Anyone who's been around while knows that it is difficult to make a declarative sentence that embodies exactly what you believe, and includes all the nuances and distinctions that you also don’t mean, without writing a book.
Sometimes you have to go back and clarify things.
About “amateur market”… no, I do not mean that amateurs deserve (or will even purchase) mediocre horses. NO one should intentionally be breeding mediocrity. Such a breeder is essentially breeding for the meat man, and they should rot in hell first. But I see a marked distinction between “good breeders” and breeders who think they’re going to make a fast buck breeding a living animal, without the foundation of generations of purpose bred animals and the financial means to do the right thing in each and every circumstance, for each and every animal they create. These types of “in it for a buck, and I’m on a financial shoestring and hope someone offers me $$$$$ for my still wet baby because of the sire I chose” breeders create misery and heartache for all of us.
That is markedly different than a knowledge breeder, who knows their bloodlines up and down, inside out, knows the market for what they produce… and produces for that specific market… and can care for the animal while waiting for that perfect sale. In the context of horses, that means the breeder has the physical environment (farm) and the means and ability to do right by the horse, at each incremental developmental stage, which includes quality training to truly enhance the value of the horse, until the horse sells to a good home. That is not often a profitable situation. You have to be breeding for some other reason than the “profit” from the sale.
In the years we’ve been involved, we’ve seen some great examples of great breeders… and they would probably tell you that it costs just as much to raise and train a $20 horse as a $50K horse, so that it makes more sense to breed for the superior talent, and deal with what the breeding produces, knowing all that while that the breeding must stay within the parameters of producing a talented, versatile horse that people can ride and enjoy being around (which to me is an amateur’s horse).
Regardless of your standard of perfection, be it Totilas, Farouche, Chacco Blue, Cento, For Pleasure or an Almé descendant, or some combination of the R-D-W lines with an infusion of SH or Florestan… there are a handful of riders in the world that can ride at the top level. Just doing the math, if you are breeding for them, you are very likely going to be disappointed. But a few levels down from them is a market worth shooting for. The difference between the upper level horse and a versatile athletic horse with a great mind that a wider range of riders can ride is not so great that you can’t have both goals in a breeding program. That said, the difference between 1.40m horse and a 1.60m horse is the Grand Canyon.