Cotswold Life

Putting the best hoof for­ward

For some peo­ple, horses are far more than just pets – they can be highly valu­able, with price tags in ex­cess of tens of thou­sands of pounds

- WORDS: Horse Racing · Lifestyle · Horse Breeding · Sports · Pets · Hobbies · Grand National · Rebecca Evans · Horsekeeping

If you’ve got any kind of furry com­pan­ion in your house­hold, you’ll know that pure­bred an­i­mals don’t come cheap. Horses, how­ever, can take this to a whole new level: the eques­trian in­dus­try is a very valu­able one, and re­gard­less of whether you’re look­ing for the next Grand Na­tional win­ner or a child’s pony, you should ex­pect a price tag that goes into the four-fig­ure re­gion and be­yond.

Choos­ing the right an­i­mal is vi­tal, but it’s equally im­por­tant for sell­ers to find the ideal home for their horse too. For­tu­nately, there are plenty of pro­fes­sion­als and web­sites to help, such as Right Horse Right Home. ‘Right Horse Right Home, through the ques­tions it asks, both of buy­ers and sell­ers, helps to pro­vide a more ro­bust frame­work where both par­ties are much more ac­count­able for the in­for­ma­tion they pro­vide,’ ex­plains chief ex­ec­u­tive Re­becca Evans. ‘What job the horse can do will ul­ti­mately dic­tate its price. Age also plays a part, as do other fac­tors, such as how long the horse has been with its cur­rent owner.’

A horse’s breed will also dic­tate its value, with ‘well-bred’ horses typ­i­cally cost­ing more, and its con­for­ma­tion will have an in­flu­ence too. Prices for horses can vary dras­ti­cally and there’s no such thing as a typ­i­cal price to pay, but if one seems ‘cheap’, it’s im­por­tant to ask why – it may well be due to fac­tors like a highly-strung tem­per­a­ment, but that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean you can’t give it the per­fect home if you’ve got the right ex­pe­ri­ence.

If you’re look­ing for a skilled com­pe­ti­tion horse, prices will quickly soar to hun­dreds of thou­sands of pounds due to the prospect of cov­eted ti­tles on of­fer. How­ever, if you’re think­ing of buy­ing a horse as a fi­nan­cial in­vest­ment, Re­becca rec­om­mends pro­ceed­ing with cau­tion. ‘So many things can go wrong with horses that are out­side of our con­trol, such as in­juries and ill­ness,’ she warns.

The world of horse racing, though, is a dif­fer­ent story al­to­gether. It is hugely lu­cra­tive, with top race­horse train­ers, own­ers and jock­eys com­pet­ing for stag­ger­ing prize money. ‘To put it in per­spec­tive, the Euro­pean thor­ough­bred sec­tor has an an­nual eco­nomic im­pact of al­most £11 bil­lion and di­rectly em­ploys 155,000 peo­ple in a va­ri­ety of roles,’ ex­plains Joe Cal­lan, who is nom­i­na­tions man­ager at the world-fa­mous Na­tional Stud in New­mar­ket. The race­horses them­selves can be worth mil­lions, such as Fu­saichi Pe­ga­sus, who is thought to have sold for be­tween $60 and $70 mil­lion in 2000. You can also pay to breed a foal through putting a mare with a stal­lion at a stud, which in­volves a so-called ‘stud fee’. This varies be­tween stal­lions and is de­pen­dent on a num­ber of fac­tors; the Na­tional Stud cur­rently has var­i­ous ex­cit­ing, top-class stal­lions, with stud fees rang­ing from £4,500 to £25,000.

Horses can be in­cred­i­bly valu­able, and if you’re look­ing to get to the very top level of the sport, you’ll need a sub­stan­tial bud­get at your dis­posal. Ul­ti­mately, though, the horse’s wel­fare is para­mount and it’s cru­cial to make sure you’re in it for the right rea­sons. As Joe says: ‘It’s for the love of the horses and the sport.’


 ??  ?? Time Test, one of the stal­lions at The Na­tional Stud
Time Test, one of the stal­lions at The Na­tional Stud

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK