Anatomy of a horse purchase

Freudbergian slip
September 27, 2009
Queen of the Stable
September 27, 2009
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Anatomy of a horse purchase

I had no desire to buy any more horses at present… until my friend said he was interested in a particular horse being sold at Keeneland’s yearling sale in Kentucky. They sell thousands of horses in this sale which continues for over two weeks.

We got Pat Hoppel, who’s married to Linda’s cousin, to check out the horse my friend was interested in. Aside from having his won ranch where we keep some of our horses, Pat is often consulted by others because of his expertise and finding quality horses.

We spoke Tuesday morning. Turned out the horse we were interested in was on his “short list.” He was going back to see the horse one more time and ask around to get a feel for the horse’s reserve price in the auction, which was to take place the next day.

He called me back a few hours later and said he decided the horse we were interested in was not the way to go. Instead, he found a horse he thought was the best specimen to be auctioned that day. So, I asked him when that horse was going into the sales ring. Imagine me feeling overwhelmed when told the horse was going to be sold in a matter of minutes. I tuned in to the auction site which had streaming video live of the auction. Only problem was it ran behind the actual events by 15-20 seconds. So, I stayed on the phone with Pat. He suggested waiting until the bidding slowed before showing interest. When it slowed down, I told him to make one bid. It seemed we overbid. So, I asked him for his recommendation. He said this horse was worth it, so I authorized one more bid. He said it was too late. The horse was sold. Better luck next time.

Well, from my point of view, I had the excitement of participating but none of the responsibility of purchasing. Since I hadn’t had time to talk to my friend who started the ball rolling or to anyone else, including Rhoda, my wife, I was actually relieved that we didn’t get the horse. However, my luck has been questionable lately. So, of course, the phone rang in less than a minute. It was Pat. Apparently, when he bid, the auctioneer had taken another bid first and merely advanced the level for our bid. What did that mean? It meant we were the high bidders! Oh, boy!!

To foreshorten the rest of the happening, no ne else wanted to participate in the purchase… not the friend who brought up the auction in the first place, not my other partner, not another friend I tried calling, not even Linda who demurred about taking her usual 10% share. Oh, boy! Oh, boy!!
I started feeling like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman. Then, of course, I got beaten up (and rightly so) for not consulting with Rhoda. Oh, boy! Oh, boy!! OH, BOY!!! Wapner, gotta see Wapner.

So, now it’s my horse. I had a plan with these horse but because of the way Linda takes her time with the horses and injuries, the plan has never been implemented. It was to get young horses, prepare them for racing and, if their talent was questionable, sell them as a two-year old in training. Hopefully, we’d get our money out but, if necessary, take a loss but not be wiped out. So far, as I said that plan hasn’t worked. So, I’ll check with Linda. If she can implement it, great. If not, I’ll be forced to find a trainer who will. Oh, boy!

Meanwhile, Ahvee’s Destiny is getting over a sore foot. Yes, that means it’s possible she will not be able to run in the $200,000 purse Stakes race on Saturday. Oy!

Best to all who celebrate Yom Kippur for a meaningful holiday and an easy fast,

Visit the Official Avram Freedberg website!

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