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George Williams Article in the Dressage Issue of the COTH....

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  • George Williams Article in the Dressage Issue of the COTH....

    One of the things George Williams states in this article is
    "We have many top riders on top horses that can't do it alone and need (financial) assistance."

    He then goes on to describe how the USEF helps to some extent and the rest is coming from sponsors.

    My initial reaction to this statement was that I thought that these top riders could probably raise quite a bit of money if they were more open to helping breeders of good horses with training at reduced/more reasonable rates. But before I put all this into a letter to the editor, I thought I would run it past the breeders on this forum to see if I am the only one thinking along those lines.....

    It's kind of like "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" kind of a deal...

    What do you think?
    Siegi Belz
    www.stalleuropa.com
    2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
    Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

  • #2
    Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
    One of the things George Williams states in this article is
    "We have many top riders on top horses that can't do it alone and need (financial) assistance."

    He then goes on to describe how the USEF helps to some extent and the rest is coming from sponsors.

    My initial reaction to this statement was that I thought that these top riders could probably raise quite a bit of money if they were more open to helping breeders of good horses with training at reduced/more reasonable rates. But before I put all this into a letter to the editor, I thought I would run it past the breeders on this forum to see if I am the only one thinking along those lines.....

    It's kind of like "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" kind of a deal...

    What do you think?
    I recently had a lengthy phone conversation about this very topic because, as you know, I have two very good mares that need to be in full training and will have four next year, and I am not seeing how this is going to work. And paying for full training at another barn is especially tough when you have a professional grade facility yourself where said horses are bred and raised. Any ideas regarding a plan that is good for the riders *and* the owners would be much appreciated! I am not interested in ones contingent on the sale of the horse - I am looking for something geared towards developing a horse/rider combo that is competitive at the upper levels.
    Roseknoll Sporthorses
    www.roseknoll.net

    Comment


    • #3
      Siegi, I 100% agree with you. Marne

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I also think it would help open some eyes as to the equine talent that is available on the home front....

        This could be a win-win situation!
        Siegi Belz
        www.stalleuropa.com
        2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
        Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

        Comment


        • #5
          Same problem in Canada!!
          Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
          2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder
          www.angelfire.com/ns2/our_horses/
          https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never...01844536521951

          Comment


          • #6
            You have to look at what both sides get out of the deal.... To be fair to the rider, it almost seems like the deal would have to conclude with either a sale, or a buyout from the breeder? And/or perhaps a percentage of stud fees (if it is a stallion) or some deal involving breeding rights later on (if it is a mare)?

            Just thinking as I type....... (and I have not read the article.)

            YL, in your specific case, with 6 horses (next year) and a professional grade facility, maybe you could lure a very good (although not Big Name) trainer to your own facility -- or possibly sweeten the deal by letting them have a few additional stalls for their own clientele also?
            River Oaks Farm - home of the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse Grand Prix dressage stallion Lexington - sire of four consecutive FSA National Inspection Champions. Endorsing the FSA.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by siegi b. View Post
              But before I put all this into a letter to the editor, I thought I would run it past the breeders on this forum to see if I am the only one thinking along those lines.....
              It's kind of like "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" kind of a deal...
              What do you think?
              while personally I think it's a very good idea,I believe the reply will be something along the lines of the never ending stud fee debates:

              instead of,
              "the cheapest part of breeding horses is the stud fee"
              the reply will be something like
              "the cheapest part of competition is the horse"

              and on one level they are right...flying a horse back and forth to Europe or Australia to compete and all the other things like grooms and gear and stabling and so on...

              and what if you do supply a horse and the big sponsor wants to re-name it "Milwaukee's Best" ?

              as an upper level rider said to us once: "getting horses is easy,paying the fees is what kills us"

              Tamara in TN
              Production Acres,Pro A Welsh Cobs
              I am one of the last 210,000 remaining full time farmers in America.We feed the others.

              Comment


              • #8
                Personal experience.
                I did have a big name trainer on my horse, Courtney King-Dye. She had sponsors, but of product, not cash.
                We put together a very detailed proposal and even allowed for renaming of Don Principe in it if the sponsor would come on board through 2012. We hired help in the form of a marketing firm. Not one taker!
                Now, that said, Courtney has a wonderful sponsor who helped us with the costs of showing and clinics, only a small percentage of the costs of a horse at the top already and not developing one and creating a reputation for that horse.

                As a result of the failed attempt to find financial assitance and because I have top quality youngsters that I need to start, develop and sell, I created a detailed outline for young horses and riders througyh Grand Prix. I sent it out to somepeople at the top who thought it had merit. But no one wanted to take on the task of helping to put it together.

                When I was in Florida this year, one of those top riders came to me and asked if I knew where there were top young horses here in the states as the horses in Europe were too pricey. I gave him the names of several breed groups, as well as some of the top breeders in the country. "Simple" I said,"look at the top USDF breeders of the year for dressage and in hand". All of us have websites and are willing to help out. We would even( since I know many of us are open to this) price a promising youngster well to a rider who could take the horse to the top. As far as I know, they never followed though.

                So in short, although through Courtney, I have had acess to some of our best riders, none have contacted me for any of my youngsters or any other breeder I know. Most of these top riders( not all of course) have working students or asistant trainers to bring along a young talent. But 4th level and above is what they want.
                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

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  I have attended two FEI Young Horse Dressage Championships and was amazed at the caliber riders, trainers, and owners in attendence. You would think that given the "prestige" of that championship there would be more big name trainer/riders interested in younger horses in this country..... Also, quite a few of the youngsters participating were American bred....
                  Siegi Belz
                  www.stalleuropa.com
                  2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
                  Dutch Warmbloods Made in the U. S. A.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Marydell View Post
                    Personal experience.
                    I did have a big name trainer on my horse, Courtney King-Dye. She had sponsors, but of product, not cash.
                    We put together a very detailed proposal and even allowed for renaming of Don Principe in it if the sponsor would come on board through 2012. We hired help in the form of a marketing firm. Not one taker!
                    Now, that said, Courtney has a wonderful sponsor who helped us with the costs of showing and clinics, only a small percentage of the costs of a horse at the top already and not developing one and creating a reputation for that horse.

                    As a result of the failed attempt to find financial assitance and because I have top quality youngsters that I need to start, develop and sell, I created a detailed outline for young horses and riders througyh Grand Prix. I sent it out to somepeople at the top who thought it had merit. But no one wanted to take on the task of helping to put it together.

                    When I was in Florida this year, one of those top riders came to me and asked if I knew where there were top young horses here in the states as the horses in Europe were too pricey. I gave him the names of several breed groups, as well as some of the top breeders in the country. "Simple" I said,"look at the top USDF breeders of the year for dressage and in hand". All of us have websites and are willing to help out. We would even( since I know many of us are open to this) price a promising youngster well to a rider who could take the horse to the top. As far as I know, they never followed though.

                    So in short, although through Courtney, I have had acess to some of our best riders, none have contacted me for any of my youngsters or any other breeder I know. Most of these top riders( not all of course) have working students or asistant trainers to bring along a young talent. But 4th level and above is what they want.
                    Marydell, I would be very interested in seeing that proposal. I am not sure I could help advance it but to the extent I can, I would.

                    RiverOaks - ESP. I had a similar thought regarding bringing in a trainer for mine. I am getting to the point where that make some sense, but as you identified one of the ways to make that work - allowing the use of additional stalls - won't work for me because we are close to full. Hmmmm.
                    Roseknoll Sporthorses
                    www.roseknoll.net

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Tamara in TN View Post
                      while personally I think it's a very good idea,I believe the reply will be something along the lines of the never ending stud fee debates:

                      instead of,
                      "the cheapest part of breeding horses is the stud fee"
                      the reply will be something like
                      "the cheapest part of competition is the horse"

                      and on one level they are right...flying a horse back and forth to Europe or Australia to compete and all the other things like grooms and gear and stabling and so on...

                      and what if you do supply a horse and the big sponsor wants to re-name it "Milwaukee's Best" ?

                      as an upper level rider said to us once: "getting horses is easy,paying the fees is what kills us"

                      Tamara in TN
                      I have the horses, and can pay all showing expenses including hotels, etc where necessary. But training fees on top of that - whether monthly F/T training fees or per ride fees can quickly run into the several thousands per month *on top* of showing costs. I think I am just going to have to take over more of the riding at home.
                      Roseknoll Sporthorses
                      www.roseknoll.net

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        and what if you do supply a horse and the big sponsor wants to re-name it "Milwaukee's Best" ?
                        They do that in Europe all the time. Say the registered horse's name is Charlie. It becomes Blue Cross Charlie with the first sponsor, it becomes Miller's Charlie with the 2nd, it becomes Dehner Charlie with the 3rd. They don't really change the name, they just add the sponsor's name to the horse's name.

                        When the Young Horse Program first started here some really good riders started looking, but I think they all just want PSG and up as someone noted. They DID attract some good younger riders and they are becoming better riders through this, but still....... I have no idea what will work. I am paying for clinics and lessons for a young man now to bring him along and try to 'create' my own trainer, but that's a long, long road for some very nice horses.
                        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                        Now apparently completely invisible!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Well ... it's hard for everyone because trainers usually do not own their own facilities and therefor cannot afford board on any horse...let alone a 3 yr old for the next 5 yrs to get it to PSG ect. Who pays the costs..maintenance, farrier work, shows ect ect ect?

                          Another big problem is that most top FEI riders won't or can't start youngsters and bring them all the way up from a 3 yr old so that would mean that if breeder has super talented youngster she/he has to put two years worth of work into it before FEI rider would be interested in taking it on...and then you still have the costs ect. Breeders AND trainers are both usually not in a position to spend 30-50 k per year on developing a horse...you know?

                          Another problem is that breeders often leave their talent in the field too long. We have had a few horses come in here that have serious FEI young horse potential, super well bred ect but they are 5 and just being started!!! So no pro wants that....the boat has been missed. I think alot of breeders do not understand the importance of getting their horses started and going at an appropriate time.

                          I don't know..it would be super if such a thing could work out but not sure how??
                          www.svhanoverians.com

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'd be happy to pay basic expenses and at least help with show expenses if the trainer (a good one) would train in exchange for the ride on a good horse. As you say, most of them certainly don't have the money to buy a top prospect. And no, it wouldn't have to be started by that trainer, and it wouldn't be 5 and unstarted.
                            Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                            Now apparently completely invisible!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Everyone,

                              It has been quite a long time since I have posted anything on this forum but your discussion has really sparked my interest. I absolutely understand the difficulty facing American breeders. You have quality young horses that need correct training. These youngsters have the potential to be superstars and need to be recognized for their talent and developed to their full potential. The difficulty being how can this be done while staying within ones own financial means.

                              Let me start by saying that I am not a breeder. I am a trainer looking at this from a different perspective. What I have found is that I believe there ARE some excellent FEI trainers out there who would want to work with the breeders to develop some prospects. I think the issue is that these trainers have a lot of experience but have not gotten out on their own yet and haven't had the opportunity to build up enough of a competitive resume for themselves. These young trainers are having a hard time connecting with these young horse owners and finding the right opportunity. As hard as it is for the breeder to find the right rider, it is just as difficult for the rider to find the right facility.

                              I am speaking from experience as I spent the past 6 years as an assistant trainer for Michael Poulin and am still searching for the right opportunity to get started. I put ads in The Chronicle, ads on every forum, searched Yard and Groom religiously and still came up empty. I contacted breeders directly about positions and the most common response being that they send their horses to already recognized FEI trainers to either be campaigned or to be sold. Truth be told too (as someone else had previously mentioned), a lot of these FEI trainers want horses that are already say doing like 3rd or 4th level. Mostly because they want the horses that can already show FEI now and not wait 4 or 5 years for.

                              There are so many young up and coming riders out there that are just looking for the opportunity to be recognized. At least speaking for myself, I would always be open to finding a way to make something work. I think many aspiring young trainers would. They need to start buliding up their own reputation away from being under the umbrella of an already recognized trainer, and I think that the breeder could get their hands on some real untapped talent to train their horses.

                              There is no way for the trainer to get themselves out there if they do not have access to these young horses and I think that if offered the opportunity, it would be worth it for the trainer to take a smaller training fee or work on a sort of bartership. This way, these top horses would be paired with top riders and with some time, patience and determination, would develop into a top combination.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I am a breeder and a rider so I can see both sides of it... I honestly think that alot of breeders do not think past breeding a super horse. They think that that is their primary job...but a good horse needs alot more than talent to be worth much or to be successful in competition. If you breed and keep the foals you need to budget or figure out a way to manage the horses correctly and get them going so that they have the chance to succeed. They need to be started WELL from the get go..not by some random cowboy or by someone who doesn't have a super good grasp of what is involved. So yes, it is VERY important to get these horses into the right hands and finding an up and coming professional and promising them the horse for a good # of years is the only way the talent will be optimized unless one has the financial means to just pay for the training for the next four years.

                                Also, what happens when the horse actually starts winning after a few years of work and is now worth 150-200 k or something like that? The rider is just starting to see success ....but the potential for the owner to make money is high? Alot of riders in my area have been burned by breeders because the breeders are in it for the money and the trainer is in it for the opportunity for success (can see both sides here too!). So it's hard...

                                Also, I know my trainer has taken a few youngsters on in this way ..ie he trained horse for free and paid all of the board with the understanding that they would split the profit when the horse sells after he gets it to PSG and competes it. He ended up going to Germany for a few weeks to ride and came back and horse is sold and he see's none of the money and he had put a year into the horse. I know of tonnes of stories like this. Breeders want to cut deals all the time here but they rarely make it low risk enough for the trainer....
                                www.svhanoverians.com

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

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Donella View Post

                                  Another big problem is that most top FEI riders won't or can't start youngsters and bring them all the way up from a 3 yr old so that would mean that if breeder has super talented youngster she/he has to put two years worth of work into it before FEI rider would be interested in taking it on...
                                  I was thinking this as well. It sems that once trainers get to a certain point they don't want to start the youngsters and ride the greenies and who can blame them? If you make your living riding and training at the upper levels you have to look after yourself and not risk getting hurt by a youngster.

                                  You would need to find the young up and comer with ability, knowledge and skills and then have a very good contract to cover everything, including the day someone comes along and makes the "offer you can't refuse".

                                  An alternative would be a "food chain" sort of system, whereby the young horse goes to the BNT and the BNT's asst or protoge rides the horse for a few years under the supervision of the BNT and then the BNT takes over.

                                  It is worth the effort to figure this out though as I too believe that there are top calibre young horses being produced in N. America that are falling through the cracks and not getting into the right hands.
                                  Last edited by Mozart; Jun. 11, 2010, 12:38 PM. Reason: sentence construction

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Currently only 2 World Cup/Olympic riders have horses they are competing in the FEI YH classes- George Williams and Michele Gibson.

                                    George is competing on the horse that I own and that we fully sponsor him on.

                                    One of the problems is there is only so many horses they can ride/work/teach in a day.As an example when I was visiting George and my horse in Florida his typical day was 10 horses/lessons every day: 4 FEI horses to ride, my baby horse, a third level/fourth level horse and several daily lessons from his students that travel and train with him. There simply isn't any more hours in the day for him to take on any more. Plus showing heavily, traveling, clinicing on weekends etc. I don't know any big time rider only riding 3-4 a day with slots open.

                                    That said my

                                    They need to do this at "full price" to make a living and stay alive. If they are lucky enough to have several working students then putting young horses with them might be a possibilty.

                                    Now that said there are many "middle tier" FEI riders who are open to a shared sort of arrangement and it can work quite well. These are the riders you need to find and work with!

                                    I have my FEI 5yo in such an arrangement. Excellent FEI rider who wants to get into the serious High Performance ranks and compete internationally. We have an arrangement - she gets a top young horse to bring along. She just was selected and rode him in the USEF Dressage Talent Search West Coast Clinic with Debbie McDonald and has been selected to go back at the end of June to ride in the USEF HP Clinic with Morten Thomsen. So the doors to the upper echelons of USEF training are opening up for her!
                                    RoseLane Sportponies
                                    Golden State - 2012 Bundeschampion & 2014 USDF Horse of the Year
                                    Golden West - 2014 & 2015 Bundeschampion Pony Stallion
                                    Petit Marc Aurel- FEI Dressage Pony Stallion

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by honeylips View Post
                                      Currently only 2 World Cup/Olympic riders have horses they are competing in the FEI YH classes- George Williams and Michele Gibson.

                                      George is competing on the horse that I own and that we fully sponsor him on.

                                      One of the problems is there is only so many horses they can ride/work/teach in a day.As an example when I was visiting George and my horse in Florida his typical day was 10 horses/lessons every day: 4 FEI horses to ride, my baby horse, a third level/fourth level horse and several daily lessons from his students that travel and train with him. There simply isn't any more hours in the day for him to take on any more. Plus showing heavily, traveling, clinicing on weekends etc. I don't know any big time rider only riding 3-4 a day with slots open.

                                      That said my

                                      They need to do this at "full price" to make a living and stay alive. If they are lucky enough to have several working students then putting young horses with them might be a possibilty.

                                      Now that said there are many "middle tier" FEI riders who are open to a shared sort of arrangement and it can work quite well. These are the riders you need to find and work with!

                                      I have my FEI 5yo in such an arrangement. Excellent FEI rider who wants to get into the serious High Performance ranks and compete internationally. We have an arrangement - she gets a top young horse to bring along. She just was selected and rode him in the USEF Dressage Talent Search West Coast Clinic with Debbie McDonald and has been selected to go back at the end of June to ride in the USEF HP Clinic with Morten Thomsen. So the doors to the upper echelons of USEF training are opening up for her!
                                      That's fantastic! I completely agree with you...that is absolutely the way the breeders need to go if they want their horses being seen. I hope that more breeders start "opening up the doors" for these riders.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        So how do you find these [Now that said there are many "middle tier" FEI riders who are open to a shared sort of arrangement and it can work quite well.] to work with. I don't ever hear about any of them beating down breeder's doors to get horses to ride. Someone who is a good, or beginning fei rider, who is working with an upper level trainer. Many of these trainers give 1 or 2 stalls to their better proteges, they would do the training and get lessons on one of our horses and maybe just pay for shows. They'd be under the umbrella, and funding, of the ULR/BNT and could have a good, well started horse to train and campaign.

                                        I found someone like that once, but all he wanted was 4th level or above.and for free
                                        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
                                        Now apparently completely invisible!

                                        Comment

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