By Adriana van Tilburg
In the first half of this year data has been collated from 68 publicized auctions, featuring just over 1,500 horses who have changed hands for a total of just over €34 million! In other words, close to an average price of €23,000. To date, the difference in price for fashionably bred embryo’s/foals or for broodmares has been anomalous.
For example, during the latest Elite Ekestrian auction a frozen embryo by Chacco-Blue out of Boyante de Muze (Kashmir van Schuttershof), sold for €25,000. At the same auction, a three-year-old mare by Casallo Z out of Bel Amie Courcelle (Apache d’Adriers), sold for breeding for €7,500! This seems to demonstrate that buyers are willing to pay a great deal of money based on ‘hope’, by investing in an embryo, frozen or otherwise. It appears that the tipping point has already been reached, where buyers will pay more for an embryo than for an in-foal broodmare.
This prompts us to consider the value of broodmare contributions to auctions. So far this year, the 10-year-old mare Lavina van den Bisschop (Bamako de Muze - Aphrodite d’Arsouilles x Nabab de Reve) has had five embryos at five different auctions. The competition mare Centaura (2004: Cento - Quicklight x Centauer Z) has had four embryos, but it seems this is only a small quantity of the embryos/frozen embryos that have been collected from her. The list of mares with two foals is quite numerous.
For sure, stallions will always come forward with more offspring, but it’s indisputable that the use of embryo transfer and ICSI is changing the marketplace for auctions and, in the end, for breeding itself.
At this point in the auction year analysis, Lavina van den Bisschop and Centaura both feature more offspring than some stallions, and it’s no secret that breeders like to invest in commercial and proven damlines.
Interestingly, there is an ongoing discussion about the genetic diversity with dressage stallions, that is lower for jumping stallions. For instance, when we look at the top 10 dressage and jumping stallions for most offspring sold, we see that the overall volume for dressage stallions is much lower than jumping stallions: The top two dressage stallions have 15 and 13, while four stallions occupy third place each with 12 offspring. For jumping sires tje tp[ tjree jave 42. 31. and 25 offspring, respectively. Looking at volume, there are 941 jumping sires in the list, and 574 dressage... To read the complete article you need to be a subscriber
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