This is the reality too… bc I’ve seen so many good 3’-3’3 horses going for $85k+ to buy… and some of those on the lower end have some maintenance or won’t perfectly vet, or they’re 14-15. If they’re solid and honest, the value has really gone up. The step-down from 3’6 horse is really a hot market now, especially with the 3’3 divisions now so competitive.
That is an awful lot of money to pay for participation in what is supposedly an amateur sport, with riders competing for a ribbon that costs less than a dollar. A decent racehorse could be bought for that kind of money with a prospect of covering running costs through prize money.
Tell me about it. I miss the sleek TB types and their heart, but now everyone just wants a La-Z- Boy recliner with 4 legs.
I mean, I’d say that’s on the low-end even for a truly competitive 3’-3’3" horse. Also, your suggestion of buying a racehorse instead is kind of odd, and I say that as someone who’s owned two claimers (and just sold an OTTB resale project). I don’t think anyone in the 3’/3’3" division has interest in becoming a jockey or owning racehorses as a replacement for their own riding hobby.
I literally saw a five year old shown 2’6’’ listed in the SIX figures a few weeks ago.
I mean, he was drop-dead stunning but.
Different horse culture here in the sunny UK. It is possible to buy a TB race horse for 85K and win back its cost in prize money but, apart from top level international show jumping, no one else expects to make money from other equestrian competition. Badminton Horse Trials in 2019 had a total prize pot of £360,000 with prizes down to 20th place. That is considered to be big money. The average person riding at a show will be lucky to make back the cost of getting the wagon to the show ground (translation: transport) One can find a good successful show hunter/ field hunter/ team chaser/ all rounder for £12K, a nice SF showjumper/eventer at about the 3’ level for 10K. I’ve just looked on Horsequest. A top class show hunter might be up to £20K with a HOYS qualification, but unlikely.
85K to effectively rent a horse for a few months is outside our imagination! I read COTH for the cultural insights it offers.
In my recent casual perusal of the market, I have been shocked by how high prices have gotten. I have seen many ads for six figure horses with zero show record. I know that many prices are ultimately negotiated below asking, but it does seem like Covid has driven a lot of inflation at the top of the market, as rich Americans have more free time and fewer things to spend their money on.
You also have to remember that there’s a whole class of buyer that hasn’t been able to go to Europe to shop for more than a year but is also too risk-averse to buy off a video. Thus, big markup for freshly-imported horses that are here in the States and can be tried.
Leasing can be great for owners but it also can be risky. I had to write a clause in our lease agreement limiting how many classes horse could do because there are trainers or leasees who will jump them excessively because they don’t care about long term soundness. I’ve also had a horse come back from lease and shortly (as in under a week) after he was returned “sound” - turned out to be completely broken. (That’s the exception but it happens). My lease price takes all those risks into consideration.