Perspective: How to Determine the Value of a Horse
Apr 21, 2011
There is nothing like talking to an old horseman to help you gain perspective in life. This is especially true when that old horseman is a 70 year old Amish man that has been breeding standardbred racehorses all his life.
One spring afternoon I had driven to Joseph's house to breed a mare named Memories Parked. I introduced you to Memories Parked and Joe's son's Josh and Lester in my blog entitled "My Favorite Broodmares: Tilleys Going and Memories Parked". Memories' foals now sold every year to a private investor from New Jersey. I don't know what he paid for them but it was a lot more than $1500.
The old man motioned me over to a porch swing. "There's something I want you to see" he called.
I looked at Joe. The lines and wrinkles on his face betrayed the knowledge behind the bright eyes. His rough, strong hands told the story of a lifetime of hard work. Those hands had built the house and barn we now stood beside. Heck, those hands had built my house. I have a lot of respect for Joe.
He handed me a copy of Hoof Beats Magazine the official magazine of the United States Trotting Association. "Read this article" he commanded. The article was about The Private Investor and his success. The interviewer noted that The Investor had particular success with foals born from a mare named Memories Parked. The article went on to ask why The Investor didn't buy Memories Parked. The Investor replied "an Amish man in Indiana won't sell her to me." The article actually read; "an Amish man in Indiana won't sell her to me."
When I finished reading the article Joe handed me a FedEx envelope. Inside was a letter written on linen paper. It was from the investor. The substance of the letter was that The Investor wanted to buy Memories Parked for $75,000. That he would meet Joe at any time and present the money in cash.
When I finished reading Joe said "can you believe that a man spent $5.75 to send me a letter?" Joe was not impressed with the mention of his mare in the magazine. He wasn't impressed by the $75,000 cash offer. Joe just couldn't believe someone would spend $5.75 to send him a letter.
I asked Joe "are you going to sell her? It's a lot of money!" Joe looked at me with a knowing grin. "Naw" Joe whispered, "I'll never sell her." "Owning that mare gives more pleasure than the money ever could."
I now own a horse named Zippin Hot Harley that is worth a lot of money. Due to my daughters hard work (I am biased, but she is an incredible rider) and his athletic ability, they have been very successful. I have had opportunities to sell him for quite a bit more money then I paid for him. My wife and I talked it over. We know the smart thing to do is to sell. You know what? In the end we decided that Joe was right; owning Harley gives our family more pleasure then the money ever could.