Horse Breeder in Financial Difficulty
We have discussed the cost of keeping horses before on this blog and will doubtless do so again. We have also mentioned the fact that there are more horses available in the UK than there are good homes for them to go to. All of this adds up to an unfortunate situation for breeders. Some are finding that they cannot achieve sensible returns on breeding their animals and that they often can’t sell the horses at any price.
Lyn Phillips has been breeding coloured Trakehners for more than 40 years but has announced that she is giving up her business as she simply cannot make it pay. This year’s foals at her Honeybrook Stud in Worcestershire, will be her last.
The Trakehner is a warmblood breed of horse which was originally developed at the East Prussian State Stud. This was located in the town of Trakehnen in what is now Russia. These horses are used for riding in all disciplines but are particularly suited to dressage.
Rising Costs and Falling Sale Prices
Lyn Philips has recently told Horse and Hound that she is finding that people want to pay much less than they used to for a good horse. She was recently offered a pitiful £2,000 for a five-year-old who had been sent away to be broken-in and ridden. The horse was out of a mare which had cost Ms Philips €14,000. The five-year-old in question had cost around £10,000 to breed, raise and train. You can’t even get a mare in foal by a top stallion for the £2,000 that was offered for the horse.
Ms Phillips also feels that her business may have been negatively impacted by her decision to breed coloured Trakehners. Some people believe that coloured horses cannot be good horses and this has made the foals even harder to sell.
Unfortunately, Lyn Philips’ experience is indicative of a general trend for buyers to seek lower and lower prices. Buyers have plenty of choice and can often source good mounts for next to nothing. Only riders who compete internationally are interested in top horses with big price tags. Lyn feels that she currently has the best horses of her career at the stud but cannot achieve prices even close to those required to keep the business going.