Bloodstock Blogger: Part Fourteen

Blogging seems to have gone somewhat astray recently but as the year comes to an end it feels like a good time to sum it all up. Right now, sentiment in the bloodstock industry all seems to be doom and gloom with articles like, ‘the harsh reality at the bottom of the foal market’ and ‘66% of all British breeders lost money’ flying around twitter.

Luckily my husband doesn’t follow Kevin Blake or Racing Post Bloodstock, but if he did, our monthly budget meetings may become more frequent. However he would be the first to trot out one of Warren Buffets famous lines, “be fearful when others are greedy and greedy when others are fearful!”

The reality is that breeding is a bit of a lottery, there are so many, “what ifs?”. You can breed the best mare to the best stallion and still get a crooked foal that nobody would want to buy, but generally even at the bottom end of the market, a good individual will always sell.

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Every commercial breeder is aiming to breed a sales topper, but we all know that it is not that straight forward. Unless you have a large budget to buy a black type mare or producer is not that easy so we all have to try and do the best with what mares we have got.

At this time of year I get out the excel spreadsheets and run statistics on all the stallions that I am interested in using. Figures are a great way to look at the stallions that have already had runners and sales horses. Then the boring part is that usually half of the stallions have to be taken off the list as they don’t suit physically, don’t suit on pedigree and for the me the most common theme is that they are too expensive!

2018 was my third year consigning yearlings and it has been a steep learning curve. I sold yearlings at Doncaster, Tattersalls Ascot, Tattersalls Ireland and Tattersalls Books 1,2 and 3 - it has been a good experience getting a feel for the different venues and how they operate. It is also a great way to meet new consigners and to watch and learn. Everybody has a different way of doing things and it is great to have the opportunity to see others in action. The other big positive was that every yearling found a new home and ahead of budget. Big relief!

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There are seven new foals to add to the two homebreds this year and yes of course they all have names. So this year the colts are…. drumroll….. Horace the Havana Gold, Colin the Cable Bay, Peter the Pearl Secret, Tyson the Adday, Kennedy the Ruler of the World, Cuban another Havana Gold and Fred the Fulbright. The girls are smaller in number but both by Fast Company and have been named Sparkledust and Petal, names which have been saved up for many months by head namer Athena Buckley! As well the foals, another four mares were also purchased so here’s hoping they will not be helping me join the 66% of British breeders that made a loss.

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It always feels like Christmas comes early for me when the new arrivals step off the lorry but its time to stop buying things for myself and start buying for everyone else! Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year.