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Michael Pollards breeding program vision.

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  • #21
    RR, that was my thought also. For the sport aspect, I think more people should support the PHR, there's the potential for quite a database there.

    But we'll never see one unified studbook in the US, the chasm between the two sides of the breeding spectrum is just too big. Tell the person who's about to breed her grade draft/x mare to the Paint stallion down the road that she needs a three generation pedigree and can't use stock horses, and she'll run away screaming how snobby you are. Tell the person with the royally bred Warmbloods you're about to give the grade/Paint cross the same papers as her horses, and she may die on the spot. I don't see it ever happening.

    Fwiw, I don't think the issues of multiple registries is unique to the US, either. How many registries are there in Germany alone? Doesn't seem to be a hindrance.

    I don't see "one studbook" as being very critical. Better tracking via USEF would be nice though!

    I am curious about this U.S. Equestrian Federation Breeding Committee, which MP mentions and I'd never heard of before. I posted the link to the list of members, does anyone know any more about this or have any thoughts? If he's proposing this group could be influential, I'm curious to hear more about it.
    "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." George Burns

    Comment


    • #22
      Yes, the breeding committee exists. There have been a couple of recent threads started by Hyperion Stud surveying for the committee. I attended the meeting at the USEF convention and am excited about the progress they have made. Hopefully, we will start seeing the results of that progress during the next couple of years.

      Comment


      • #23
        I’ve mentioned how important I believe breeding is to the future success of the U.S. international high performance programs several times in articles since the Olympic Games. It doesn’t take much looking around at the rest of the world to notice how woefully behind we are in this aspect of our sport.
        Hmmm, our horses are sooo bad that one of them just sold for $647,000 in Europe. And he's not the only one that went the other way over the pond. We've had a number of our breeders sell horses to Europe that became breeding animals or show horses, but I guess they weren't good enough for us.

        Our problem is that riders seem to think they MUST buy a horse in Europe to get a good one. So they go over there and pay plane fare, trainer's fees to look at the horses, hotel bills, car rental, meals, shopping trips, trailering, vet and quarantine fees, to say nothing of flying the horse home only to brag that they got a top quality horse for $25,000 over there (even though in the end it cost them about $50,000) and when they get it home they can't ride it.

        Sure you can buy a foal for $2000 t0 $3000, but the good ones go for $25,000 to $75,000 or occassionally more. Try to get that for an American foal. HA!!

        A good show horse goes for a fraction of the price of a good show horse in Europe - IF they're even for sale.

        Sport horse auctions don't work here because Americans are bargain shoppers - except when they go to Europe and pay top dollar for something they Europeans don't want.

        We breed plenty of great horses here, but training, feed and showing cost WAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY more here than in Europe - BUT we really should just give these nice horses away for what you can get a cheap one for in Europe. OK, I'll sell you (the generic, ubiquitous you, not anyone specific) one of mine cheap - as long as that includes ALL of the costs for everything you paid to go over there, pay all those expenses and get it home. And guess what? You'll actually be able to ride it and win with it and I don't mean just at schooling shows.
        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
        Now apparently completely invisible!

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
          No, my question didn't validate your point. The point was that the horse was proving what he could do. Compete your pony stallion to the level he's capable of. Can he go around an advanced course, or at least an intermediate course? Or even better yet, a three or four star? If he can then maybe he will get more attention. Or put him in jumper classes if you don't want to risk jumping him over cross country fences at a high level.
          You are missing the point. The horses that "are" being purchased in Europe, as a whole, are not out doing advanced competitions either. Yeah, you'll hear of the occasional upper level purchase, but most are 3, 4 or 5 yo's that are prospects.

          A breeder can't show a buyer a horse that's being chased around a pasture or round pen and expect to get big bucks for it. SOoo many US breeders do that.
          You'll see that, but you'll also see youngsters that are extremely reasonably priced.

          What sort of upper level horses is the US producing? Clearly there are some event horses. It would certainly appear NOT Olympic caliber jumpers, at this time. Dressage horses then I guess, although it's easy to say that with no back up.
          And you know this how? Because the upper level horses are out there being competed? Nope. Because the upper level riders are buying European. Consequently, the horses that have the potential to do it right here at home, aren't being seen/shown/competed/trained/ridden. There is a HUGE disconnect and that's the problem here. I recognize that. It's not that the horses aren't being bred here, they just aren't being properly presented, started, show cased, etc. And eventually, breeders run out of money. That's the problem.

          I recognize the reality of what the problems are. But, until there is a workable solution, I don't see it changing a whole lot. And, I definitely don't see the problem as registry oriented, e.g. that we need to have a North American registry. We need a North American support system that helps get those top level horses under top level riders. How to implement that is the crux or the problem.
          Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
          Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by showjumpers66 View Post
            Yes, the breeding committee exists. There have been a couple of recent threads started by Hyperion Stud surveying for the committee. I attended the meeting at the USEF convention and am excited about the progress they have made. Hopefully, we will start seeing the results of that progress during the next couple of years.
            Thanks for answering. I googled each of the names on the committee list. Some have impressive backgrounds and seem like great choices, some don't seem to make sense as part of such a group, and others I might expect to see included but they're not. I suppose it will be interesting to see what comes of it. It's clearly not aimed solely at sport horse breeding.


            MRS CHRISTINE KNOX
            Chair
            (Connemara & Connemara/TB breeder)

            MS GAY TALMEY
            Chair-Vice
            (hunter/jumper rider/breeder)

            MS LINDA ALLEN
            (hunter/jumper, the Benchmark Program etc)

            MRS ELLEN DI BELLA
            (western dressage, Morgans)

            MR SCOTT HASSLER
            (FEI dressage, warmbloods, developing horse program, needs no introduction)

            MRS KATHY HICKERSON
            (Majestic Gaits, Dutch Warmbloods)

            MRS TAMMY HILDRETH
            (Friesians)

            MS SUE LIGHTNER
            (hunters, hunter breeding)

            MRS LISA LOURIE
            (Spy Coast Farm, jumper breeder, Young Horse Series)

            MS ALEXIS STARER-DOUGHTY
            (Arabians?)

            MRS JUDITH WERNER
            (Saddlebreds?)

            DR RUTH WILBURN
            (?)

            Rider/Trainers:

            MISS LAURA CHAPOT (jumper)
            MR PETE KYLE (western)
            MR JACK POLLARD JR (eventing)
            "No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible." George Burns

            Comment


            • #26
              This is probably going to be one of the least popular posts...but here it goes...

              I think if a US breeder really breeds a true top level sport horse (dressage, jumpers, eventing) and they do not have the money/resources to campaign the horse themselves (and if they really want to see it show at the upper levels) they should hit the pavement and contact every top young rider to see if they can work out a deal with them. Either a partnership, a free lease, a something to get the horse out there. I realize this would not be financially a sound decision, but really who's making money doing this anyway?

              When my 4 year old Rousseau gelding was born he was definitely the nicest thing I have bred thus far. I did not want him to go to a show home like me (struggling AA)...I want to see him achieve something. I starting emailing some of the most successful YR & AA riders I could find (I searched the databases for high scoring riders at the regional championship shows) and contacting lots of respected trainers. Network, network, network. I finally connected with a top FEI level AA and gave her a really good deal for him. I am hoping he will become an "ambassador" for my program. (Sadly the AA rider is now injured and out for a year) Did I make money? No. But I think if we start getting these horses out there to our top riders (including the masses and masses of top YR and AA) we can change the tides. We may need to lose a generation of horses to essentially give aways or good deals to these riders, but I think it will repay us later.

              Just my $0.02.
              Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
              http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
              http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

              Comment


              • #27
                I did put a lengthy response to Mr. Pollard - hope some of you will read it.

                As to the PHR. - I bought into it when the Jockey Club ran it. But I see NO benefit to it now. And I feel it's not appropriate for the USEF to run it. It's being perceived as a "registry" and the USEF - should not be owning or operating a horse registry.
                Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
                "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"

                Comment


                • #28
                  Tiki and Blume Farm make valid points. There are breeders in the US putting wonderful foals on the ground. IMO there are several breakdowns in the 'US System":
                  1) There is not a solid system in place to bring the foals to the competition ring. Some farms have a son or daughter or young person who is willing to put a good start on the horses. In my experience all of those 'horse starters' have left the family or moved to other barns.
                  2) Many breeders are reluctant to let "just anyone" start their young horses. So they end up with pastures full of largely unhandled 4-6 year olds.
                  3) Many people are reluctant to be that person who puts a solid start on a young horse. It is hard, largely unrecognized work.
                  4) Many US riders/trainers/parents are reluctant to purchase US bred horses. As Tiki noted, they are more willing to spend 2-5x more going overseas.
                  5) More recognition should be given to the breeders of those horses who excel in their respective discipline. Even if it is only a few lines in the write-up in COTH or other mags.

                  We, all of us, need to be more aware of our neighbors, local, regional or national, who consitantly produce nice young stock when we look for a new horse.
                  I boarded at a breeding/training/boarding barn for over 20 years. They bred and trained one gelding that was 2nd alternate for the 1987 Pan Am's and long listed for the 1988 Olympics. That horse's full sibling competed through Intermediate. That horse's other full sibling sired multiple horses that reached Training, Prelim and Intermediate, including one YR Team Gold Medal winner.
                  There multiple half-siblings of the gelding noted above who also competed through Advance. The horses had the talent and desire to do well, that exceeded most of the riders, me included. My mare, another one of their home-breds, handled Prelim easily and we would have done more had my purse not been so empty.

                  Probably the biggest problem we Americans have with English discipline horses is that the 'grass is always greener" attitude. Maybe we should take some lessons from other disciplines such as the AQHA and Morgan Associations.
                  "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
                  Courtesy my cousin Tim

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by fooler View Post
                    We, all of us, need to be more aware of our neighbors, local, regional or national, who consitantly produce nice young stock when we look for a new horse.
                    THIS! And also when people approach us looking for a prospect. We have been fortunate to sell ours as youngsters, and don't have anything of riding age for sale. But I've had people contact me looking x, y, and z, and even though we didn't have anything, I will not hesitate to bend over backward to help them look and refer them to local breeders producing quality.

                    I'm curious how most upper level riders shop. Do they look at sales sites (like dreamhorse) or go via word of mouth and the big name farms they are familiar with? I get the feeling that most of it is word of mouth and sticking with the "knowns" and thus networking becomes so much more important. When people find quality, quality sells! But if they aren't looking outside of their box, or aren't being referred to people outside of their box, they aren't going to buy the horse if they never even know about it.
                    Celtic Pride Farm
                    www.celticpridefarm.com
                    Become a fan on Facebook!

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      I skimmed through this article and came away with the thought that someone is re-inventing the wheel without very much "institutional knowledge" ie, knowledge of what has gone on before and/or is going on now. I also sense that he is either running for office or trying to solidify his position. My years of experience at the UN prompt this observation. While I am not as well-versed in event breeding as many, I do recall the breeding, development and competing of Bruce Davidson (my generation) on his homebreds--even competed against them-- and I am sure that there have been many others in the intervening years.

                      I detect tremendous youth in the author of this article! I agree with Nick- that was a wasted few minutes!

                      Good thing I do not breed eventers- I might never sell one after writing the above!
                      Sakura Hill Farm
                      Now on Facebook

                      Young and developing horses for A-circuit jumper and hunter rings.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by fooler View Post
                        1) There is not a solid system in place to bring the foals to the competition ring. Some farms have a son or daughter or young person who is willing to put a good start on the horses. In my experience all of those 'horse starters' have left the family or moved to other barns.
                        I think US breeders tend to abdicate their responsibility on this one. Breeders will put more foals on the ground when their breeding program/youngstock is largely unproven. That costs money, but they're willing to do it, year after year, and meanwhile, it's 'too expensive' to send the youngsters off to a rider/trainer for competition experience.

                        All this talk about YRs and up-and-comers and wanting something for free is so wrong-headed. Why should someone take on your young horse -- and increase its value -- for free?

                        Getting a foal on the ground doesn't constitute a breeding program for performance horses. A breeder needs to devote resources to the performance end of it as well.

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
                          You are missing the point. The horses that "are" being purchased in Europe, as a whole, are not out doing advanced competitions either. Yeah, you'll hear of the occasional upper level purchase, but most are 3, 4 or 5 yo's that are prospects.
                          Please, I am not missing the point. See below.


                          Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
                          You'll see that, but you'll also see youngsters that are extremely reasonably priced.
                          Ha! And some of them are quite expensive!

                          Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
                          And you know this how? Because the upper level horses are out there being competed? Nope. Because the upper level riders are buying European. Consequently, the horses that have the potential to do it right here at home, aren't being seen/shown/competed/trained/ridden. There is a HUGE disconnect and that's the problem here. I recognize that. It's not that the horses aren't being bred here, they just aren't being properly presented, started, show cased, etc. And eventually, breeders run out of money. That's the problem.

                          I recognize the reality of what the problems are. But, until there is a workable solution, I don't see it changing a whole lot. And, I definitely don't see the problem as registry oriented, e.g. that we need to have a North American registry. We need a North American support system that helps get those top level horses under top level riders. How to implement that is the crux or the problem.
                          If finding riders is the problem, then fix the problem. It's not impossible. But you're going to have to PROVE that your horses can perform and produce first, not just depend on some fancy relatives across the pond. I'm not going to take your or even an inspector's word for how wonderful your horses are. Those young prospects that are selling in Europe have first degree relatives who have competed at the highest levels or produced horses that are competing at the highest levels. Or at the very least have first degree relatives that produced offspring that sold for a lot of money. Those young prospects are professionally produced and are capable of showing their potential under saddle.

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            There are riders in the US who can bring along young talent so it can be spotted by the BNT's. Look at the model by Tebogo Sporthorses. They aren't breeding, they're buying OTTB's but they have two full time young riders who are absolutely terrific with the youngsters. They put a strong foundation on them, take them to shows/clinics/events/field trips, figure out their nature talents and point them in the right direction. People are starting to notice - their clients include Jan Byyny and Phillip Dutton, and serious BNT's (Olympians) call them all the time to see what they have in stock. They have horses for the BNT's and horses for the AA's...but the key is that they have two VERY capable young women who do all the restarting on these horses that puts them in the position to be noticed and sold into the 'right' homes.

                            These training/sales facilities are what's needed. The breeders know what to produce but they need to get them started and noticed.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              I've started a cross post in the Eventing forums asking if any eventers would want foals from Top eventing mares as Mike Pollard suggested some considerable thought should be put into ETs from the top mares.

                              The post is generating a lot of discussion, mostly discouraging for anyone who wants to breed eventing horses for sale. I do like to poll potential buyers to see what their expectations are instead of imagining what they want. I do not know how many horses the posters actually buy, only the number of posts they put up here on COTH...anyway, it's interesting to see another perspective.

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by grayarabpony View Post
                                Well, pwynnnorman got a *pony* into the hands of a top rider. How did she do it?

                                She had to get the *pony* into the hands of a young horse trainer first. For the most part, top horses are made, even though they may have good blood lines. In Europe young horse experts are called producers and there are a lot of them, making a good living. It is their goal to get their youngsters in to the hands of the BNTs to drive their business along. They are not doing this piecemeal on their way to an upper level career. It is a specialized area that you do not see much of here.
                                ... _. ._ .._. .._

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  I debated very long about posting in this thread. I have done so in the past to similar threads only to be critisized or ignored or have the intent misconstrued. But here goes

                                  To greyarabpony "If finding riders is the problem, then fix the problem"
                                  A great deal easier to say than to do. If you have a suggestion, then make one, don't just take a superior attitude without offering a realistic solution.

                                  I have tried many forms of making contact with riders, from AAs to JRs to pros. Problem is, everyone wants top dollar to do the job. Of course there are people who will contact you to ask for an oppertunity, but once you take a good hard look at their credentials, their facility, or ask for references, or see how far away they are, the situation does not stand up to scrutiny most of the time.

                                  Again greyarabpony "Those young prospects that are selling in Europe have first degree relatives who have competed at the highest levels or produced horses that are competing at the highest levels. Or at the very least have first degree relatives that produced offspring that sold for a lot of money. Those young prospects are professionally produced and are capable of showing their potential under saddle. "

                                  You are only partialy right with this comment. Particularly the point about "Professionaly produced". In the USA, we do not have a structure to "professionaly produce" young horses. It is what we lack and we as breeders lament over and over again. It is part of our culture to not want to conform but to be independant with our business models.

                                  If we all waited for those "first degree" relatives to be competitive at high levels, then breeders are stuck holding onto all of the offspring from the current "fashionable" stallion. Because how long will it take to get some of their kids up to FEI levels? 7-8 years. So how many offspring will sit in fields waiting for their oldest siblings to get there? hundreds. Think about that in terms of the cost of holding onto those offspring: the cost of the care, and training of each one until they become marketable.


                                  A good deal of those high selling prospects disapear after the sale for high prices and are never seen again. Just because a horse sells for top $ does not gaurantee top performance.

                                  Here is another thing I do not think you understand greyarabpony, at least from what I take from your posts. When a breeder has a mare that produces very nice offspring, then that mare has to stay in production each and every year. Otherwise as a mare ages, they become more problematic to get in foal and that equals more $$$$ put into just getting that mare pregnant and the resulting foal costing the breeder a great deal more to produce. So the selling price is higher. If one was to follow some of the folks on this threads advice and wait to re breed the mare until her offspring sells, then there is no way to budget or plan.

                                  I had a plan that would have addressed some of these issues, both those in the article and some of the ones brought up here. I put it in writing and sent it to several of the committee members about 8 yrs ago. It was never even discussed. Nor did I ever get a response. I also wanted to support some up and coming YR. I went to several top connected people and offered aplan to them. Not one took me up on it.

                                  FWIW- in the past three years I have been approached by several people who have represented our country on various International Teams. The conversation usually goes like this:
                                  "I really like your stallion and what I have seen of his offspring. Do you have any 4 or 5 yr olds going under saddle? Would you sponsor me on such a horse?"
                                  My response" I usually have them sold by 3 or 4. I do have a couple of super 2 yr olds. Would you be interested? I would be willing to sell them to you at my cost and keep them free of charge until they are 3 because you are so and so."
                                  What is said back to me: "Oh no. I do not start young horses and I do not know anyone who does it right. I can't buy any horses even with terms as I do not have any money of my own. I really am looking for you to send the horse to me and I will give you a good deal on the training, but you have to pay all expenses."
                                  Me--"Sorry, I can't afford to do that. Good luck in your search"

                                  That is the reality many breeders face.........

                                  Flame suit on
                                  Maryanna Haymon- Marydell Farm - Home to Don Principe & Doctor Wendell MF
                                  www.marydellfarm.com
                                  2012 USDF Champion Breeder! 2007, 2011 USEF Champ Breeder
                                  2009,2010,2011 USDF Res Breeder of the Year!

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Alluding to an American bred horse that spent at least a year going through the European system is a bit ironic don't you think?

                                    And that's where the system is broken. It's not a question of the caliber of horse bred because there are some very good breeders in the USA. But you can't be of average means or working horse class and get your horses done. It's not just about young horse starters as that's relatively cheap compared to getting a show record. Not a 2ft show record and a 30k price tag. People come to Europe because they can get 4yo's jumping 1.10m, slightly over 3.6 and 5 years olds doing 1.20 which is 3.9. Among those 4&5 yo's are some horses that are pretty much at their ability. You can get those horses under 20k all day long here. Even after import under or at 30k. So do any of you have a young capable of 3.6 horse for under 30k?

                                    And it's in now way the fault of the breeders or riders or trainers. The cost of competing is frightful. With all your fees a 3 day show is what near the 1k mark for registered shows? Here's my costs. Reg of horse and rider with SJI per year, like €275 a year so I can get the bulletin too. After that it's my diesel, €75 at the worst. That gets me to and from the major shows that run nearly daily around the country. My entry fee €25 roughly per class. Rider fee if applicable, roughly €30. And when my mare was showing, I was the groom. So my rider fee canceled. If I groomed the other horses I got my transport free too and that was always shared. Full training normally about €130 per week. I'll never do that again but cheap enough as I don't have millions in the bank. And guess what, I'm not the only one. So you can really make it work without having a trust fund.


                                    That is a huge difference. Most riders here are of average means. They work at producing horses. Breeders can breed, raise, train, and get horses produced for much less money than in the States. And therefore prices are different when a horse is for sale. I took one from birth to 12 shows. Successful up to 1.10m. If I had sold her for €15k I actually would have had a small profit or broke even. I seriously doubt any breeder could say the same back home. I didn't scrimp. I didn't not feed her, didn't go 12 weeks between shoeing, she has all her vaccs, worming, foal things, and on and on. That is a huge difference.

                                    Terri
                                    Last edited by Equilibrium; Mar. 7, 2013, 05:48 AM.
                                    COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                                    "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.

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                                    • #38
                                      There was a post here a couple of months ago from Tzigane's owner about how she was working with a youngish event rider who had done Rolex several times and her family to get her horses into UL eventing. It was a very good post and her thought processes and her procedure are worth consideration and possible emulation.

                                      I wish she'd chime in on this thread.
                                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                                      • #39
                                        3) Our U.S. Equestrian Federation Breeding Committee (of which I am a new member) needs to be attended and eventually populated with the heads of high performance in each discipline. I think the current committee is very good, but the line of communication between it and high performance should be direct and the relationship symbiotic.
                                        What does he mean by "the heads of high performance"? USEF shows 15 High Performance committees. If the heads of all those committees are put on the breeding committee, along with representatives from other breeds and disciplines (Arabians, Saddlebreds, Morgans, TWH, etc., etc.), it will be a pretty large committee.

                                        Interestingly enough - the Eventing High Performance Committee is chaired by someone with NO contact info listed - no address, no phone number, no email address, etc. And the Dressage High Performance Committee doesn't seem to have a chair person...

                                        4) We need staff level positions at the USEF (one to start) to coordinate breeders and take stock of what is being bred. That person could also manage the USEF Young Horse Championships (set for 2014) and help to facilitate the connection between high performance plans and breeders.
                                        I somewhat agree with this, but USEF feels its Breeders Committee is all that is needed. The organization does not seem to want to put a lot of focus or effort or $$$ in helping breeders.

                                        The idea I want to discuss in particular is the need for our own breed and studbook. This has already been started to an extent through the North American Studbook, and it may well just need more emphasis behind it, but either way we need to see it through.
                                        I can understand this philosophy, but agree with others it is a pipedream. I have said this before - the diehard Hanoverian and KWPN breeders in particular will never give up their registry affiliations. And using the North American Studbook as an example - really? It is a PRIVATELY HELD studbook, owned lock, stock, and barrel by just a few people.

                                        All of this is possible and can be done with our current infrastructure save one key role: the person to coordinate. Certainly, with the gap so evident and with budget surpluses at the USEF we can invest in the future by making our breeding program a priority.
                                        And who does he propose as "the person to coordinate"? And does he really think that person will have more success getting the hard-heads at the top in USEF to understand the need to do more in support of U.S. breeding programs?

                                        And I will also say this again - for the umpteenth time. If USEF ever gets serious about helping breeders in this country, it will enact a "one horse, one number for life" rule, it will ensure that horses getting USEF IDs are positively ID'd, it will charge extremely hefty extra fees to record/register horses that don't provide a copy of registration papers, and it will make sure its database is robust enough to accurately match horses, bloodlines, etc., etc., so the rankings it turns out every year will be of true value to everyone involved in producing sport horses - whether it is breeders, buyers, Y/H trainers, UL riders, whomever.

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                                        • #40
                                          Originally posted by Marydell View Post
                                          I debated very long about posting in this thread. I have done so in the past to similar threads only to be critisized or ignored or have the intent misconstrued. But here goes

                                          To greyarabpony "If finding riders is the problem, then fix the problem"
                                          A great deal easier to say than to do. If you have a suggestion, then make one, don't just take a superior attitude without offering a realistic solution.

                                          I have tried many forms of making contact with riders, from AAs to JRs to pros. Problem is, everyone wants top dollar to do the job. Of course there are people who will contact you to ask for an oppertunity, but once you take a good hard look at their credentials, their facility, or ask for references, or see how far away they are, the situation does not stand up to scrutiny most of the time.

                                          Again greyarabpony "Those young prospects that are selling in Europe have first degree relatives who have competed at the highest levels or produced horses that are competing at the highest levels. Or at the very least have first degree relatives that produced offspring that sold for a lot of money. Those young prospects are professionally produced and are capable of showing their potential under saddle. "

                                          You are only partialy right with this comment. Particularly the point about "Professionaly produced". In the USA, we do not have a structure to "professionaly produce" young horses. It is what we lack and we as breeders lament over and over again. It is part of our culture to not want to conform but to be independant with our business models.

                                          If we all waited for those "first degree" relatives to be competitive at high levels, then breeders are stuck holding onto all of the offspring from the current "fashionable" stallion. Because how long will it take to get some of their kids up to FEI levels? 7-8 years. So how many offspring will sit in fields waiting for their oldest siblings to get there? hundreds. Think about that in terms of the cost of holding onto those offspring: the cost of the care, and training of each one until they become marketable.


                                          A good deal of those high selling prospects disapear after the sale for high prices and are never seen again. Just because a horse sells for top $ does not gaurantee top performance.

                                          Here is another thing I do not think you understand greyarabpony, at least from what I take from your posts. When a breeder has a mare that produces very nice offspring, then that mare has to stay in production each and every year. Otherwise as a mare ages, they become more problematic to get in foal and that equals more $$$$ put into just getting that mare pregnant and the resulting foal costing the breeder a great deal more to produce. So the selling price is higher. If one was to follow some of the folks on this threads advice and wait to re breed the mare until her offspring sells, then there is no way to budget or plan.

                                          I had a plan that would have addressed some of these issues, both those in the article and some of the ones brought up here. I put it in writing and sent it to several of the committee members about 8 yrs ago. It was never even discussed. Nor did I ever get a response. I also wanted to support some up and coming YR. I went to several top connected people and offered aplan to them. Not one took me up on it.

                                          FWIW- in the past three years I have been approached by several people who have represented our country on various International Teams. The conversation usually goes like this:
                                          "I really like your stallion and what I have seen of his offspring. Do you have any 4 or 5 yr olds going under saddle? Would you sponsor me on such a horse?"
                                          My response" I usually have them sold by 3 or 4. I do have a couple of super 2 yr olds. Would you be interested? I would be willing to sell them to you at my cost and keep them free of charge until they are 3 because you are so and so."
                                          What is said back to me: "Oh no. I do not start young horses and I do not know anyone who does it right. I can't buy any horses even with terms as I do not have any money of my own. I really am looking for you to send the horse to me and I will give you a good deal on the training, but you have to pay all expenses."
                                          Me--"Sorry, I can't afford to do that. Good luck in your search"

                                          That is the reality many breeders face.........

                                          Flame suit on
                                          No Flaming needed! I agree with you.

                                          The only thing I would say is, yes, networking can be frustrating....there are a lot of dead ends. However, it is how to get things going and will increase your chances of finding that right rider for the talented UL horse. So keep doing what you are doing as proactive people are the ones that win the race.

                                          I wish I had an answer for how to get these young horses trained and presented for a reasonable cost. I think some things are being done and may need time to take effect. For example the AHS is keeping a list of facilities approved for getting young horses started. That is at least a starting point.

                                          I know sometimes this topic feels like we are "beating a dead horse" as it is discussed at nauseum in some fashion or another. However, I think by continually discussing it doesn't get forgotten and hopefully at some point ideas and solutions will form.
                                          Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:
                                          http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2011.html
                                          http://blumefarm.com/hannoveranercourse2012.html

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