Racehorses have historically sold for premium prices due to their pedigree, reproductive ability and racing performance. Some have incredible success stories, while others have had disappointing journeys.
Either way, it will be interesting to learn why these horses command such high prices. But in the end, one horse trumps all. Read more to find out which horse sold for $70 million!
Why are horse races so expensive?
Horse racing is expensive due to a number of factors. First, many buyers hope to breed these racehorses and produce race-winning offspring. Thoroughbreds that perform well on the field can be sold for more than horses of normal or average ability. In other cases, some buyers bid astronomical sums because they wanted to keep racing the horses.
The price difference between stallions and mares is not that great. When it comes to reproduction, most people are shocked that females can only have one child a year, while males can mate hundreds of times a year.
Horse owners who wish to breed horses from award-winning stallions must pay the stallion’s owner a so-called stud fee. After the transaction was completed, the two horses were allowed to mate in the hope that their offspring would become the winning horse. At auction, most stallions are worth about 300 times their stallion cost.
Some auctions include for sale horses that have never been raced. For example, the Tattersalls Colt Auction allows buyers to purchase horses that have never proven their worth on the field. These horses are only a year old but still fetch millions of dollars at auction. Buyers have to guess how this horse will perform based solely on pedigree and physical fitness. If the horse does well in the race, the buyer wins the lottery as their stud fees and auction prices skyrocket. If the horse does not perform well, the buyer usually loses money.
Horse with the highest stud fee
Some well-known and award-winning stallions have very high stud fees, usually hundreds of thousands. Some of the most distinguished horses with expensive stud fees are listed below.
- Frankel was born in 2008 at the Juddmonte Farms stables in Lexington, Kentucky. The British stallion has won 14 races and his stud fees totaled $220,000 so far in 2019.
- Galileo is an Irish stallion with a stud fee of $663,000 as of 2019. His offspring have won over 300! Additionally, Galileo is estimated to be worth at least $199 million.
- Tapit is a $140 million American horse. Although he was an average racehorse without a big win, he bred extraordinary racehorses. His stud fee was $300,000, proving you can’t judge a book by its cover!
most expensive horse ever
The most expensive racehorse of all time is Fushaichi Pegasus. Fushaichi Pegasus is an American thoroughbred who won the Kentucky Derby in 2000. As a yearling (yearling), he was sold to Fusao Sekiguchi for $4 million. His name is a combination of “Fuso” and the Japanese word “Ichi” by Sekiguchi. By using “Ichi”, Sekiguchi wants to assert that Fushaichi Pegasus will be number one on the track. In 2000, Fushaichi Pegasus won the San Felipe Stakes, Jerome Handicap, Wood Memorial Stakes and the Kentucky Derby.
After several accomplishments, Fushaichi Pegasus was sold to breeding company Coolmore Stud for $70 million. Coolmore Stud hopes his descendants will have the same talent, winning races and racking up huge prize money. So while he was a racehorse, Fusaichi Pegasus was sold for breeding and not racing.
Unfortunately, the offspring bred by Fusaichi Pegasus did not live up to the expectations of breeders and buyers. In fact, most fail to prove themselves to be worthy racehorses, and very few become racehorse winners. Bandini, Roman Ruler and Haradasun are famous racehorses that bred Fusaichi Pegasus. However, the failed offspring of Fushaichi Pegasus resulted in a $142,500 reduction in his stallion fee. As of 2019, his stallion fee is $7,500.
other famous horses
While the price for the Fusaichi Pegasus remains the highest bid for any horse in history, there are other impressive horses that cost a lot. Five of the most expensive racehorses are featured below.
Purchased as a yearling for $500,000, Justify is a thoroughbred who is undefeated after six years of racing and won the Triple Crown in 2018. In 2018, he was sold to Coolmore Stud for $60 million.
Captain Jim of McElrath
McIlrath’s Captain Jim sold in 2003 for $112,500. However, he is not a race horse, but a work horse. Instead of being sold to work, he was raised. McIlrath’s Captain Jim is considered the most expensive workhorse of all time.
Shareef Dancer, a thoroughbred, was sold in 1983 for $40 million, making it one of the most expensive horses ever sold. Factors such as horse racing popularity, speed and pedigree drive the price of a Shareef Dancer skyrocketing. Additionally, Shareef Dancer is a descendant of another incredible racehorse, Northern Dancer.
At two years old, Green Monkey was sold for $16 million. He is a descendant of Northern Dancer like Shareef Dancer, and also a descendant of the famous Secretariat. Unfortunately, Green Monkey never won the race and passed away in 2018.
Another descendant of the Northern Dancer, the Seattle Dancer, was sold in 1985 as a yearling for $13.1 million. Seattle Dancer sets the record for the most expensive yearling ever sold. He won a lot of races before his racing career came to an end. Afterwards, Seattle Dancers were bred and produced several race-winning horses.
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