Dream of buying a racehorse? Here’s what to look for

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  • By the end of today (4 May), over 200 two-year-old horses will have gone through the Tattersalls Guineas Breeze Up horse sales in Newmarket.

    The concept of a “breeze up” originates from the 1970s in America, when horses would be tacked up and cantered along a straight in front of potential buyers. The concept then arrived in Europe, where it has been very successful.

    Plenty of bloodstock experts will be at the sales eyeing up the best horses for their racehorse owner clients, but what exactly are they looking for?

    Star Bloodstock consignor Byron Rogers gives us some pointers…

    “What we are looking for physically in a horse when buying is, firstly, that it’s nicely balanced — a neck that runs into a lovely shoulder. A shoulder that sits back well and a neck with plenty of reach to the head,” he says.

    “You want a good length from his shoulder to elbow, which is important when it comes to his stride length. And also a long leg down to the knee, followed by a short cannon bone.”

    However, most importantly, Byron adds: “We want to see plenty of depth from the withers down to the girth. This means there is plenty of room for the lungs. It is good to see that the withers are set back and he has a lovely short back to the point of his hip.

    “The thigh muscle and gaskin are also important and we look for a lot of strength here because that’s the muscle that brings the horse’s leg underneath them — ultimately where their stride length comes from.

    He concludes: “Finally, you are look that he has an alert eye and is a good-looking horse. He also isn’t too wide across his chest and his knees are sharp and clean.”

    In this week’s issue of Horse & Hound magazine (3 May 2018) we celebrate The Queen’s dedication to Royal Windsor, as the show prepares to celebrate its 75th anniversary

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