FOR vendors it is important to know the intended market. Bloodstock agents such as Richard Brown from Blandford Bloodstock may offer advice to their clients on which foals will sell well and where to sell them to attract the most interest, and therefore the highest price for that individual.

How important is pedigree compared to conformation when someone is buying a foal? Brown says: “It depends very much on the client and also whether the foal might later sell as a yearling.”

Brown also believes that for some yearling sales you need an excellent physical specimen regardless of pedigree but for certain clients pedigree is all-important – either to eventually race or for breeding – so when buying a foal you need to bear in mind a number of factors. However, he did acknowledge that he always tries to buy an “above average” physical specimen, whatever its breeding.

“A foal should be well balanced with good limbs and good movement. A good temperament is also desirable. It helps to have some knowledge about what faults might improve with age or with good farriery and management, such as slight toe-out conformation or looking a bit backward. Those buyers who successfully ‘pinhook’ (i.e., buy a foal to sell as a yearling) are often very good at selecting a foal that will improve with age and care.” \ D. Carson MVSc MRCVS for ITBA