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How much should I expect to pay...

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  • How much should I expect to pay...

    How much should I expect to pay for a broodmare? First of all let me say that I'm not currently shopping but am starting to see what my options are. I have a couple mares that I absolutely love but are more "hunter" in type and I want to focus on upper level jumpers. So after I sell those two lovely ladies I'll start shopping for a good broodie for a jumper breeding program. Ideally, I am looking for a holsteiner mare from a good stamm. My first inclination is to buy an older experienced mare (that way we won't both be complete newbies) but would be open to buying a younger maiden.

    So what should I be expecting to pay? Is it fairly difficult to find a quality broodmare that is reproductively sound? I have seen quite a few that are for sale because they have had trouble staying in foal in their older years. How much of a gamble is buying a maiden (obviously assuming that the prepurchase exam includes a repro exam)? Any suggestions on where to look or any tips on shopping?

  • #2
    Broodmare prices can be all over the map. I have gotten several through connections for next to nothing; these were good mares retiring from the show world and teenage maidens - so a bit risky for a breeder. One worked out and has had 3 foals but is probably now retired, 1 broke a leg and had to be euthanized while pregnant with her first foal, one was a money pit that never got pregnant and has been a pasture pet for the last 6 years or so. These mares had good motherlines - not outstanding, but they had GP careers. I've been offered a few other mares that had GP careers but I turned them down because their motherlines were underwhelming.
    I also bought one as a 6 yo that had been showing and doing Young Jumpers - her price was what you would expect to pay for a young horse at this level of competition. She has a very good motherline.
    Last year, I was shopping for a new broodmare and narrowed my search to 3 that were all imported, but already in the states. They were all between 9-12 years old. Two had good motherlines and one had a fantastic motherline. They were all open but not maidens. One was not sound to hardly do more than trot. They were priced between 12k and 18k.
    I've also shopped in Germany and have a mare over there now. For a young mare from an interesting branch of a good stamm, I'd expect to pay at least 15000 euros. Keep in mind it is easy to find or buy mares from stamm 776 or 104a or whatever you fancy, but finding a mare that is from a branch of the stamm that has actually been productive is a little harder, and you get what you pay for.

    The hardest part about shopping in the US is finding good motherlines. You can find mares with big name sires but a motherline that had never produced anything. FWIW, good quality broodmares in the US are hard to find and seem to be rarely advertised. I've had the most luck directly contacting farms who had programs I respected. I've also casually searched some ads for competition mares from time to time and found some show mares that looked very promising, but of the course their prices were not cheap.
    www.newstandardsporthorses.com

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    • #3
      I absolutely agree! When a breeder has a quality mare from a good motherline, she will rarely be for sale. Occasionally, a breeder may offer one but there is usually a reason ... i.e. financial issues, has too many horses, upgrading herd, mare has reproductive issue, mare is not producing well, etc.

      Retired performance mares from not special motherlines are easy to find and are typically not expensive, but I would much rather get an exceptional filly and raise her as a broodmare prospect.

      In regards to where to buy, I would suggest checking with the breeders who are producing what you like and they should be able to send you in the right direction. They may even have a mare in the herd that they are phasing out but haven't advertised.

      Originally posted by Krallen View Post
      The hardest part about shopping in the US is finding good motherlines. You can find mares with big name sires but a motherline that had never produced anything. FWIW, good quality broodmares in the US are hard to find and seem to be rarely advertised. I've had the most luck directly contacting farms who had programs I respected. I've also casually searched some ads for competition mares from time to time and found some show mares that looked very promising, but of the course their prices were not cheap.

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        Thanks for the replies- this is definitely helpful info!

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        • #5
          Buying an old mare that is pregnant is okay, but one should ask,"who would sell a good broodmare that still has babies". You wouldn't catch me selling any of my broodmares if they were producing well for me. That being said, some breeders in Europe are getting out of the business, and you can sometimes pick up a good one that way. It does happen, but I wouldn't count on it.

          However, you have a much better chance recouping your investment, and improving the chance of getting a good broodmare buying one before it is 3. This is before anyone has figured out it is already producing well. If you buy one after they have had foals you will always be asking why they sold her. Was it a cull? Always buy one from a good stamm, and directly from a mother who is producing. If you buy a foal from a mare who is being used by a good breeder, then you know you are buying from a mare that they still believe in. Remember, a good pedigree is not just a list of good stallions in a row. There must be purpose to each breeding. Many good fillies have been purchased from the best breeders, and generations later they have produced nothing. Yet, the original breeder continues to produce. A good mare can be bred poorly to produce less then desirable results. A couple of generations of breeding in the wrong direction can ruin a good mareline.

          Another word of advice, look here first, and go the breeders of Holsteiners. We do have some good breeders here, and some have already done the work for you. It is better, as you will have a chance to learn about the mother and other siblings. This is more valuable sometimes then getting the best mare. If you exhaust that search and decide to go abroad go to where the Holsteiners are and go with someone who knows where the best ones are. In Holstein it is all about who you know and that relationship. It is highly unlikely that you can be successful on your own. A German will happily sell you his worst foal if you will buy it. Unless you look at Hundreds of foals, knowing how to buy the right one is near impossible.

          Lastly, and I stress this. A sport horse, and a breeding horse are two totally different things. As others have said, there are plenty of washed up sport mares, but remember there was reason they were not retained for breeding in the first place.

          Tim
          Sparling Rock Holsteiners
          www.sparlingrock.com

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          • #6
            Originally posted by RyTimMick View Post
            Buying an old mare that is pregnant is okay, but one should ask,"who would sell a good broodmare that still has babies". You wouldn't catch me selling any of my broodmares if they were producing well for me. That being said, some breeders in Europe are getting out of the business, and you can sometimes pick up a good one that way. It does happen, but I wouldn't count on it.
            Someone who needs money? Someone who decides to stop breeding? Someone who happens to have a broodmare who throws fabulous hunters, but wants to breed dressage?

            Seriously, horses are a luxury. Life happens and good horses are sold for a myriad of reasons, all of them might have nothing to do with the horse itself.

            I think you can most certainly find an older mare, a proven mare, for sale without there having anything wrong with the mare...
            www.EquusMagnificus.ca
            Breeding & Sales
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