Before embarking on a search a racehorse, Horse Racing Ireland advises owners to consider the basics of the four P's - Performance, Pedigree, Physical and Price. A trainer or bloodstock agent is the expert in judging a horse's potential. Experienced and trusted advice from a professional is an important first step in sourcing a racehorse and one Horse Racing Ireland advises each owner to seek out.
Some horses will come with a level of performance on the racecourse. These are proven horses either on the flat or over jumps that can be bought privately or at a horse in training sales. Obviously those with a higher level of form will have a higher cost, but a horse that might be capable of better than he or she has shown to date could be bought at a bargin price.
The pedigree of a horse can be extremely important when deciding upon the purchase. It will help determine if the horse will be a sprinter or stayer on the flat while over jumps it might point to a preference for hurdling or chasing. Pedigrees are not an exact science and sometimes horses can surprise even a seasoned buyer, however it is always best to seek the advice of an expert like a trainer or bloodstock agent.
A healthy and correct horse with good conformation is an important start in the purchase of the horse. While allowances might have to be made, depending on the budget, horses that are physically and anatomically correct will minimise the risk of future injury. One
of the most important aspects to purchasing a racehorse is to be certain that
the animal has a clean Veterinary Certificate. It is similar to a survey
on a house, ensuring everything is in order before purchase.
A horse that possesses the previous three P’s; Performance, Pedigree and
Physical will almost always incur an increased “fourth P”; Price! The
combination of these three qualities does not guarantee ability, so don’t be
discouraged. A horse does not know how much it cost and anyone involved
in racing will tell you there is a lot of luck required.
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