Credit : Karl Heinz Frieler
Tuesday 17 October - 15h00 | Eloise Lepine
Every rider dreams of finding the perfect horse one day. GRANDPRIX spoke to several well-known professionals in Europe, including Paul Schokemoehle, Tal Milstein and Uri Burstein. Below, they give you their top tips on working with a horse broker. Usually, the first thing a prospective buyer does in their search is to look online, but the choice can be overwhelming. That is why hiring a broker or a scout, can be very helpful. After studying the market, the broker aims to match the right horse with the right buyer. And for the amateur rider, working with a specialist is an excellent way to optimize the search for their dream mount.
Credit : Sporfot
Step 1: get to know each other Milstein, a professional rider near Brussels, says this first step is essential: "When an amateur rider we don’t know wants to work with us, we first ask to see some videos. It allows us to judge his equestrian level. Then we ask him for his goals, and of course we ask him his budget.” "As a scout, my main role is to understand which horse will fit the best with the client who hires me,” adds Burstein, who is based in Germany and works all over Europe. Step 2: the search The role of a broker is to act on a client's request in the context of current market conditions. And given that finding horses is at the heart of their business, they know where to look. "Sometimes we don’t have the fitting horse in our stables, so we turn to our partners and contacts. We have a big network — it allows us to have a wide selection of good horses to propose to our customers,” explains Tal Milstein. For Uri Burstein, this professional scouting capability goes even further: "Thanks to my network, I gather all the information I can on the horses that could fit the client’s demand. I rely mainly on the horse’s pedigree, their results in competition and every piece of information that allows me to understand better the horse’s history. Then, I go where the horse is to try him myself and to see if he can match the demand. This way, I can make a full analysis of each horse for the client.” Eventually, for Paul Schockemöhle, the prime selection criterion is the good health of the horse.
Step 3: the try-out When the client has chosen a selection of horses, the broker organizes a try-out. Some brokers prefer to gather all the horses in their stables in order to save money and time. Moreover, it allows the rider and the broker to immediately compare the horses and accelerate the search. Step 4: the horse inspection When the client has chosen a horse, the broker organizes a horse inspection. "The chosen horse must be in a state of health that allows him to fit the client’s wishes. That's why we do a complete clinical and radiological examination. We decide if the sale can go on regarding the results,” explains Milstein. If the visit confirms the choice of the rider, there are sometimes some formalities to complete. Here again, the broker, accustomed to these administrative procedures, can be a precious help. Step 5: the sale Once the horse has been chosen and the broker has introduced his client to the seller, he usually doesn’t take part in the sale. However, brokering is a real profession and the people who practice it need to be paid. Generally, therefore, the broker gets a commission on the sale, in agreement with the client and the seller. However, Paul Schockemöhle sometimes still feels a kind of mistrust on the part of some customers — and for good reason: "Many horse dealers don’t value the good matching of the couple, and only value their commission. Of course this is a job, everyone has to make a living! For my part, even if I don’t earn money on a sale, I know that if the couple is working and that the rider is satisfied, he will come back to me later for another search."
Credit : Scoopdyga
Step 6: after-sales serviceOnce the sale is concluded, the follow-up by the broker is also a real advantage for new owners. "The sale doesn’t end on the day of the signature. The after-sales service makes the quality of a good seller,” says Schockemöhle. "We lead riders in their search and the purchase of their new horse, then we follow the new couple for one or two years. We pay attention to his training and sometimes go with him for competition,” explains the horseman. For Uri Burstein, a professional scout’s involvement before, during and after the sale is essential: "Just as you wouldn't build your house without the advice of an architect, you must choose a trusted professional and ask him for advice in this important process."What guarantees exist for the rider?The broker has a duty to give as much information as possible to the rider so he can make an enlightened choice. In that light, he or she should help the rider in the most objective way. Nevertheless, sometimes the horse purchased doesn’t turn out the way his rider had imagined. And if after the sale it appears that the role of the broker has not been perfectly fulfilled, they may be sued.You can find the complete tutorial of professional scout Uri Burstein here : "How to find your next showjumper?”
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