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Stallion Promotion Strategies

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  • Stallion Promotion Strategies

    Since I have neither a stallion or a mare, this is purely educational.

    As i'm browsing message boards and seeing the continual "help me pick a stallion" topics, over and over I see some of the same young stallions raved about. Some of these have very little or no show record, and very few or no foals on the ground. It seems like there are a few different "it stallions" like that every year.

    Since the majority of the hype can't be on the stallion's performance or offspring, i'm left wondering what kind of tactics the stallion owners employed to get their rising star on everyone's brain.

    Obviously a lot of a stallion's popularity is based on bloodlines, looks, conformation, etc, but i'm more interested with what you stallion owners do for marketing. I'm sitting with coth's stallion issue in front of me, so that's certainly part of it, but there are a lot of jaw dropping stallions in here that i've never heard of (granted, as someone who doesn't spend a lot of time researching this stuff).

  • #2
    Should be a fun topic!!!

    Years ago when I first got into stallion ownership, I bought a stallion named Spot Pocket who was flashy and different, a nice mover, a nice type and there wasnt anything like him up in our neck of the woods at all. I smugly sent out my ads, put out the word that he was here, and peered out my window each morning expecting to see the line up of Mare Owners starting early - at about 7:00 am each day, clamouring to breed to him.

    I found out in short order that my view of how he was being received in the marketplace was VASTLY different than reality ...

    That in order to have ANY Mare Owners interested in breeding to him and paying money for the privelege of doing so, that *I* had better get my own mares bred to him first so that *I* could hold these foals up as an example of what he was capable of putting on the ground and then I'd also better put on my best begging voice to plead and cajole and beg Mare Owners with nice mares to breed to him for free or for vastly discounted stud fees so that I could get even MORE foals on the ground, and THEN in a few years time if all went well, I could expect others to speak highly of him and want to pay to breed to him ...

    And then, since no one else may have the same goals, the same pocketbook, the same ideas as the SO, you'd better have enough money in the kitty to ante up the fees to get these youngsters SEEN and judged against their peers in HB shows, DB shows, inspections or whatever, so potential clients can see and feel them in person and see how they stack up against the competition. Its pointless to have world beaters sitting in your backyard with you, the SO, pronouncing how fabulous they are, if no one else has ever heard of them before

    Jill at Greyfox Farm, IMO, has this down to an art. She runs various contests and promotions on her stallions to offer Mare Owners free and discounted breedings to her boys, she gets beautiful pictures posted on her website, she takes the foals to shows and inspections, she gets the stallions approved and out there showing with top riders and she participates on various boards with news and updates on her foals and on her stallions. Yeah - her stallions are eye catching and well bred, but if she didnt go the "extra" step to make them household names, they would probably have regional appeal only and not national appeal ...

    That - IMO - is the big difference, so when people ask about hunter stallions with "bling" appeal, Redwine is usually among the first posts as to who people recommend

    I spent an inordinate amount of money on my Faux Finish mare in mostly her 3 year old year, getting her to a lot of shows, to promote her sire Guaranteed Gold. I never looked at it as an "expense" but rather as a "cost of doing business" and my advertising budget for him. Now her full siblings will be following in her footsteps in THEIR yearling, 2 and 3 year old years to continue to get the message out there that offspring of my stallion continually win on the line against the very best competition out there

    A picture in a magazine or on a website can only do so much. A video can be sanitized and altered ... People want to see the offspring in person, at shows and inspections so they can judge for themselves what THEIR foal by that stallion may look like, move like, act like, be judged like, before they make their stallion selection for their mare
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    • #3
      Originally posted by apachepony View Post
      over and over I see some of the same young stallions raved about ....
      Thoughtful answer from TrueColours.

      What you said ... look who's posting .... over and over, the SO promoting their own and their following doing the same. Granted a following can include someone who has bred to the stallion and can post a good photo of the get. Those recommendations do carry more weight, but it won't really mean much until the foals are grown and show their full development. The younger stallions, it's just all hype and the name repetition. Bloodlines don't mean everything until a stallion proves himself prepotent. Then we have something to talk about!

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      • #4
        I think that Germany has it right, they are always looking for the young new stallions. I think that it keeps breeding moving forward. Maybe they are more confident in their ability to pick a good stallion then we are. I think it doesn't matter how nice your stallion is if your not marketing well you will never get enough babies on the ground for people to notice.

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        • #5
          I can only comment about myself

          I think a stallion competing creates a buzz. I'm tickled pink the stallion I'm breeding to next year is going to be competing.

          Eventually, for an older boy, it is the offspring competing that will carry that on. If I were a SO, an excellent, professional website with a ton of pictures would be a must. I think people narrow down who to order dvds from (i.e. their top contenders) based on the website.

          This is just me, but it drives me batty if there aren't conformation pictures on the website.
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          • #6
            This is a great thread. And I agree that greyfox has really nailed how to get people interested in her stallions - her website is one of the best and even though she is on the opposite coast from me, I check in pretty regularly to see what she has going on.

            I bred my stallion specifically for my own personal use - his dam has the lines that I wanted to continue in my breeding program and I researched extensively to find a stallion who would compliment and improve on her pedigree. For me it was important to have a stallion that continued with those welsh lines that I loved so much - and hopefully in the future he'll be something that other people will want to use as well, but first and foremost I agree that you have to have a stallion that you would be proud to use on your own mares!
            http://faircourthunterponies.homestead.com/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by TrueColours View Post
              Should be a fun topic!!!

              Years ago when I first got into stallion ownership, I bought a stallion named Spot Pocket who was flashy and different, a nice mover, a nice type and there wasnt anything like him up in our neck of the woods at all. I smugly sent out my ads, put out the word that he was here, and peered out my window each morning expecting to see the line up of Mare Owners starting early - at about 7:00 am each day, clamouring to breed to him.

              I found out in short order that my view of how he was being received in the marketplace was VASTLY different than reality ...

              That in order to have ANY Mare Owners interested in breeding to him and paying money for the privelege of doing so, that *I* had better get my own mares bred to him first so that *I* could hold these foals up as an example of what he was capable of putting on the ground and then I'd also better put on my best begging voice to plead and cajole and beg Mare Owners with nice mares to breed to him for free or for vastly discounted stud fees so that I could get even MORE foals on the ground, and THEN in a few years time if all went well, I could expect others to speak highly of him and want to pay to breed to him ...

              And then, since no one else may have the same goals, the same pocketbook, the same ideas as the SO, you'd better have enough money in the kitty to ante up the fees to get these youngsters SEEN and judged against their peers in HB shows, DB shows, inspections or whatever, so potential clients can see and feel them in person and see how they stack up against the competition. Its pointless to have world beaters sitting in your backyard with you, the SO, pronouncing how fabulous they are, if no one else has ever heard of them before

              Jill at Greyfox Farm, IMO, has this down to an art. She runs various contests and promotions on her stallions to offer Mare Owners free and discounted breedings to her boys, she gets beautiful pictures posted on her website, she takes the foals to shows and inspections, she gets the stallions approved and out there showing with top riders and she participates on various boards with news and updates on her foals and on her stallions. Yeah - her stallions are eye catching and well bred, but if she didnt go the "extra" step to make them household names, they would probably have regional appeal only and not national appeal ...

              That - IMO - is the big difference, so when people ask about hunter stallions with "bling" appeal, Redwine is usually among the first posts as to who people recommend

              I spent an inordinate amount of money on my Faux Finish mare in mostly her 3 year old year, getting her to a lot of shows, to promote her sire Guaranteed Gold. I never looked at it as an "expense" but rather as a "cost of doing business" and my advertising budget for him. Now her full siblings will be following in her footsteps in THEIR yearling, 2 and 3 year old years to continue to get the message out there that offspring of my stallion continually win on the line against the very best competition out there

              A picture in a magazine or on a website can only do so much. A video can be sanitized and altered ... People want to see the offspring in person, at shows and inspections so they can judge for themselves what THEIR foal by that stallion may look like, move like, act like, be judged like, before they make their stallion selection for their mare

              That is it, exactly. Showing the stallion isn't enough, it's all about the offspring. I intend to keep a couple foals by each of my stallions to show in hand, then eventually, under saddle. It's not cheap, but it's what has to be done. I've had MUCH more interest in my Section A stallion after I had a small foal crop by him this year. I chose one filly to show (all I can afford right now!), and she has done VERY well. I will continue to show her, etc.. the amount of interest in him has at least tripled. Now I have to start again with my new boy.

              Personally I haven't really gotten much response from the print advertising, and it is SO expensive. When I have some extra cash, I do them. I try to keep my website up to date (my current one is outdated by a couple months, but I'm building a MUCH better one that is taking up all my time). I feel very thankful that one of my very good friends is a photographer, so we get new photos all the time, and post them quickly online. My trainer is a graphic designer, so she makes my ads when I do run print ads and does a GREAT job!


              I agree that Jill does a great job with keeping people interested. I check her site all the time (more than anything because I love Redwine, and am anxious for any new photos of him or his offspring.. I'm anxiously awaiting my Redwine baby ). However, she has great customer service, and does a great job keeping her website up to date I always receive answers to my emails or phone calls very quickly, and I love reading the newsletters she sends out.

              .
              Making Your Ambitions a Reality at Secret Ambition Stables.
              Quality Welsh Ponies and Welsh Crosses bred for sport
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              • #8
                Originally posted by TrueColours View Post
                Should be a fun topic!!!

                Years ago when I first got into stallion ownership, I bought a stallion named Spot Pocket who was flashy and different, a nice mover, a nice type and there wasnt anything like him up in our neck of the woods at all. I smugly sent out my ads, put out the word that he was here, and peered out my window each morning expecting to see the line up of Mare Owners starting early - at about 7:00 am each day, clamouring to breed to him.

                I found out in short order that my view of how he was being received in the marketplace was VASTLY different than reality ...

                That in order to have ANY Mare Owners interested in breeding to him and paying money for the privelege of doing so, that *I* had better get my own mares bred to him first so that *I* could hold these foals up as an example of what he was capable of putting on the ground and then I'd also better put on my best begging voice to plead and cajole and beg Mare Owners with nice mares to breed to him for free or for vastly discounted stud fees so that I could get even MORE foals on the ground, and THEN in a few years time if all went well, I could expect others to speak highly of him and want to pay to breed to him ...

                And then, since no one else may have the same goals, the same pocketbook, the same ideas as the SO, you'd better have enough money in the kitty to ante up the fees to get these youngsters SEEN and judged against their peers in HB shows, DB shows, inspections or whatever, so potential clients can see and feel them in person and see how they stack up against the competition. Its pointless to have world beaters sitting in your backyard with you, the SO, pronouncing how fabulous they are, if no one else has ever heard of them before

                Jill at Greyfox Farm, IMO, has this down to an art. She runs various contests and promotions on her stallions to offer Mare Owners free and discounted breedings to her boys, she gets beautiful pictures posted on her website, she takes the foals to shows and inspections, she gets the stallions approved and out there showing with top riders and she participates on various boards with news and updates on her foals and on her stallions. Yeah - her stallions are eye catching and well bred, but if she didnt go the "extra" step to make them household names, they would probably have regional appeal only and not national appeal ...

                That - IMO - is the big difference, so when people ask about hunter stallions with "bling" appeal, Redwine is usually among the first posts as to who people recommend

                I spent an inordinate amount of money on my Faux Finish mare in mostly her 3 year old year, getting her to a lot of shows, to promote her sire Guaranteed Gold. I never looked at it as an "expense" but rather as a "cost of doing business" and my advertising budget for him. Now her full siblings will be following in her footsteps in THEIR yearling, 2 and 3 year old years to continue to get the message out there that offspring of my stallion continually win on the line against the very best competition out there

                A picture in a magazine or on a website can only do so much. A video can be sanitized and altered ... People want to see the offspring in person, at shows and inspections so they can judge for themselves what THEIR foal by that stallion may look like, move like, act like, be judged like, before they make their stallion selection for their mare
                So well said!
                Love your statements about the new ones-- need to beg owners with the nice mares to take the sperm for free in order to get nice babies out there--- THIS is where many a stallions that COULD be successful fall down... they come out Intro year with rediculous stud fees and then wonder why not many want to breed.
                A pedigree is great--of course--- but lets see what it produces before we demand big bucks.
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