What I should consider before buying a horse?

Updated: Dec 12, 2018

Prior to buying a horse at public auction Boomer Bloodstock specifically focuses on two components: pedigree research and physical inspections.

Pedigree research occurs prior to arriving at the sale and commences as soon as the catalogue is released. Statistics are analysed as well as unique proprietary data to help gauge where value lies in the sale. Additionally, much work is done on each individual horse’s pedigree in regards to a mare's produce and race record. There are clues to the value of the horse and what racing it might find optimal that can be gained by assessing a pedigree.

When looking at an individual yearling all things are considered. The sire's production record and statistics, as well as broodmare sire statistics. The mare's production record is critical to the process as it gives an insight into the potential of this horse compared to its past siblings. Additionally, much research is conducted into the race record of the dam, where everything from age of racing to the class of racing is considered. These same research parameters are then conducted for the grand dam and the great grand dam. Everything is considered in the hope that it will give a greater insight into the potential of the yearling.

Physical inspections of yearlings begin on the farms where the horses are based prior to the sale. It is important to inspect yearlings in their 'home' environment. This is a key component to the inspection process as it allows Boomer to see horses in a relaxed environment. The yearlings will then be inspected again at the sale as it allows Boomer to see changes in the development during their preparation. At large sales such as Magic Millions where there are over 1000 horses to be sold, viewing them first on-farm then again at the sale allows for a more thorough inspection process.

When physically inspecting a horse, there are numerous variables to consider:

  • Horse conformation - how straight the limbs of the horse are, as this can given an indication into the horse’s soundness.

  • Horse walk - how the horse moves through the walk. We are looking for a strong hock action and a loose action with a large overstep. The reason a walk is important is because it is a four-beat gait, like the gallop.

  • Temperament - ideally looking for a kind eye and straightforward temperament. A horse that is playing up or looking unsettled at a horse sale will often not have an ideal temperament for racing.

  • Overall attractiveness - standing back looking at a horse, I will assess the horse has a whole package. When looking at a staying pedigree, I like to see a physical type that looks more like a distance horse, for example a long hip to hock, sloping hindquarter, good length of rein and lovely loose walk. When looking at a horse with a sprinting pedigree, I like to see a horse that is strong, with good muscle tone, short cannons and an energetic walk.

For more detail on horse inspections, check out the ‘buying’ tab on the website.