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Why should I pay $10,000 for a weanling?

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  • Why should I pay $10,000 for a weanling?

    Okay this is for all you horse breeders/buyers out there. I was looking at all the horsey websites (equine.com, agdirect, warmbloods-for-sale, etc.) last night for Hanoverian weanlings. I am not really looking to buy, but I am curious to see market prices, demand trends, and basically what is out there to purchase. Personally, I will probably go to Europe for my next horse, but I will look locally first just to see if I can't save myself the trip.

    Here is my question(s): why are weanlings so expensive? The average price out there is $8500-$14500. I found one for $15,000 that was a palomino and I can understand that (rare color = high demand = price), but there are so many average bred, nothing fancy babies going for 10 grand! I just don't see how any breeder can sell these babies for that much money.

    Am I missing something? Can anyone shed light on these prices? Why would I want to spend $10,000 on a weanling in the states (which will probably be out of a TB dam) when I can fly to the European sales and find something older, out of a warmblood mare with equally good bloodlines as that of the sire. The babies I saw with two warmblood parents started at $12,000 and went to $20,000 - Amazing!

    From a buyer's prospective, it seems a lot of money to pay for a gamble. You have to wait 3 years for the weanling to grow up and that is of course assuming he/she doesn't kill themselves in the process. Also, every breeder seems to think their babies are 10 movers! Every ad, "This is a fabulous mover," "fantastic overstep," "huge trot," "natural changes" - well of course the baby is going to be a good mover! He only weighs 200 pounds, with legs longer in proportion to their body, and their backs are short. Half of those babies are going to lose that movement in a year or two when their bodies fill out.

    Anyway, not trying to start a fight and please don't attack me, I am just venting and would like some learned opinions on the subject. Maybe people are willing to pay these prices and I just need to up my budget accordingly.
    Most friendships in the horse world are just an opinion away from doom.

  • #2
    Ah, but the tradeoff is (even if you have to feed it for three years and train it) - usually they're not ruined, don't have bad habits, and are a lot sounder (and you can feed it the way you want to avoid joint issues, OCD, ephysitis, etc)

    Also, just because they're asking that price for it doesn't mean they'll get it or that it's not negotiable (by a little OR a lot, you never know). They're probably trying to recoup costs on the stud fee, ultrasounds, what it's taken to raise them so far and make a profit (which varies widely, of course, too).

    Comment


    • #3
      I can't answer your main question because I don't know, but I have another question for you:
      "What do you think importing a young horse from europe will cost you?" Sounds to me that buying locally has to be more cost effective. Isn't the big expense in have horses the boarding and the training?
      Looking forward to the answers you will get.
      Véronique
      www.FormosusSporthorses.ca
      Like us on Facebook

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      • #4
        .............and the rest of the story is...........you have to transport them here!


        There ARE a lot of VERY NICE weanlings (dam & sire WB) available here reasonably - you just haven't found them yet.

        You will pay one way or the other.
        ... _. ._ .._. .._

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        • #5
          First, you have to get that foal in Europe over hear. That's gonna cost you another $7-8 thousand. So, figure that in.

          Then, consider that costs for breeding in the U.S. are WAY more expensive than in Europe. On AVERAGE, I have $10,000 into a foal by the time it reaches January of the year after it is born.

          So, the question to me is: Do you want/expect the U.S. breeder to lose money in order to provide buyers with inexpensive horses?
          Last edited by Sonesta; Aug. 1, 2007, 07:43 PM. Reason: toned it down some.
          Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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          • #6
            because breeders breed as a business. Name one other business that barely breaks even and still remains in business. $10,000 for a weanling is average - you can get really nice ones for $7500 too, but those breeders are hurting.

            Sheesh - how much more blood do you (not you personally) want?
            www.juniperridgeranch.us
            Visit us on Facebook!

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            • #7
              Purchasing here gives you the opportunity to visit more than once. You will see how it is raised. You deal directly with the breeder, not an agent.

              The decline of the dollar vs. the Euro makes it much cheaper to shop in NA.

              Most breeders know others in their same region so you can visit several farms.
              www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

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              • #8
                BTW, nice QH foals go for more $ than WB foals.

                OP, what kind of price did you have in mind?

                A formula like triple the stud fee and a little more?
                www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

                Comment


                • #9
                  the reason i bought my weanling as a weanling is because he would probably be around $20-30k as a three year old and then i really wouldn't be able to afford him! plus, it costs me way less than $10k per year to raise him.

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                  • #10
                    I personally wouldn't pay that for a weanling...but some do. Breeding isn't an exact science and an exact market...it's tough to properly price weanlings and it's tough to recoup what the breeder has into them. What they're marketed for isn't always what they sell for, hence why many places and sites have a lot of yearlings still available. However, others do sell for those prices...the names in the pedigree, how well they match and what potential the foal came out with are huge factors. Some pop out with *just* the right blending of dam and sire lines and show it well, others have awkward looks and might go through a fugly stage before smoothing out and an unfortunate few from great lines may come out looking like the teaser stallion somehow got to the mare first.
                    I have seen a few weanlings advertised that just scream "Wow! Look at me!" Those get snapped up pretty quickly.
                    You jump in the saddle,
                    Hold onto the bridle!
                    Jump in the line!
                    ...Belefonte

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                    • #11
                      German breeders will pay $30,000+ for quality weanling so if you think you're going to get a "deal" in europe, you're in for a very rude awakening, epecially with our dollar in such a weak state.

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                      • #12
                        Well, I'm a breeder who doesn't think pricing young-stock by "what you have in them" is a good pricing structure. Sure, you have to take it into consideration, but just because it cost you XXXX to get that baby on the ground doesn't mean that is what it is "worth" in the market.
                        That being said, I'm probably one of the breeders that you think sets prices too high! I sell in-utero foals from 5k-9k (the 9k was this year, but it is a super pedigree). I usually sell foals/weanlings for 7500-12k. I base that upon pedigree, including what close relatives have done in the show ring, conformation, movement and (to a certain extent) what comparable foals are going for in the current market. I *knock on wood* haven't had a problem selling my young stock at these prices. I will negotiate (slightly) to a show home that is going to get that horse out and about. I can tell you that in my case the prices don't increase a huge amount from weanling to yearling age, unless that young horse does something spectacular in the show ring.
                        Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
                        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I know a breeder who was doing frozen breedings years back when it was first available, and she had a nice Dutch mare. She was getting $15K consistently for her foals. They usually scored very highly in the keurings. At the time, the dollar was really strong and transportation from Europe probably wasn't as much an issue as it is today.
                          www.oakhollowstable.blogspot.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            GreekDressageQueen don't forget to add in all the cost to import your new horse of about 10,000 on top of what you paid for the horse too! If you buy in the USA and ship from one coast to another top cost is about 2,500, do do all the math first.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I have a question for the OP; and this isn't meant as an attack or flaming at all, I'm genuinely interested in getting the buyer's perspective.
                              Why go to Europe to buy? Are you looking for a particular bloodline that just isn't available here, or do you genuinely feel that the quality is that much better? Are there other factors I'm not considering?
                              Feel free to PM me if you don't want to toss those answers out here!
                              Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
                              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                weanling prices

                                From a buyers perspect, it's a gamble... however, for someone like me who can't afford 30k or more for a quality 3 or 4 year old... it's my best and only chance. 10k seems reasonable to me... esp when you figure often a sizable chunk of that goes for stud fees, vet bills, and mare & foal care. I spend almost 10k a year to board my horse... so I couldn't breed my own for 10k.
                                That's one way to look at it. Just my thoughts! Trish

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I think you are also missing the point that these are not just random breedings with breeders hoping that maybe they'll turn out OK and maybe be rideable and trainable.

                                  Rideability, trainability and disposition are heritable and by choosing bloodlines carefully, and choosing a good match for your mare, you can produce a top quality sporthorse.

                                  Actually, the absolute best bargain in the world is a top class foal bred in the USA. There is absolutely no way that a breeder here can ever get the price for a top quality foal that it would bring in Europe.

                                  Someone said $30,000 and up. I know of one breeder/foal buyer in Europe who says he buys 50-60 foals a year for $50,000 - $60,000 in Europe. We could NEVER get those kinds of prices.
                                  Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                                  Now apparently completely invisible!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    100% Agree with Tiki... very true!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Honestly I wouldn't pay $10,000 for a weanling, but I also wouldn't go overseas and purchase one because after buying and shipping it would be about the same. I see many good looking babies in the US for a lot less then 10 grand, just like I see a bunch for more then 10. You just have to shop around.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Keep looking in the US.

                                        I bought my horse at 8 months old for 4K.

                                        He was the top scoring colt at his warmblood inspection - Rheinlander.

                                        He IS out of a TB mare and it's really served him well The breeder initially wanted 6K but dropped the price because she had new foals on the way and no room to put them. Look around - you never know what the circumstances may be that will help make the deal for you.

                                        This was a small breeder who, at the time, was just getting known. Her stallion was young, but doing well in dressage albeit at the lower levels at the time. I liked how this horse moved and I LOVED both his and the stallions temperment. Temperment is a huge thing for me so there was no way I was going to buy a horse off a website without meeting both the foal and the stallion (and hopefully the dam too).

                                        He's just turning 4 and has a lot of suspension in his gaits and a terrific attitude. I bet I could get a ton of $$ for him but theres no way I'd sell him! Oh and by the way, he's 17 hands now. The sire and dam were 16'2 so go figure!

                                        When I found him, I had spent months going through warmblood websites, breeder websites and talking to people who had bought young horses from these breeders. From that, I narrowed the search down to three breeders - all out of state. I went and visited each one, met the stallion, met the foals and other (older) offspring, talked to owners of some of thee offspring and made my choice.

                                        If you are looking overseas, you won't necessarily have that luxury.

                                        Its a lot of work to find the "right one" - but a fun project and in my case, I got a terrific terrific youngster.

                                        You might try checking out the warmblood inspection results in the US and look up the owners. I had success with a small breeder who had a limited operation but great results from her breeding. The warmblood inspection results will at least get you looking at foals who have good possibilities.

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