Hey all, just a short one from me tonight, my musings on a hot topic of discussion across the racing community on social media today.
Before i get started, I’ll add this little note; I believe exracers should carry higher price tags than they currently do. But why are they cheap to buy?
Colin Tizzard recently listed some great racers for sale for £500, cue everyone saying this isn’t on. Well, there’s multiple reasons why £500 is more than reasonable.
1. Horses with injuries are a risk. You’re asking someone to take on that risk. Will they come right? Will the addition of work cause a flare up of an old injury? Will it limit the workload? Will the injury need extra care that costs money? All of these things add to the cost of the initial purchase.
2. There’s no guarantee they will take to their new life. If you’re taking on an exracer and you want it to event, well what if it doesn’t take to dressage? What if it doesn’t want to jump anymore? What if it finds its new environment stressful? What if it doesn’t adjust to turnout? This is one of the risks you take on with a racehorse.
3. The horse may know how to race, but it knows nothing of other disciplines. Getting a horse ready for another career takes time, patience, tack, feed, supplements, treatments, training... the list goes on. All of these things cost money and add to the initial out lay.
4. Like it or not, racers have much more wear and tear on their bodies than leisure horses do, how many leisure horses are worked 6 days a week from a young age? This can shorten the working life of the horse, so when you buy an exracer, you’re taking that risk.
There are so many more reasons, but in short, when you buy a racehorse, you’re buying into a lot of risk, a lot of unknown and a lot of what ifs. There’s no insurance policy, no returns policy that says you can return the horse if it isn’t fit for the purpose you want it for.
I genuinely believe that thoroughbreds are amazing horses and in the right home, with the right training, they can turn their hoof to most things. But this is never guaranteed. You can spend £5000 and get a beautiful horse, ready to go out and compete, or you can spend £500 and spend £4500 in the process of hopefully getting the horse ready to compete and that is why they’re cheap to buy.
It’s not about how much money they won or what their original purchase value is, it’s finding a home that understand all of the above and all of the risk, but is still willing to invest a small sum of money, in the hope that their hard work will help these horses thrive in a new career.
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