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Foal pricing in the US vs Europe?

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  • #61
    I have not read all the posts in this thread, but I thought I should share my two cents nonetheless.

    Pricing of horses, of any gender, age, training level or even breed, is obviously a very subjective matter, as a horse will only be worth what people are willing to pay for it.

    Being in Europe, I am not as well versed in breeding of Sport Horses in the USA as I would like, but as far as I know there is still a long way to go - I can imagine you don't have as many breeders with horses who have proven themselves in sport as one would like.

    Well, in Europe there are literally thousands of breeders to choose from. And unlike what happens in the US, there are more than a hand full who have horses competing at the highest level, or who have sent horses out to auction.

    So there are millions of horses being born each year. Odds are a few are absolutely astonishing. All the others still need to find an owner. And now the law of business comes to play - there is plenty of offer of very nice riding horses, so in order for all of them to find a home, prices need to be lower.

    On the other hand, you have the US, where a few hundred horses are born. A few of them may be very good, one may even be absolutely breath-taking. But because there is more demand than offer, even what would be considered an average horse by our standards can find an owner for a higher price than he would here.

    High offer > Low prices
    High Demand > High prices

    Yes, its a hassle to come to Europe in search for a horse, but odds are you will find something really nice for a very sensible price. And its an experience and adventure you'll probably love. I know I loved going to Germany to buy my current horse.


    • #62
      Originally posted by Cumano View Post
      They will, however it is more and more through embryo transfer. You purchase an embryo and rent the recipient mare.

      I have read with interest all the topic. One thing struck me is that everyone believes they have top proven bloodlines and therefore they are convinced that their foals are priced appropriately. When you search a little bit a go over websites, you to often notice that those "proven bloolines" are in fact from a random fooundation thoroughbred mare with one ore two generations of "big names" stallions on top. And the proven production, way to often, are winners as foals or yearling in hunter comformation classes, mares with good marks at inspection or high potential 9 years old that would have jumped internationaly if, and if, and if.... The other thing we often see, is dames from greatly acclaimed german mother lines, but from a branch on wich you cannot find any significant performers in 5 or more generations.
      I agree that you need a solid mare family. However, the mare base here in the US is getting much better. And maybe call me tooting my own horn, but i feel there are many of us (including myself) that do have a TOP mare in the US with proven performance relatives. Remember almost all our offspring here in the US are sold to AA riders...so difficult to get those "high performer" records in subsequent generations...but many happy AA riders Even the OP will most likely not be a big National or International rider (correct me if I am wrong) so she too will not be adding to the "fame" of future generations.

      Originally posted by Cumano View Post

      I have been shopping in Europe recently for great young fillies to use as future broodmares and have noticed that, in all honestly, the quality offered is of an average better than what we can find her. As mentionned previously, the good ones are not cheaper than her. However, people there knows what they have and when they present you a good one, it is REALY a good one, with real athletic habilities and bloodlines that have produced in the first and or second generations back.
      Be aware though if you are an educated buyer (or have a good rep) you can evaluate those talented foals. BUT, the Europeans also love to sell their not so great offspring to foreign buyers at a high price, call them their best, get good $$ for them. So if they feel you are uneducated or don't have a good rep for yourself be prepared to not see their best. That can happen here too.

      Originally posted by Cumano View Post

      Finaly, I believe that theiur are great exagerations regarding prices of foals in Europe. If you go through auction results, you may pick one or two everynow and then that goes for stelar prices when two welthy buyers happen to want the same thing. Also, if your are looking for embryos of some very specific mares, the demand may drive prices very high but those mares are the exception. But to say that the usual price for a top foal is 50K and over euros is, from my experience in the showjumping market, ridiculous.
      Well, I definitely did not say foals in Europe were 50K...I said look at the most recent Hanoveraner auction...average price somewhere between 6-8E...and with exchange rates, shipping to US, etc and you are well into the teens
      Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:


      • #63
        Originally posted by Mistysmom View Post
        I've never come across a German breeder who will sell their foals in utero.
        I know quite a few who would :-)
        I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
        2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
        May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


        • #64
          Blume farm:

          I agree with what you say regarding the dames and yes, their are numerous good breeders with exceptionnal damelines. However, I feel that to often, many breeders do not see the difference between these great damelines and their own, just like parents always find their kids the best. I do not say it is dishonnest from the breeders, but just that to often, the notion of "solid proven dameline" is being stretched her in America to a point it doesn't mean anything anymore.

          Regarding the difficulties to prove our bloodlines in America, I totally agree with you. Unfortunately, when shopping for foals or young horses, the quality of the dame line must be defined by what that has produced and not by what it could or should have produced according to the breeder. It is a responsability of the breeder to keep track of their offspring or to promote them otherwise their "great damelines" will vanish under generations and generations of meaningless production. I totaly realize it is a very hard thing to do but it is how great lines are built.

          As for the horses being offered for sale in Europe, of course there are good and bad horses. But the good are their for those who know the good people and look at the right place. I, maybe call me tooting my own horn as you say, consider myself an educated buyer and I have contacts in whome I have total confidence in. If you know what you want, if you make your research and if you can pay the price, you can find what you are looking for. Often I feel that here, in Amercia, we find a lot of uneducated buyers, but also a looot of uneducated sellers.

          With regard to prices, I did not refer to any specific post, but we often her "my foal would worth XXXX euros if I was in Europe"

          And by the way, I do not promote unconditionnaly shopping in Europe. Before going, I tried to buy two fillies from the dameline I had in mind here in America but the owner would absolutely not sell (and I wouldn't neither if I had those fillies). I went directly to the source and purchased a filly from this exact bloodline in Europe and I believe, in total, I paid about what I woud have been willing to pay her in America.


          • #65
            double post


            • #66
              I agree with those who said it's a number's game. The density of sporthorses in let's say Germany or The Netherlands does not compare with the situation in the US where you have to fly over a lot of country to 'cover' 100 head of potential prospects. Here you may visit two places and if you so desire you can look at 100 horses in two days. Whether you do all the legwork yourself or hire someone to assist you doesn't really matter, the numbers are just there and there's nothing else to be said about that.
              If you know where to look for them I daresay you can find pretty darn good foals at home right now there are breeders out there who use proven stock and have produced competitive horses in the past.
              The difference is unlike most Europeans they will be unwilling to sponsor your hobby with what they do Over here numbers often force a sale so unless you're buying from someone who is financially independent due to other sources of income you'll find that here and there you run into a 'has to sell' situation where you also really like the foal.
              Also I wouldn't necessarily look at auction prices for a representative idea of the market over here. a) these are preselected foals and a lot of marketing and political things are going on behind the scenes b) many breeders never send their horses to the auctions for a variety of reasons and c) unlike in the UK the results never show which ones have actually sold and which haven't.
              I wish you Best of Luck! If you haven't found what you're looking for at home I might be able to help you out with a few contacts I know for having good foals available. And if that doesn't help I'll be happy to assist you in searching over here.
              Froh zu sein bedarf es wenig...


              • #67
                You can go look at the KWPN-NA website and check out the breeders there. The Dutch system recognizes mares that have consistently produced horses that have done well at different levels by giving them predicates, specifically the Preferent and the Prestatie predicates. A mare needs to have at least three offspring that were deemed Ster quality (upper 25 percentile) at age 3 or older in order to get Preferent. For Prestatie, three or more offspring need to win in their sport and at certain levels. I am the proud owner of two Preferent mares and can't wait to see at least one of them earn her Prestatie predicate. So there is a way to check out "production" of mare lines in this country.....
                Siegi Belz
                2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


                • #68
                  Originally posted by Willesdon View Post
                  Then, out of curiousity, what of breeds like the Sport American Saddlebred? Are they cheaper than a WB?
                  If you go to a Saddlebred sale (public auction) and are looking at sport type youngstock (weanlings-2 year olds) you'll pay $200-$2000 for a horse. A started young horse (2-4 years old) $500-$5000. You might pay into the lower 5 figures for a broke horse (but you might also get a finished horse you like for $1000). When I say "broke" I mean walk-trots-canters under saddle, could be ridden out on trails or at a horse show without problem, may even be broke to drive as most Saddlebreds are broke to drive in a typical Saddlebred trainer's program.

                  Sport horse prospects at traditional Saddlebred breeding or training barns will be similiar prices or maybe a bit higher. If you are looking at Saddlebreds being marketed by private sellers to sport horse people the prices will usually be higher, but the quality of the horse or the training it has had may or may not be. So have a good eye when shopping!

                  The bloodlines of Saddlebreds that have gone on to be successful sport horses are NOT seperate from the popular bloodlines for showing, by and large. You have to look for the horse that suits your purpose.


                  • #69
                    I seriously cannot imagine how someone cannot find a high quality weanling sports prospect here in the US for under 12 k. I could find that just looking through websites of breeders on this board. Yes, there are lots of foals to choose from Germany but you have to get them back here so if you have a budget of ten you are better off looking here and then you don't have to risk flying the foal over ect.

                    I have seen youngsters produced by breeders here that are easily on par with a super foal from Germany (and I have been shopping in Germany, been to elite auction, watched the foals ect ect).

                    "Simple: Breeding,Training, Riding". Wolfram Wittig.


                    • #70
                      Totally agree with you, Donella.
                      Siegi Belz
                      2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                      Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


                      • #71
                        Here there is a filly foal for sale for 4,000 euros: http://www.horsetelex.nl/forsale/detail/4488
                        The dam is a full sister to Special D.
                        TB stallion Spirit Lake
                        Spirit Lake
                        Spirit Lake pictures


                        • #72
                          There was a thread on the forum not too long ago that recognized US breeders. I think that would be an excellent place to start. There were some listed that I know who are really putting spectacular foals on the ground that I understand would be competitive with those in Europe.


                          • #73
                            The Dutch have had a hard time selling all the youngsters they produce and 4,000 Euros is pretty good price as far as they're concerned. So convert that to dollars and then add $8,000.00 to it and you can get a better price on a better bred horse in the US. Same holds true for the German youngsters. I have consistently produced youngsters that have finished in the Top Five in the US and yet have never charged more than $12,500.00 for a weanling. There's no way that I am an exception..... :-)
                            Siegi Belz
                            2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                            Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


                            • Original Poster

                              I could not find that thread, could you possibly direct it to me? Another issue I have been having is getting no response in emails. Some breeders are lovely with very quick responses, they tend to also be the "big breeders" but that is a minority.

                              Originally posted by bathsheba8542 View Post
                              There was a thread on the forum not too long ago that recognized US breeders. I think that would be an excellent place to start. There were some listed that I know who are really putting spectacular foals on the ground that I understand would be competitive with those in Europe.


                              • #75
                                In reply to Elles' post...... the Europeans have had a hard time selling their youngsters these past few years. So take that filly and convert the 4,000 Euros to Dollars, then add $8,000.00 for transport, etc., and all of a sudden it's not such a bargain anymore. I have consistently bred foals that ended up in the Top Five in the country (US) and have never asked more than $12,500.00 for one.....
                                Siegi Belz
                                2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                                Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.


                                • #76
                                  Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
                                  In reply to Elles' post...... the Europeans have had a hard time selling their youngsters these past few years. So take that filly and convert the 4,000 Euros to Dollars, then add $8,000.00 for transport, etc., and all of a sudden it's not such a bargain anymore. I have consistently bred foals that ended up in the Top Five in the country (US) and have never asked more than $12,500.00 for one.....
                                  SOME breeders have had a hard time selling their foals in this economic climate. The top breeders NEVER have trouble selling their foals. You will NEVER see their foals at an auction somewhere.

                                  You are more than likely NEVER to have access to this horse again if you don't buy it as a foal as well.


                                  • #77
                                    Bayhawk - I know you come from Holstein "Background" For that it holds certainly very true what you state.

                                    But for the other populations in Germany just due to the numbers of foals that exist, you are able to get such top damline horses. It is also not easy and first you have to find out what you consider as top breeder, but than if you have also a contact Person, it is often possible.

                                    Last year someone I know bought e.g. an older mare (15) from a top hanoverian breeder for 3000. This Investment plus breeding costs gave than a filly from a stallion that the Person wanted. Something you could never acquire on the market as the seller of that mare would have kept foals of this mare for the future...
                                    I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
                                    2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
                                    May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


                                    • #78
                                      Search for Mary Lou Winn's and Siegi's Name in a thread and I think you will come to the said thread of US breeders. I remember it aswell.
                                      I have seen some of Mary Lou's products in person in 2011 and yes she breeds horses that you can easily compare to better ones over here.
                                      I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
                                      2017: March: Filly by Lissaro - SPS Don Frederico - SPS Prince Thatch
                                      May: Finnigan - Sandro Hit - SPS Rouletto


                                      • #79
                                        very interesting thread.
                                        First, I'm NOT a breeder. (though I debate trying at some point, for a foal to keep for myself)

                                        But what I find interesting is the focus on performance mares and the damlines. I think part of the problem is a lot of those mares with proven performance lines get purchased and used as performance horses. This gives them limited opportunity to be moms and pass along those lines and traits.
                                        My mare was premium at her inspection. She's by very well known imported top 10 (USEF) stallion (with LOTS of top hunters, jumpers, eventers, and even dressage offspring, and several approved stallions) and her dam was imported and is also by a very well known (now deceased) stallion with multiple jumpers/dressage/approved stallion offspring.
                                        My mare is correct, fancy and sound. I would LOVE a baby from her, but honestly I'm having much too much fun showing her (we do AO hunters on the midwest A-rated level) to put that on hold for a year or two. Maybe when she's 16 and ready to step down, I could breed her and then wait another several years to see if Baby is my next AO horse. Or I could sell her as a packer to a up-and-coming 2'6 rider, and use that money to go buy a nice 4yo that is ready to start showing in the baby divisions. I don't have a farm where I can raise a herd. It costs as much for me to board my 2yo as it does my going show horses.

                                        so, what I'm saying is, how many amazing broodmares out there never got to be broodmares? If the fabulous performace line girls get used as performance horses, than that leaves a lot of OTTBs and such in the lower-level breeding programs. I know a lot of the good breeders (and above posters) are very proud and carefully manage their damlines (and have amazing offspring to prove it) but there are so many backyard breeders that find a random TB mare, breed it to a nice flavor-of-the-week Big Name Stallion, and ask an arm and a leg for the foal once it hits the ground.

                                        Just my thoughts....
                                        A good man can make you feel sexy, strong, and able to take on the world.... oh, sorry.... that's wine...wine does that...



                                        • #80
                                          I guess I should speak up. OP, I myself have imported 6 horses from Germany for the exact reasons you mentioned. I might get some flack for it but my last import was in 2007 ( I think by now the U.S. has more stock to choose from) but also, it was because I found that in Germany, where Hanoverians are in abundance in concentrated areas, you can go to one place without having to spend thousands in air fare, choose what you want and get it to your farm for roughly the same price as one you'd find in the U.S. The mare I have now, would have cost me much more to buy in the U.S. She is everything an American breeder or competitive rider could ask for but in Germany, her kind is a dime a dozen. IF I could find one like her in the U.S. and of course, they do exist, I would be hard pressed to get a breeder to part with her AND if she was available for sale, would be totally unaffordable. I bought her from their door to mine, she was a green broke 3 year old, so I could try her under saddle, for what I've seen some yearlings go for here in the U.S. I do understand where you're coming from