Bearing in mind, I’ve only been horse shopping in Europe three times, here’s my outlook:
12K euros is doable, but not easy, even for something that’s just recently been backed. I’ve found slightly better value in Germany than Holland, and that’s definitely been more on the Eastern side of Germany.
My favorite way to find horses is to search by stallions I like and the age, so Cassall 2011 is a frequent search term for me on youtube! I’ve found very small dealers this way and have found them to have sometimes better value on prices. That’s how I found these guys http://www.pferdezucht-jacobs.de/en/horses-for-sale/jumping-horses/
I now spend about 20 minutes every day on youtube looking at horses (even though I have one too many)… you learn so much from looking at a lot of video regularly, particularly when it comes to jumping or movement that a sire seems to pass on.
You can work with someone like Ira Denkhaus, who represents a ton of smaller owners. http://www.id-premium-horses.de/ She’s very responsive and I enjoyed working with her.
You could also go during one of the auctions, like the Hanoverian auction. They allow you to ride the horses and have some preliminary xrays. Bear in mind, anyone gets to the ride them, so some can become a bit unnerved by the experience and might have a longer transition after import.
The other wild card and I would love anyone who has experience with them are these Harrington Horse folks in the UK. They can really put together a super video! Their horses usually have fantastic pedigrees are the prices seem ULTRA reasonable. It looks like they put the basics on the horse, pop them over a few fences and then sell. I haven’t seen a ton of their horses that are good enough movers to be really top hunters, but there are definitely plenty of horses that could do the equitation. I stalk those guys and am wondering if anyone has experience with the???