Family Ties: The True Value of A Stallion
Horses race from the time they are 2 years old, but they cannot continue competing forever. Eventually, your prized possession will have to hang up its hoofs. This doesn’t mean it can no longer be a profitable asset for you, its owner. The genetic material of stallions with a pedigree of winning or placing in a marquee is highly sought after. A documented record of high performance in these races can come in handy at the end of a Stallion’s lifespan.
The black type is shown by bold writing on the catalog page. This speaks to a horse’s perceived value according to how it has performed in stakes races. The bold writing shows that a horse has won or placed in various high-caliber meetings. A collection of wins or good performances in group races indicates that a horse is talented and valuable. Whenever a horse wins a race, this information is recorded in a database. In the most basic terms, this is a resume for a competing animal.
To be considered a black-type race, there are minimum standards to be satisfied by the event. In North America, a race is classified as black type if it closes 3 days before it is run, has a fee paid by the owner of the entry, and has a minimum purse as decided by the ICSC. The purse is the total amount of money paid to each of the participating or highest placing horses’ owners at the end of an event. For black-type races in North America, the minimum purse amount is $50 000, where the entries meet a minimum race quality score. Races open to all entries with a purse of at least $75 000 can be submitted to the ICSC for review.
High ratings sourced from winning group events can heavily influence the future value of horses. Racehorses eventually need to retire, but that does not spell the end of their influence on the sport. Research has shown that the most successful stallion possess the genetic material which is likely to produce future champions. For this reason, many owners look to breed their mares with champion stallions. To have this privilege, they must pay what is called a stud fee.
The more marquee races a horse wins in its career, the higher its stud fees. It has been reported that some horses make hundreds of thousands of dollars from stud fees once they retire. These figures speak to the future financial significance of black card races for owners.
A stud animal is an animal retained for breeding purposes once it’s retired from competing. Stallions that have not been castrated and have a history of winning high-profile events will always command higher stud fees. Due to exorbitant amounts charged by owners of champion stallions, it has become commonplace to offer a live foal guarantee. This is a guarantee that once the mare leaves the stud farm confirmed to be in foal by a veterinarian, she will give birth to a foal that stands and nurses, or else the stud farm will re-breed the mare for no stud fee the following season.
A racehorse’s potential value can also be sourced from its family tree. When black type is earned by one horse, it increases a horse’s value to potential buyers, but it also enhances the value of its sire and all its relatives on its dam’s side. That is why the black type is such a big deal for anyone involved in the horse-racing business.