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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May. 3, 2008
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    Default Question re UL experience

    I've noticed that many our very young up and coming riders are being encouraged to sell their UL "not fancy enough on the flat to be a team horse" horse and reinvest the proceeds into a couple of fancy young horses who are just starting to event. Many of these young riders have done some three stars and maybe Rolex once.

    The rationale seems to be that they're never going to get on a team without a very fancy horse so they're no point in wasting time once the've gotten a couple of CCIs out of horse #1 and someone is willing to pay decent money for that horse.

    My question is how much xc experience does a younger rider need to get out of that horse before selling it on? In many cases it will be 4-5 years before that young rider gets back to advanced. Now they're in their early to mid 30's and they haven't done a three star in 5 years. Assuming that one of those fancy youngsters makes it up the levels, has the rider stayed sharp? Also, how rare is the four star horse-how likely is it that one of those youngsters will make it?

    Ancillary to that thought, from a marketing perspective in terms of sponsorship and owners, is there a value to being a regular annual Rolex competitor even if the dressage scores are not competitive?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2008
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    Nowhere, Maryland
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    Default

    That first part is kind of a catch-22, isn't it?

    For the second part, I do think that the people who work hard and compete a lot with consistent results but don't quite have the caliber of horse that wins the dressage tend to have a hard time getting sponsors/ UL owners. (Ironic because I think they are the people we could use on the teams, and they're just a world class horse away from getting there.)



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2004
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    Carolinas
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    Default

    Going to avoid the discussion of keep #1 horse for experience vs #1 becoming unsound or sick so rider doesn't have money to invest in new horse.

    Based on the YR's and young adults that I have personally observed over the decades.
    XC Mileage is required. . .period. Whether BN or Adv - one needs to be out there knocking around over courses.
    Horse #1 may be a breeze to start, knew one like that, so trainer/owner/rider start thinking they got it under control. So they get horse #2 and realize there are major holes in everyone's training, expectations, etc. Watched this scenario play out with #1 horse that was catty through Training, but didn't have the proper jump frame to deal with Prelim. Owner/trainer understand and accepted full responsibility. #2 horse, homebred, was started by same duo and was definitely Advance and could have been International. All that was learned from #1 horse helped to make #2 horse. #3 horse, full sibling to #2 horse, was a totally different story. Very talented, different mindset. Original rider retired from UL and horse #3 was competed by 2 YR's with varying success. #3 horse was competitive at Int but not really an Adv horse.

    Long way to say - Depends. We all are learning everyday with every horse. So maybe YR's are encouraged to sell horse #1 and learn from the subsequent horses.
    Better idea? - Send YR to a "SR ULR" in a WS type position. Allow the YR to grow in an educated environment instead of a vacuum.

    Just initial thoughts off the top of my head.
    "Never do anything that you have to explain twice to the paramedics."
    Courtesy my cousin Tim



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2008
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    Middleburg, VA
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    Default

    Also, keep in mind that many of these young professionals are struggling to put food on their own tables while they try to make it in the sport. A horse who could teach a YR safely up through P and I, even if it wasn't competitive at the 3 and 4* level is worth quite a lot. UL horses also cost a lot of money themselves to upkeep and compete, more than lower level horses. It makes good business to sell a horse who is not going to be a team horse (if that's your goal) for a large sum that can be reinvested in your business (for one UL horse, you could buy 2 to 3 young prospects that show talent, compete them until they prove themselves or sell them for a profit if they don't make an UL horse).

    Lather, rinse, repeat.

    Meanwhile, you might make the goal to always have one coming into the UL while you sell the older, experienced UL who isn't going to be a team horse.

    But that doesn't always go as planned....



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
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    Middleburg, VA
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    12,803

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Highflyer View Post
    For the second part, I do think that the people who work hard and compete a lot with consistent results but don't quite have the caliber of horse that wins the dressage tend to have a hard time getting sponsors/ UL owners. (Ironic because I think they are the people we could use on the teams, and they're just a world class horse away from getting there.)
    This...a lot.

    As for selling young, fancy horses...well, often the riders who are successful and getting their names up at the top of the results, even at novice, training, and prelim, are going to bring business. And with business often comes owners with horses that are world class or clients willing to shell out to fun a world class horse. So, while the young, fancy horses that "replaced" the not fancy UL horse might be 4 or 5 years until they see a 3 star track (IF they ever do), a good rider with a thriving business, good success of horses and riders may find themselves sitting on something that's ready to go sooner than those youngsters.

    This is a TOUGH business. It takes a lot of money, but to get money you have to be successful. To be successful, you need money (or luck out the ass). You are only as good as your last show, unfortunately.



  6. #6
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    May. 3, 2008
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    Default

    I can definitely see where it would make sense if the rider has another upper level horse on the verge of being competitive at three stars. Or if the rider has done Rolex a couple of times. I guess my question is how valuable/ unique is experience over a four star cross country course? Can it be replicated with lots of rides over two stars and horse trials. There seems to be a perception among TPTB that it's not that important but if you look at the most successful eventers world wide, with the exception of Michael Jung, they all have a ton of competitive four star rounds.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2001
    Location
    Lexington, KY--GO BIG BLUE!!
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    Default

    Unfortunately, that's the game. Even the best riders sometimes have to sell a big horse to pay for others. It's hard, selling something "good" for the hope to have something "great."

    It costs a lot of money to keep and compete an upper level horse. It costs a lot of money to buy the best fancy young horses. For a rider without established owners/sponsors, you can't afford both... you either "live in the now" or start building something for the future. It's a delicate balance point to decide when "now" ends and the future begins. For most, it's when your UL horse reaches his limit; that's a natural time to step off and move on. But at the same time, you are aware that there's no guarantee the nice young thing will ever make it to the level of your proven UL horse.


    In an ideal world, you could keep your steady UL partner and gain more Rolex xc mileage, while bringing along your fancy greenie...but it simply costs too much to compete at that level anymore, for most people. Advanced eventing requires travelling longer distances, higher entry fees, more maintenance for soundness, and intense attention to detail. Simply put: you can't cut any corners.

    'Tis the game, for the rest of us who aren't Phillip Dutton, K'OC, etc, with strings of horses at the ready. Instead, there's a lot of "starting over" when you get to the higher levels, and each time you hope to get a little higher than last time. Sometimes you do, sometimes you don't...those who stay with it have to enjoy the journey, not just the destination-- you often spend a lot longer "getting there" than "being there."
    “A clever person solves a problem. A wise person avoids it.”
    ? Albert Einstein

    ~AJ~



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2000
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    passepartout
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NCRider View Post
    I've noticed that many our very young up and coming riders are being encouraged to sell their UL "not fancy enough on the flat to be a team horse" horse and reinvest the proceeds into a couple of fancy young horses who are just starting to event. Many of these young riders have done some three stars and maybe Rolex once.
    If this advice is coming from people affiliated with the USEF team/high performance program, one should take into consideration that the USEF team/high performance program has not been successful for most of the last decade.

    If you can finish a CCI*** or CCI**** on your dressage score, you will almost always go home with a decent placing, and, in a team competition, your score will almost certainly not be the drop score.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2008
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    680

    Default

    I don't know if the OP's scenerio happens as much as the YR UL horse is starting to have some serious soundness issues and is telling the rider that its time to slow down. Most of these YR's started with a horse with mileage. The hard decision is to sell that horse while he is still useful, and replace it. Therein lies the rub. Unless they have Nina Ligon's wealth, its nearly impossible to find a replacement at the Intermediate and Advanced level, that is sound enough to not disappoint. Hence the move toward the younger, fancier horses. Know a developing rider who was told by CMP basically, OK that one's good, but he's done, what else do you have?



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