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This kind of alliance is not new to

Midwesterners. In 1999, four sport horse breeders in Wisconsin formed a group that eventually became known as the Midwest Breeder’s Group (www. breedersgroup.com). Their reason for forming the group was to provide marketing and communication networks, breeder support, and educational opportunities for themselves and other small sport horse breeders. They initially provided more educational programs for their members, however the members pushed for more emphasis on group marketing efforts, so a transition was made to find multiple avenues of advertising for the members to participate in co-op so that costs were shared amongst participants.

THE SILVER LINING

The economy has certainly caused many of us in the horse industry to step back and reevaluate things. From reducing prices on sales horses and stud fees, to finding alternative forms of networking and advertising, most of us are determined not to be defeated by the economy.

Alicia Padro stands the Hanoverian stallion Escapade by Escudo I. Photo by PonyCity

This has been a tough time for some, but has also led to great opportunities. Foal prices may never be this low again, so if someone is in the market for a new foal, this is a great time to shop. Stud fees may never be this low again either, so if someone is considering breeding that special mare, there may be no better time than the present. And as networking and communication become increasingly critical, now may

be an opportune time to check out options like Facebook and breeder’s groups. As I mentioned earlier, horse people are tough, and I’m optimistic that the horse industry will bounce back stronger than ever.

WT

Gigha Steinman is an FEI level dressage trainer and nationally certified equine appraiser who breeds Friesian Sporthorses and Warmbloods at River Oaks Farm where she also currently stands the Elite Book Friesian Sporthorse stallion Lexington.

www.RiverOaksFarm.net.

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