Be a class act in breeding to make most from sales
Analysis by the Teagasc equine team shows that only the top 20pc of stock will realise a profit so aim to be among the best
Now is a good time to review the sales results from the past two years to see what lessons can be learned in preparation for next year's sales.
Taking a broad overview of the past 12 months, we can see that less than 20pc of the horses sold at public auction in Cavan and Goresbridge proved profitable within each age category. The only exception to this was the foal category, where just over 20pc of those sold made a profit.
A little more than 75pc of foals sold at public auction last year in Cavan and Goresbridge did not produce a financial return for their breeder.
It is evident that only those operating in the top 20pc of the market are commercially viable. Breeders and producers must aim for the top to be in with a chance to return a profit. A large proportion of horses presented at the public sales in the past two years had poor conformation, lacked athleticism and were badly prepared for the day of sale.
For this review, profitability was assessed using average costs of production, as calculated by Teagasc. The cost of production of a weanling foal is estimated to be €1,995 (taking a stud fee value of €700).
In 2009, 20pc of sport horse foals sold, and 24pc last year, (excluding Irish Draught and Connemara select sales) made more than €1,995. However, in some cases the stud fee exceeded €700 and, on this basis alone, some of these could indeed be unprofitable.
Breeders need to be aware that another extremely influential contributing cost that can erode profit margins is veterinary costs and mare fertility. Simply put, mares who require greater veterinary input can quickly dilute potential profit margins.