Why purchase a young event horse bred in the U.S. rather than importing? Here are 10 reasons:
1. U.S. breeders have access to and use the same stallions that are available in Europe. You no longer need to leave the U.S. to find offspring sired by the top eventing sires in the world!
2. The U.S. has access to the largest Thoroughbred mare base anywhere else in the world. Why do other countries use Thoroughbred stallions instead of Thoroughbred mares? Because they don’t have the mare base that we do.
3. If you buy a foal, you can raise it and handle it from the very beginning. The final result is up to you and is a reflection of your horsemanship skills and your time investment. You and your horse will be a team.
4. The youngsters are already adapted to our climate and soil. Feet and legs develop on the ground conditions that they will live and compete on. More often than not, what you see is what you get. There is no transition period ( which can take up to to a year) to see how the imported horse will adapt to the footing and/or shoeing style in the U.S. — or even if they will adapt successfully.
5. A horse that has grown up in the U.S. has had time to develop immunity (maternal transfer, vaccinations, natural exposure over time) compared to the “all at once” scenario when an imported horse hits the U.S. soil.
6. You can use the veterinarian of your choice for the pre-purchase exam. There is a clear understanding of your needs and wants, as well as transparency with the findings.
7. There is no pressure to find the perfect horse or at least come home with something. It is easier to get a second opinion on a finding — or walk away.
8. Lease to purchase options are often an acceptable path if a questionable issue becomes apparent on a pre-purchase exam in the U.S. That is an unlikely scenario for an imported horse – which at the very least one would still have to pay the shipping, import fees and possibly transport back if things don’t work out.
9. It is easier/possible to get a complete history (medical treatments, competitions, etc.) here in the U.S. than in Europe.
10. You have the opportunity to purchase a top horse (not one that has already been passed over). Now that event horse breeding is its own “entity,” the best horses are often purchased privately, and are never on the open market. They rarely leave their home country.
And although we titled this the “top 10 reasons,” perhaps the most important is really ….
11. That purchasing or involving oneself in a U.S.-bred horse can start a person on a lifelong journey of teamwork with a breeder to produce the U.S. horses that can represent our sport at the highest levels. Not only will you support U.S. breeders and trainers, but you also will be part of a pipeline that can supply our sport with the horses of the future.
More resources: The U.S. Event Horse Futurity is an exciting program to support U.S. purpose event bred horses and the young horse trainers that have the talent to develop them. For more information about this program please see the website at www.theuseventhorsefuturity.