Broodmares ... How does it work?

Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby The Tin Man » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:01 pm

Last week a trainer friend of mine offered me a free breeding to a recently retired Grade 1 winner of his and said all I have to supply is the broodmare ...

I know NOTHING of how finding and breeding to a broodmare works ... So I don't even know if it is feasible for me to take him up on the offer. How does it work ... ? And what kind of price range is normal for a breeding to a good, solid broodmare? And once the stud is bred to her, what happens then? Cost also ...

Just trying to explore and see if this should even be a thought for me ... So whatever insight anyone here can offer would help a lot. Thanks. :)
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby BaroqueAgain1 » Fri Sep 27, 2013 8:58 pm

* Being the broodmare owner is the hard part in horse breeding.
* Getting a free breeding to a good stallion is nice, but it sounds like you've been offered a breeding to a horse who does not have offspring on the ground yet, so his ability is still unproven.
* If you want to go ahead, do you own any mares? If you don't, do you have the money to purchase a mare, and the time to research what bloodlines would match well with the stallion to whom you're breeding? A bloodstock advisor/friend to help you pick out a mare?
* Do you claim a young mare, or go to someplace like the Keeneland November sale to buy a recently-retired broodmare prospect? Do you have a facility to keep her? Someone to make sure she is healthy, and to monitor her pregnancy?
* Tin Man, those are only the issues I (a non-professional) came up with off the top of my head...this is a big deal, and you must have someone in the industry, someone with actual experience in these matters, who can advise you.
Good luck.
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby BlindLucky » Fri Sep 27, 2013 9:24 pm

Most likely the least expensive part of the deal would be the stud fee. It might save you a few thousand to have it waived, but buying a mare (whatever you want to spend--$2k? $20k? more?), boarding her, vet bills, insurance... ain't cheap :D

I'm on the opposite coast, but combo stall/turnout boarding for a riding horse here is around $600 per month. Depending on facilities and location, pre-foal you're looking at maybe $15 to $30 per day for broodmare boarding. Vet, farrier, foaling expenses, and care for the baby and eventual boarding for the little one too once it's weaned.

I guess it depends on what the goal is, too... breed to sell, breed to race? Would you keep the mare after she foals?

Lots and lots to think about, and you've gotta have a bit of spare change to cover regular costs plus random vet bills. I know there are a bunch of people on here who can give you specifics, but that's my input. I've never been involved with breeding, just yearlings and horses in training, so this is just my take on the whole thing... because I do daydream BIG when I browse the Keeneland catalogs every year and I'm a pedigree junkie :D
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby horsefan » Fri Sep 27, 2013 10:14 pm

They understandably want to get as many mares to their new stallion as possible. Do you know how much the stud fee will be? That will help with your decision. Mares can be bought at a very reasonable price - someone offered me a producing Tiznow mare for free. Buying a mare that has already produced is more of a sure thing than a maiden mare. I also don't know your budget - if you can afford to keep and race if the horse doesn't sell. Is this a foal share? If it is indeed a freebie, like every business transaction get it in writing of course. I agree that you should speak with someone who has done this successfully as well as your accountant and financial advisor.
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby Pronzini » Sun Sep 29, 2013 4:44 pm

You're looking at this bass ackwards. Non stallion owning breeders should start with the mare because that is the horse you own. Not every mare fits with every stallion and not every mare should be bred. To own a mare just to breed to someone else's stallion -- even for free--is a bad idea.

First of all being a grade 1 winning stallion isn't enough. Take a look at the NoCal sale results last August, who is selling for what and who sired these foals. The yearlings that sold for less than $5000 probably have at least $10,000 in them-and some couldn't sell at all which means the owner now has to break and train the horse.

In California, board for a broodmare is about $20 a day. It will cost about $300 to foal out and the suckling will probably cost extra (on the order of about $3 a day) before they get weaned and magically turn into another horse overnight. That, of course, is if everything goes perfectly (and whatever could go wrong :shock: ).

Breeding horses --especially quality ones-- is very rewarding, but things just don't happen. You need to start with a good mare and good people with productive land who know what they are doing. Stallion selection comes next and its part of a plan for that mare and your program.
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby Lord Helpus » Sun Sep 29, 2013 6:03 pm

Whatever you do, only breed a mare who has something (other than a uterus) to give her value as a broodmare. Breeding horses indisciminately is as bad as leaving a male dog intact and then letting it roam the neighborhood.

The old rule of thumb is that a yearling should sell for 2.5x - 3x the sire's fee. And you breed a mare to a sire whose fee = 1/5th of her value.

In other words: if the stallion's fee (real value, not pie in the sky price) is $10,000, then a $50,000 mare would be appropriate to send to such a horse. And, a decent sale would be 3x the stud fee (= $30,000) [Keep in mind that this baby will not go to the sales until it is about 18 months old. So, before you can look for you initial income, you will have 2 stud fees and 2 years of up keep to pay if you buy an open mare.]

Can you tell that many people do not make $$ in commercial breeding?

A LOT of stallions go to stud with an inflated stud fee, then the syndicate managers wheel and deal to get foals on the ground in hopes that enough of them will be good enough to justify the fee in the horse's 3rd year (when he has 2 year olds running). But MANY more stallions stand for less in their "bubble" year, than they do in their 1st 2 years. Just look at where Skip Away, FuPeg, Ghostzapper, etc. started at v. their fees in the 4th and 5th years.

Have I discouraged you from getting into breeding yet? If not, go to The Blood Horse Stallion Register and find 4 - 5 stallions which are standing in the range which you think this G1 winner might start at. Then go to Keeneland.com/sales and pull up the 2013 sales results. Pull up the stallions you have picked and do a search for yearling sales by those sires to see how the foals did, based on their sires' stud fees.

Bottom line, do not do it.
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby Kelly Kip » Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:52 pm

Honestly, you can't even afford to fix your car. How are you gonna pay board on a broodmare and/or foal? :roll:

And, if you DO breed and get a foal, can we jump down your throat when it ends up in a feed lot?
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby The Tin Man » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:17 pm

Kelly Kip wrote:Honestly, you can't even afford to fix your car. How are you gonna pay board on a broodmare and/or foal? :roll:

And, if you DO breed and get a foal, can we jump down your throat when it ends up in a feed lot?



You're an idiot ... zero chance any horse I ever touched would end up in a feed lot you cretin.

Don't you have something you'd enjoy better than soiling this thread with your crap ... like burning a cross or kicking a homeless person ... ?

Everyone else ... I sincerely appreciate your sincere input ... it is very helpful.
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby Kelly Kip » Sun Sep 29, 2013 9:27 pm

The Tin Man wrote:
Kelly Kip wrote:Honestly, you can't even afford to fix your car. How are you gonna pay board on a broodmare and/or foal? :roll:

And, if you DO breed and get a foal, can we jump down your throat when it ends up in a feed lot?



You're an idiot ... zero chance any horse I ever touched would end up in a feed lot you cretin.

Don't you have something you'd enjoy better than soiling this thread with your crap ... like burning a cross or kicking a homeless person ... ?

Everyone else ... I sincerely appreciate your sincere input ... it is very helpful.


No, I'm being totally serious. Costs for care are getting higher every day, and horses can live into their 30's with proper care.

Are YOU prepared to spend at least (and this is a low-ball estimate) $6,000 per horse/year for that amount of time? Because if you're not, don't get a mare.

And don't be so sure about "any horse I ever touched would end up in a feed lot". Unless you plan on keeping said offspring for it's ENTIRE life, you cannot control what happens to it if you happen to sell or it gets claimed.

And tsk tsk, name calling, Tinny? Please.... :lol:
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Re: Broodmares ... How does it work?

Postby Pronzini » Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:26 am

In all seriousness, almost nothing bred in California is "commercial" as that term is understood in KY and rules of thumb formulated in KY for commercial breeders just don't apply here. The mare population has gone down 50 % in the last 5 years, bloodstock sales are almost all cull sales, there is a yearling market but it is pretty quiet compared to Keeneland and most of the stallions are obscure at best. A successful stallion here may only be bred to 35 mares and most stud fees are in the $2500-5000 range.

What keeps the whole thing from imploding are the breeder awards which are pretty generous for a decent horse. But the breeder has to brave the gauntlet of fertility, an 11 month gestation, and 2 years raising the horse before you ever broach the issues of soundness and talent. So you have three years of bills (and I mean BILLS) not to mention hopes and dreams wrapped up in a very fragile animal that is incredibly self destructive. If a breeder wasn't crazy to try this, trust me, they'll get there.

But then plans sometimes come together and you breed a truly exceptional individual. There's nothing quite like that. But it is a very serious undertaking.
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