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Regular commentator Observer asked earlier this week about the stud fees in Argentina and how they stack up against fees for the same or similar horses in the US.

A bit of investigation among the horse breeders here showed that they are paying half-price “or less” for stallions standing in the Northern Hemisphere, and those stallions year round in Argentina are likewise flexible in pricing.

For example, when Giant’s Causeway was imported to stand on a lease arrangement, the cost to breeders was in the neighborhood of $2 million for the ticket.

Lease members bought into the group for a $20,000 fee, and then seasons were sold for $25,000 to those not willing to sign on for the lease group. With a hundred mares subscribed intially and more than 130 covered, the son of Storm Cat more than paid back his lessors, and provided everybody in the Southern Hemisphere with extraordinary value for the opportunity to breed to one of the premier stallions in the world, especially considering the horse has recently been as high as $200,000 + plus in Kentucky.

The shortcoming to the pricing of NH stallions leased or shuttled to the Southern Hemisphere is the discrepancy between “SH” pricing and that farther north. There is NO value for the breeder in Kentucky, England, or France compared to the stud fees paid in the Southern Hemisphere (with the exception of More Than Ready in Australia).

One of the reasons for that is that the sales market in South America is not as robustly developed as in the States. Another reason is that most of these stallions are leased or purchased by groups of breeders, not stood at stud by farms that sell a great number of seasons.

In the next few years, we will find out which horses strike it rich in the El Dorado of South American breeding and whether that has the effect of raising stud fees.