't want to be associated with this breeder either. Good luck.


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by fish View Post
                                      Personally, I think PHR, IHF nominations or any such documentation combined with DNA testing should be enough "paper trail" for anyone.
                                      It wouldn't be for me unless I was purchasing a gelding as a riding horse prospect. I would not buy any fillies for my program that were not registered with a recognized breed registry (in my case, I only breed Hanoverians and Dutch, and the horse would have to at least be eligible for registration with either of those registries).
                                      Roseknoll Sporthorses


                                      • #20
                                        I had 2 thoughts. First, I would go with the home inspection. Money talks. If you have 8 horses that is well over the cost of them driving to your farm for a 1/2 day inspection. Since you will not be at the other location obvioulsy that inspection will take less time.

                                        In defense of the registry. Some people can put up a good front and talk a good game. Obviously the owners of the place sold themselves to you. The inspectors might only see the office and the arena where the inspections are to be held. They might never see a horse that is stabled there other than the owners (and they might not even present a mare/foal/stallion each year) They inspectors usually don't have time to "tour the place" unless they are specifically invited by the owner. It is very easy to put the "best looking horses" in the main barn or "turn everyone out" while they are there.