Some horses cost more money than most of us will earn in our entire lives, so forget looking through the classifieds for a horses within budget, let’s have a look at those horses that broke the bank. You may be surprised to know there’s more than just race horses on the list.
The only horse coming in under the £1 million mark Lord Sinclair was the two-time German Young Horse Champion, principal premium winner at the Oldenburg Stallion Days and commanding winner of the 1999 Stallion Performance Test. For those who don’t follow dressage, that means he was a top level dressage stallion. The price he sold at was probably a good investment, semen from this guy is still more than some of us would spend on a full horse. Sir Sinclair, one of his offspring sold for over £300 000 breaking records in that year’s sales.
At 3 days old this adorable filly was still sorting out how her legs worked and how best to run around the paddock after her Mum when the media descended. This little girl was billed as the equivalent of the royal baby, and the price on this racing princess stood at a cool £3 million. Why so high? Her sire is none other than Frankel, who appears further along on this list himself. The stud fee alone was £125 000, and her dam has the pedigree to match the price, so it’s no surprise that even though she doesn’t have a name yet people are watching this filly expectantly.
If you think that’s expensive for a horse that’s not even a week old, then her half-brother born a few days earlier is valued by those in the know at £6 million.
Mystic Park was expensive in more ways than one, his exact costs are a bit of a mystery, although the £3 million number is often attached to him. A harness racer the trotter won 13 of his 16 starts, including some of the biggest trophies in harness racing. But what makes him most remarkable is the fact after being syndicated for $5 million (approximately £3 million) he failed his fertility test and the deal fell through, instead he was leased to Lana Lobell Farms. In his first season at stud 42 of the 51 mares he covered were in foal. But in August of that year he was struck down by Potomac Fever. Taken for specialist treatment he survived the Potomac Fever, but lost all 4 hooves to laminitis. This would have been a death sentence for most horses, but his value must have played a part in the decision to give him every treatment that veterinary medicine of the day could provide. For around 6 months he was treated around the clock including spending up to 8 hours a day in the swimming pool.
Despite his illness Lana Lobell Farms still purchased the controlling interest in him costing $2.4 million. Sadly from there the history of Mystic Park goes quiet and with the bankruptcy of Lana Lobell farms in 1990 the chapter that included Mystic Park was closed.
Like many others his sale price is a closely guarded secret, but the estimations and what little information is known puts the figure around £10 million.
Considered to be one of the world’s most outstanding dressage horses he was also the first horse to score above 90 in a dressage competition, Toto as he is known is also one of the most controversial horses of recent years, with legal action brought against his owners in 2012 by animal rights group PETA. The legal case highlighted two main issues, the stabling of Totilas away from other horses for up to 22 hours a day, and the use of Rollkur training, a method forbidden by many federations.
With a stud fee of around £4500 his first season as a stud brought in fees of around £1.1 million, an embryo alone sold for £25 000. But seemly during his covering duties Totilas suffered an injury and took a 2 year break from completion before returning in 2014. Those in the know are unsure if he’s preforming as well with his new rider, but the big test will be the Olympics in 2016.
In January 2006 a sale of selected two year olds included a colt that was to break sales records. The Green Monkey as he was to be later named sold for a then record $16 million to a consortium of three owners. Expecting this prodigy of Forest (sire) and Magical Masquerade (dam) to perform well enough to justify his price tag, and one raced to victory to retire and earn his keep as a stud.
In September 2007 he lined up in his first race as the favourite, his third place finish was followed by a fourth place and finally retirement after 3 races with no success. Now standing at stud for $5000 fee he has a lot of mares to cover to make back his money.
The huge amount paid for this stallion when he retired to stud is even more amazing when you consider it was in 1983 that this record was set, a record that was held for the following 17 years
Stud fees in the 1980s and 1990s were setting record levels, and Shareef Dancer was no exception, at over £100 000 whilst Shareef Dancers fees are far from the most expensive, but it’s still a hefty price tag.
Even though he was described by some as ‘too expensive to race’ and ever care taken to ensure he lived a long and healthy life, in 1999 he stumbled in the covering sheds and was fatally injured.
Winner of the Kentucky Derby in 2000, FuPeg as he is known to his fans, had been purchased as a yearling for $4 million. Sold in 2000 to Coolmore Stud breaking Shareef Dancers long standing record.
Widely reported as a failure as stud, his fee may reflect that, in 2014 only $7500. However it seems that his success may lie as a dam sire. His daughters are now starting to produce winners of their own. Even though his son Roman Ruler has shown success on the track and he has sired in total over 60 winners, many still say that FuPeg was an expensive mistake.
It won’t be until spring of 2016 that we will see his offspring on the track, but Frankel may that great rarity, a horse that lives up to his price tag. Said to be the greatest racehorse ever, his 14 race unbeaten career earned him £2.9 million in prize money, which is dwarfed by the £15 million in stud fees he earned in the first year of stud alone.
Of the 133 mares he covered in his first year as stud 113 are race winners themselves, and at £125 000 stud fee it’s no wonder that the mares are the best the racing fraternity can produce.
But even with these sort of numbers, there are horses out there whose price tags are either unknown or have never been sold, that may well be even more expensive. Take Galileo another of Coolmore Studs, in 2008 his fee for a live foal was £180 000, more than even Franklins fee today.