Show jumpers are prepared to pay the most for sport horses, with an average purchase price of just under £8,000, according to recent British Breeding research.

The research showed that dressage riders were also prepared to flex their financial muscles, with an average price of just under £6,000, while eventers and breeders paid around £4,000. Interestingly, recreational riders were prepared to spend more money than endurance riders, with average prices of £2,558 and £1,859 respectively.

Professional riders, unsurprisingly, were prepared to pay more than twice the funds spent by amateur and leisure riders, which may reflect the calibre of horses being bought by different types of rider.

The most important equine characteristic for buyers was influenced by the horse’s primary role. Breeders ranked conformation as their highest priority, while show jumpers were most interested in performance potential. Dressage riders, eventers and recreational riders all suggested temperament was most important when they were looking to make a purchase.

The success of this initial piece of research, the summary results of which can be viewed on the BEF website (www.bef.co.uk), has lead to a second study, which will examine how British buyers go about purchasing a horses and the market’s perceptions of the British-bred horse.

BEF’s Graham Suggett says: “The findings of this research will be crucial in determining the marketing strategy for quality British-bred horses in order to support our breeders who are producing top class equine athletes.”

Everyone who completes the new survey at www.bef.co.uk will be entered into a prize draw to win either a £50 voucher or a magnum of Champagne. British Breeding will also make a donation to the British Horse Foundation for every completed questionnaire.

For more details visit: www.bef.co.uk