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appropriate. Josephine sees this as another nice opportunity for networking and for opening the lines of communication between stallion owners and mare owners. Wendy agrees stating that she will happily recommend her stallion when she feels he fits what a mare owner is looking for, but she is also quick to add that some people abuse this which takes away from the stallion’s reputation and makes the owners look desperate. Creating aliases to brag on one’s own stallion has also been known to backfire, so if a stallion owner is looking to promote their stallion it is best to be upfront about it, because ultimately it is the stallion’s reputation which is at stake.

FUTURE IMPACT

With all the downsizing that breeders did in 2009 and are still doing in 2010, our sport horse industry will most certainly be impacted. Alicia began cutting back on breeding in 2008. Maryanna is only expecting foals out of five of her eleven mares in 2010. Josephine is a small breeder with only four broodmares, but she’s now sold two of them and is only expecting one foal in 2010 which is a significant reduction in production when you look at it in terms of percentages. Like Josephine, I’m also a smaller breeder, and I also sold two of my four broodmares in 2009, and I’m expecting only two foals in 2010. Jean, who currently has 85 horses and used to average 12–16 foals per year, is expecting only four foals for 2010 and has switched much of the focus of her program to training. These reduced numbers indicate that we may have a shortage of quality ridable youngsters in a few years. Alicia worries a shortage of American bred youngsters could lead buyers to shop more in Europe, an idea which is discouraging to many American breeders who’ve fought so hard to prove we can breed quality foals on our own soil. Jean speculates that the breeders who stuck it out and

still bred mares in 2009 may find themselves in a great position in a few years because so many others cut back. The same could probably be said for 2010, as people are still being cautious even though the economy is showing signs of improving. With the reduction in the number of foals produced,

there is speculation that this could lead to higher overall quality. “People are being more careful about what they’re breeding,” Josephine notes, “they’re not breeding the so-so

52 May/June 2010

“These reduced numbers [of foals]

indicate that we may have a shortage of quality ridable youngsters in a few years.”

mares for so-so foals so much any more because there’s not enough of a market for that.” Jean agrees, saying “there was a time when people thought ‘I have a mare, I’ll breed her,’ but now they’re taking time

to look at the mare a little harder—you really need a good mare.” Some breeders are also taking advantage of lower prices and breeder dispersals to improve the quality of their broodmare bands. This increasing emphasis on producing quality foals will be a long run benefit for the horse industry overall. The laws of supply and demand would dictate that the

decrease in number of horses available in the next couple of years should lead to higher prices as well. Higher quality for buyers and higher prices for sellers would both be good news for our industry.

BREEDERS AND SELLERS WORKING TOGETHER

The weaker economy may also be leading to an increase in communication and cooperation amongst breeders and sellers. Some, like Maryanna who is currently a member of four breeder’s groups, thinks things are about the same. Others, like Josephine, see breeder’s groups and the like as a great opportunity for networking and sharing ideas, and I tend to agree. Gina Fisk of Antero Equestrian

Jean Brinkman’s Trakehner stallion Hilife by

Martini Pg*E*. Photo by Shannon Brinkman

was the guiding force behind one of the newest groups, the Sporthorse Breeder’s Alliance, which was formed in December 2009 and already had over 130 members in just the first two months. I was quick to join this group myself, happy at the prospect of expanding my circle of breeder friends and contacts. Gina reports

that response to the group has been overwhelmingly positive with new members joining weekly. She feels groups like this are “a great communication mechanism to bring breeders together,” where breeders can share leads and tips on selling and become more familiar with other breeders in their area. Gina also notes that North American breeders and

sellers have a unique problem competing with Europe “because North America is so big and our horses are so spread out, it makes it more difficult for buyers to see several horses in one trip.” Better coordination between sellers with the aid of groups such as the Sporthorse Breeder’s Alliance can potentially make it easier for buyers and sellers to arrange buying trips more similar to Europe to help encourage buyers to “shop at home” first. Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60
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