It is very challenging to develop a business of Sport Horse Breeding in the U.S.
If you are a responsible breeder that uses only approved stallions and mares with the goal of producing a superior performance horse by breeding the best to the best, you will frequently be met with indifference by many prospective buyers.
Some of them do not even care if the horse has papers or understand what they mean. They may recognize the names of stallions that are currently winning and think they want one of those.
It soon becomes apparent that the awards from inspections and breed shows only mean something to other experienced breeders not buyers.
Even if you are producing talented young horses with wonderful character winning ribbons in the show ring, it is difficult to find buyers when your track record is only a few years old.
You frequently sell them for much less than they are worth just to get them in good homes and get some money to your bottom line. As a Sport Horse breeder in the U.S. you are competing with a very established market in Europe with 1000’s of prospects to choose from.
If you are standing a stallion that wins at those shows and produces foals that also win, you will find that it does not necessarily get you more stud fees.
Many mare owners are looking to breed their favorite mare to produce a riding horse for themselves.
They don’t see the value in first getting the mare evaluated and approved for breeding by one of the Sport Horse breed registries because they also don’t see the value of having papers for their foal.
They want to breed to the popular stallion in their discipline that is winning in all the big rings with a professional rider.
One thing you can do is to try and educate the mare owners on how to pick a stallion – even if it doesn’t end up being yours.
A responsible stallion owner will want to do this and the people you help will talk about you to others and eventually the right mare owner will come along.
A good discussion of how to pick a stallion was in Dressage Today Magazine December 2011/January 2012 titled “Who’s Your Daddy?”
Are you a Sport Horse Breeder in the U.S. ? I would like to hear your experiences and thoughts.
Leave your ideas, thoughts, or comments below and share what you know.