Well Sharpie, when I was a kid, I would watch international equestrian events & us poor North Americans didn't stand a chance with our TB's against the Europeans WB's. Then NA equestrian teams started importing the WB's & now we are contenders & winners. Concidence?
Check out the Aussie Olympic eventing teams ;)
We've done very VERY well on good old thoroughbreds, a few of our best Olympic horses have been pulled off the back of a doggers truck.
That said, I am a big warmblood fan, for all of the reasons stated here. I don't necessarily have Olympic aspirations, but as a dressage rider, warmbloods are the way to go. In the jumping and eventing sports, you have a little more leeway with breeds, but dressage is a sport that is quite particular about warmbloods.
I have have thoroughbreds and warmbloods, the thoroughbreds have been 'fun', and I currently have a really super tb sitting in my paddock unfortunately unsound. Tb's like him don't come around too often when you look at the numbers being bred vs the warmbloods.
My yearling hanoverian set me back AU$10k (asking price was $14k) and that was on 'mates rates' as I am local to the stud and know the breeder. The stud fee for his sire is AU$3300, then you have collection fee, shipping costs, vet fees (have to PG mares, scanning to make sure they're ovulating, insemination fees. Then scans during the pregnancy to ensure everything is going well). Then you're feeding the mare and everything else on top of that. The breeder would not have made much profit off of my horse taking all of that into consideration, even with me purchasing him at 7 months.
You then have the performance and stud book testing. Each year the hanoverian society flies someone over from the stud book in Germany to assess out youngstock for potential elite mare status, and acceptance into the stud book. Only the best of the stock is permitted to be branded with the hanoverian 'H' and those stock are then recorded and registered in the stud book. The young stock are also required to be DNA tested before registration.
Breeding QUALITY warmbloods, is an extremely complicated, expensive process. Compared to a lot of the thoroughbreds where any stallion is thrown over any mare and hope for the best. Yes there is a lot of select breeding there to, but far more waste than in the warmblood breeding.