Alex Robinson asks if show horses are ever bred specifically for the job, or if they are strategically given new career paths after another one has failed
With the cost of breeding a foal often outweighing the price achieved for progeny – unless said youngster comes with an established form book – it’s no surprise many breeders are hanging up their boots.
In disciplines such as racing and showjumping, young horses with strong, on-trend pedigrees fetch thousands – sometimes millions – but a prospective show horse, such as a hunter or riding horse, is unlikely to sell for the same amount of money. The financial expenditure needed to compete successfully in the show ring is usually much less, but sport animals can go on to achieve global titles and win back their price tags many times over in prize money. So, with lucrative breeding opportunities in other spheres, would anyone actually set out to breed a show animal?