Gloomy Prospects for 2009

The troubled economy seems to have made life very difficult for a number of industries and the toll it has taken on the horse racing industry is becoming increasingly visible. Now, looking towards 2009, not many members in the horse racing industry forecast a favorable turn of events, on the contrary, it seems that everyone will be tightening their budgets. Even though some industry leaders have tried to assist in bringing relief to the Thoroughbred market, breeders will still be feeling the slump in the market next year.

During the month of November, many facilities released new stud fees listings for 2009, many of which had dropped their fees by a considerable amount. Even the legendary Claiborne Farm, once home to Secretariat, decreased their stud fees by thirty percent. But it won’t be helping breeders who already paired off some of their broodmares before the fall in stud prices. As fewer buyers are able to pay top dollar for a number of horses, they have chosen to be more selective when purchasing a horse. This means that instead of buying five horses, they would rather use their budget to buy two horses of a higher quality. This reasoning does seem to be the best course of action, but is leading to a thoroughbred market that is flooded with horses and no-one to buy them.

Breeders are selling fewer horses and some cannot keep up with the cost of taking care of all their horses. Some breeders have been forced to sell off their best broodmares to make up costs and settle mounting bills. Those with weanlings and yearlings will be struggling in 2009 when it comes to selling their horses and breaking even on what they have spent in regard to stud fees. Even though the reduction in stud fees will help the horse trading economy, it has been suggested that less horses should be made available for sale, creating a greater demand and in so doing, stabilize the market. This will unfortunately take time, as there are only a handful of buyers that are able to keep up with the market prices. It is hoped that by the end of 2009 things will start to look a bit better for the breeding and trading industry. But it will be too late for some, who are already looking at ways to merely survive the economic crisis.