Highclere launches new '50-50' terms for stallions Cable Bay and Land Force
Initiative designed to offer protection for breeders
Highclere Stud is launching a new incentive for the 2021 breeding season by offering '50-50' terms on its two stallions Cable Bay and Land Force.
Breeders purchasing any nomination for a Highclere stallion will be asked for 50 per cent of the fee on October 1, under SLF guarantee, but the remaining half will be payable only if the progeny reaches a target price of three times the nomination fee at public auction as a foal or yearling.
Cable Bay will stand for £8,000 this year, meaning the target price will be £24,000, while Land Force will be available for £5,000, hence a £15,000 auction target price.
If the breeder places a reserve on the progeny in excess of the target price, the remaining 50 per cent fee would become payable, similarly should the breeder subsequently decide not to sell the progeny at public auction.
"Everyone’s trying to work out ways to get through this period while also taking a slightly wider view about how small breeders can make it work with the complications with rearing horses for the commercial market," said Highclere Stud's Jake Warren.
"We’ve done quite a lot of communication with our client base and tried to work out ways that work for both sides. Last year we trialled this with a few folks as to whether they’d buy into this way of buying nominations or find it easier to commit to stallions that they might not ordinarily have gone for by using this structure."
Cable Bay made a rapid start with juvenile Group star Liberty Beach in his first crop, and has produced Roger Varian's highly-rated Laneqash from his second. Group-winning juvenile Land Force, meanwhile, has just completed his first season at the Berkshire stud.
"There aren’t many proven stallions in this country standing for below £10,000, of which Cable Bay is one," said Warren.
"Stallion masters have respected the Covid situation but, at the same time, there are issues in breeding horses; looking ahead one’s got to be respectful of that and look at a system whereby if the breeder wins, we get paid, but if the breeder suffers an unfortunate scenario, which can happen to all of us, there’s an element of protection there.
"At the same time, with Cable Bay's book of mares last year, he covered 100 mares at £15,000 and Land Force covered 155 mares - I think the second most popular first-season-sire - so he was unbelievably popular.
"Both have legitimate chances of producing some really nice two-year-olds out of those crops, so it makes sense to us to feel like the target price should be achievable. We think it’s just a different way of doing it and the feedback we’ve got from breeders has kind of lit them up, they’re all very excited about it."
Warren's research has also launched a second initiative for next year through Euros4Euros, whereby when a mare visits from an EU country the nomination currency is automatically switched into euros.
"We’re trying to simplify things for European breeders, both in terms of the sales ring and day-to-day accounting, and it also helps with the cost of travel," he said. "So if you're in Ireland or France and want to use a stallion, you pay in euros."
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