I find horses to be more honestly and accurately represented in Europe
When buying young horses here, it seemed like every warmblood breeder was convinced that all their stock was Olympic calibre...and as long as they didn't start any of that stock, they could keep charging insane prices for it. The ones that were started, and doing average-to-well...they STILL had ludicrous price tags, and usually a long story about how the rider sucked, or the trainer wasn't good, or there was a freak accident that delayed training...blah, blah, blah. Just let it go. They aren't all the next big thing.
It drives me nuts how horse sellers seem to think that they'd have the next best thing, if only there was a decent rider around. If, if, if. Breeders here need to accept the idea that their precious babies are going to be ridden by people OTHER than Beezie Madden. It doesn't mean "breed down"...it means, accept that the horse might not be started "perfectly" and it might not reach its "full potential." THAT HAS TO BE OK. Quality will out. Breeding for athleticism, sound mind, trainability...that is going to show up, even if some "useless amateur" ends up with the horse. All the complaining about how "Hunters need to be started PROPERLY you know..." Really? Because while you're waiting around for someone to start a horse properly, a breeder in Europe is plunking their Working Student on a "cull" so that it is jumping courses in time to sell to some Ammy with money. It's not that they have lots of culls in Europe...it's that they are realistic in noting that a huge percentage of the produce is NOT top calibre, and DOES NOT need to be retained for breeding, and in order to move it out the door, it can't be priced at the top of the competitive market.
If you can't be happy when the products of your breeding program are being ridden and shown in their discipline by a rider who isn't anywhere near the top...then get out of breeding. You're hopelessly unrealistic. Horses out of the best-of-the-best programs sometimes go to useless riders. They still demonstrate their quality, even in "useless hands."
I think the biggest problem facing North American breeders is that they don't value or bother to understand their market. They breed for themselves and the ideas that they THINK should be held by the market. Stop telling your customers what they want and how you think they should ride.