The profits are not made from showing the horse. The horses value increases but the big money is from breeding those winners. A proven show horse can command a good stud fee and the value of the foals increases. Starting a colt and showing him early then retiring him or her to the breeding shed is the goal.
Also those collts from a promising sire or dam need to be shown as early as possible. The sooner you can prove your stallion passes on his abilities the sooner the mares start lining up for breeding. Since the first colts wont be shown for 3 years after the stallion or mare is bred and you need several foal crops to prove your stallion. Shalom
I agree with you that showing and campaigning along with LTE makes a stallion desirable to fetch the higher breeding fees. If you look at the million dollar sires in the NRCHA only a very small amount actually won the Snaffle Bit in their three year old year. Most of the them showed big in the derbies, super stakes, etc. AND passed on their talent to their offspring like you said. In my opinion it takes quite a bit of money and risk to get to that point where the foal crops are winning and proving that the talent is being passed on. I think it's a tough row to hoe to have a top quality stallion bringing the big breeding fees. I worked with a horse that has +$350,000 LTE in the NRCHA, AQHA, NRHA, won the World's Greatest and the Magnificent Seven, yet his breeding fee is only $2,500. I will never claim to be an expert on breeding but for all the years in training this horse has been, advertising, show fees, etc. I don't see it as being lucrative. Correct me if I am wrong.
However, if it was High Brow Cat at $22,500 a straw, your making money
It might not makes sense for the average Joe to go out and try to to buy a yearling to turn into a futurities, but for a trainer who's trying to make it big.. Yeah!!
Don't forget to tack on all the fame and popularity out of this! He or she can get many of those expenses (transport, entry fees, possibly tack, etc) covered by sponsors. Then there will be the increased in clients between buying and training. Also, endorsement deals and an increase in the sale of any product the trainer might be selling (ie Stacy westfall and her halter). They maybe be able to increase they amount of money they ask for training or doing clinics.
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It does make sense!
Last years Snaffle Bit is a perfect example. When we moved back to NV from TX we were supposed to winter some cattle on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. Looking at the NRCHA directory for a nearby trainer the closest one was a guy named Nick Dowers in Dyer. Nick who, where? (we ended up not going down there so I never rode with the guy)
But just a year later guess who wins the 2013 Snaffle Bit, Nick Dowers on his stallion Time For The Diamond. And now people have heard of him. That is getting your foot in the door for getting the higher end clients that have the money to send you several show prospects upping your chances for a winner.