Once you have decided to make the plunge into the American broodmare market one of the first areas of consideration is to decide whether you have a preference of buying a mare in-foal or empty. Buying a mare in-foal will be dependent on your personal preference and budget. There are a few areas that should be considered when purchasing a mare either in-foal or empty.
An empty mare is a cleaner purchase, providing clients with an easier transition when transporting their recently purchased mare to their new home. Empty mares will enter quarantine straight away and then will be available to be sent to a stallion of the client’s choosing in her first season in Australia. An empty mare will also keep the additional cost lower however it doesn’t provide a chance to recuperate the purchase price in the short-term.
Buying a mare in-foal does provide an opportunity to reclaim the mare purchase price sooner. A mare in-foal would stay in America and then foal down at a chosen farm. Boomer Bloodstock can also provide consultancy on certain recommended farms. Foaling down in America does produce additional cost compared to buying an empty mare. This must be factored into your budget prior to making your new purchase.
Regardless of buying a mare in-foal or empty, Boomer Bloodstock strongly recommends vetting any mare before considering a purchase to protect your investment. Getting your mare vetted in America is more crucial than in the Australian broodmare market. For example, having the mare’s feet X-rayed and we also highly recommend having a trusted vet perform a thorough inspection before purchase. Boomer Bloodstock will recommend trusted local professionals to carry out this service.
Once you’ve decided if there’s a preferred option between an empty or in-foal mare, Boomer Bloodstock will then start researching the sale thoroughly within the parameters of the clients requests. Areas that are key to this research are race record, black-type performance, ratings, pedigree, dam’s progeny and the stable the mare was trained in. Looking further, Boomer Bloodstock will steer clear of any niche pedigree lines that aren’t recognisable within the Australian market.
On the other end of the scale, trying to avoid pedigrees that are already saturated in the Australian market is another rule of thumb. For example, heading to America and buying a mare from the Danehill-line would not be beneficial to our clients. This is to maximise the return on investment on the resulting foal that the mare will produce. We will also endeavour to identify stock that will upgrade your broodmare band and inject a new gene pool into your operation.
Once Boomer Bloodstock has selected the right mares for you situation, inspection of the mares will take place. Although we keep it similar to what we look for in an Australian broodmare, when purchasing in America, local knowledge is paramount in finding the correct mares that will be successful in your broodmare band. As the American racing industry conducts both turf and dirt racing, horse confirmation can differ between the two. This is due to the different physical traits that are suited to each surface.
When buying a mare from America it is very important to identify physical traits that will match well with the Australian turf racing market. Boomer Bloodstock has years of industry experience in identifying these differing traits. American racing also promotes both speed and stamina which allows for their horse stock to match well with Australian speed horses.
There are a few physical traits that must be considered when purchasing in the American market. A key area is the differing hoof you’ll find between dirt and turf horses. The dirt horse will tend to be smaller and narrower as they are bred to be more compact to handle the dirt surface, so we look to identify mares with feet more suitable to turf.
Dirt horses also tend to have differing conformation to turf horses. Generally, you’ll find a straighter hind leg, straighter hip and a straighter shoulder. These are traits you want to avoid when purchasing an American mare and we are here to identify these. Once we have highlighted the negative issues in a horse’s conformation, we look to the positive traits that American horses exhibit. They are bred for speed and stamina and that can be seen in their conformation. They are built with powerful shoulders and hinds which allows them to be successful athletes on both the turf and dirt.
Looking for mares that are strong boned and prior history of medication use is another major factor in purchasing an American mare.
The American market is a great opportunity to target horses that are bred for speed, stamina and toughness. The areas outlined above are tricky to navigate without industry knowledge and years of research and education. Using Boomer Bloodstock as an agent, for any budget, will minimise the risk when making this investment and will identify the best qualities of American mares that will be successful in Australia.
See more on what I generally look for when buying a broodmare on video here: