Mare Purchases

Many of the best racing and bloodstock operations have been built on the back of a successful broodmare band. Most notable would be Juddmonte who to this day probably has the best broodmare band in the World.

Families are built up through buying the right mares, successful matings, good training of progeny meaning a proven successful broodmare is one of bloodstock’s most valuable commodities. Just one good mare can start a family which if looked after properly can benefit generations of breeders both from a ‘breeding to race’ and a commercial perspective.

When purchasing a mare you need to think about what you want to achieve. Are you breeding to race or breeding to sell ? If you are breeding to race then you have the distinct advantage that you don’t have to obey ‘fashion’. It might be that the fashionable miler is right for your mare but often it will be the case that you can use a good proven stallion who is just not ‘hot’ in the sales ring for half the price. If ‘breeding to race’ you actually have no need to use an unproven stallion unless you are trying to identify and use a young stallion before he becomes successful and his stud fee becomes out of reach.

A lot has been said recently about how breeding for speed is killing our European breed and how we will end up with such a speed bias like Australia whereby our greatest races are relying on imports to lift those cherished prizes. I would have to agree but unless we make changes to prize-money for 10f (2000m) plus races at all levels and for instance the racing programme rewards winners of races by stallions who won over 10f (2000m) plus and that stand for under £10,000, we will always have a market which lends itself to speed. Just look at the new stallions to retire each year, more and more are retiring having only run at 2 years.

This deviates from the point but it is important when looking at breeding to sell. At this point in time unless you are willing to compete with the Galileo’s and Dubawi’s of this World the market wants speed and if you are a commercial breeder and not giving the market what it wants, you will not survive very long.

Once you have decided what your ambitions are you need to purchase the mare. The main European mare sales would be the Tattersalls July Sale in Newmarket, Goffs November mare sale in Ireland, Tattersalls December mare sale in Newmarket and the Arqana December sale held in Deauville. All of these sales are well supported with fillies and mares for sale with most either covered and in-foal or maiden fillies off the track.

When purchasing a mare Richard looks closely at pedigree, race record, conformation, in-foal status, last service date (last date the mare was covered) and produce record and thinks ahead to future stallions that might suit the mare. A correct, athletic, well put together mare with depth, quality and a good temperament would always be the characteristics that Richard looks for.

2017 successes include Molly Brown who Richard purchased privately and then mated to Exceed And Excel. The result was 2017 Group 2 winner Priceless.

Other 2017 successes include 2 mares that Richard purchased for a grand total of 25,000gns (1 mare for 15,000gns and the other for 10,000gns). Mated to Showcasing and Dark Angel the two mares both produced fillies which were deemed good enough to get into the Tattersalls Book 1 yearling sales. They sold for 270,000gns and 330,000gns respectively – a fantastic return on their purchase price.

Richard has purchased mares from 5,000gns to 600,000gns and if you are looking for a broodmare please make contact on +44 7769 349240 or

Mare Purchases & Nomination Bookings - Richard Knight Bloodstock Agent.