'Racing in the US being cancelled would be the biggest frustration for me'
Industry figures tell us how they are managing in self-isolation
Kentucky-based bloodstock agent Chad Schumer tells us about how he is managing – both personally and professionally – with the worldwide lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus
How is life ticking over for you in lockdown in Kentucky?
I'm at home in Louisville, so really pretty well. I'm lucky to be healthy and able to obtain most necessities (shout out to Total Wine for their deliveries!)
We've seen on the news that some in the state are protesting against the lockdown. What are your thoughts on the restrictions?
I think we as a population need to do everything we can to stop the spread and get through this.
It’s not fun obviously, but these steps are necessary to curtail the virus. I find the protests comical. But, sadly, most of the population is more concerned with some sort of political statement than staying personally safe or considering the health and wellness of others.
Have you been managing to do much business with some key racing cancelled in the US, along with nearly all sales in the US and Europe this spring being postponed or scratched?
Surprisingly, we have stayed very busy. We're currently working on a number of stallion deals as well as nomination sales for our clients over here.
Racing being cancelled would be the biggest frustration for me. With a number of tracks here clearly demonstrating it can be conducted without fans safely, I’d think more tracks would be allowed to run.
In the news we hear a lot about physical dangers and the need to quarantine. However, there are mental stress issues as well. With no other sports running, at least people would have something to watch, perhaps wager on, and enjoy. From a financial standpoint, it could be a real boon to the industry.
There's a lot of talk about online sales at the moment, after the success of Inglis Easter in Australia. What are your views on buying untried horses remotely if needs must?
The idea of bidding online is very appealing to me and I think many clients would feel the same way. There's no substitute for being able to inspect a horse in person but at least this would cut down dramatically on the numbers needed to conduct an auction.
Do you think there will be any positives to come out of the crisis eventually?
People tend to come together after a crisis but, as we're all aware, this generally dissipates over time. The crisis may very well change life as we know it but humans are very adaptable in general. It remains to be seen how it all plays out.
While I would expect the sales to be off a certain percentage in the fall, I do feel it won’t be as bad as some think. Any return to a semblance of normality will be welcomed if not enthusiastically embraced.
On a personal level, how are you keeping yourself busy during lockdown?
I start every day doing a FaceTime workout with my personal trainer. Then there are lots of walks, cooking and wine drinking.
Any film, TV or book recommendations to share to get through quarantine?
HBO’s The Outsider [available on Sky in the UK] was fantastic. I'm also a big fan of Ozark on Netflix. I've watched a few movies that were surprisingly good: I See You, Miss Sloane and A Simple Favor.
Which Schumer Bloodstock Agency graduates are you most looking forward to when racing gets back into full swing?
Having a European Classic contender in Kenzai Warrior, who we purchased as a yearling for Johnny Collins, would be top of the list.
We bred a horse we hope will be a Group contender in Acquitted and we also bought the dams of Classy Moon and Dontaskmeagain, so are very much looking forward to their three-year-old debuts.
Swedish champion Victor Kalejs is one of our favourite purchases as well - he only cost us $10,000. Two that we have in training, Atacamena with Simon Crisford and Clarksville with Hiroo Shimizu in France, both look nice prospects.
Over here in the US, we have the Grade 2-placed stakes-winning mare Saracosa competing at the highest level - she was a close fifth in the Apple Blossom last week - as well as a Pivotal colt, Lascari, who we’re very high on.
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