‘Flanders Embryo Auction can be successful platform to make our dream happen’
“My vision for breeding in the USA is that one day we will have the ability to breed horses that are just as good as in Europe”, tells Sarah Owen, since September 2017 the American ambassador for Flanders Foal & Embryo Auction. Thanks to her mom Christine Vanneck the Belgian auction team received an invitation to auction twenty embryos with top class pedigrees at Live Oak International on March 16. Everyone is looking forward to this exciting day!
Sarah Owen and her mom already purchased several foals in Europe. She have always had a passion for horses and grew up with them since she was very young. “I rode for a long time competitively and had quite a bit of success in doing so. I showed jumpers up to national standard Grand Prix level as well as hunters and equitation. However, my interest in breeding was much stronger, probably beginning around age 10 or so”, she tells.
Six brood mares
“Our business today is young in breeding terms, but I have been studying the industry and the bloodlines for much longer. Having an experienced background in the sport I think has helped me a great deal in that respect as well. I work out of our stable in North Carolina, breeding and working with the young stock. We try to breed up to 6 mares a year. I think that is a good number for someone that does the majority of the reproduction and rearing work without going insane.”
Sarah Owen does everything in-house herself with the help of her long-time vet, Ann Stuart. “And of course a few mentors to help me with gaining knowledge and experience in both reproduction and bloodlines. My vision for breeding in the USA is that one day we will have the ability to breed horses that are just as good as in Europe. We use it as a guideline and all the best genetics come from there, but I would like to see more riders and trainers be able to invest in the young horses and foals born here without thinking they are missing out out the talent that is already produced en mass in Europe.”
The family bought some exceptional fillies from Flanders Foal Auction the last few years to do what Sarah just stated. “We were looking to strengthen our selection of breeding mares. Tentatively, the plan for these young mares is to breed and also to jump in sport. I like to see what they are most capable of before we decide which job will be more important for the business.”
Not a number
“I chose Flanders Foal Auction because their selection of foals in past auctions have been outstanding to me. I appreciate that they are bringing in foals and embryos from top jumping lines. I can’t find fillies like that in the US, none especially that breeders out there like me are stupid enough to sell. The biggest thing for me is to not be treated like a number though. Luk Van Puymbroeck, Gerald Lenaerts and his wife Sigrid are such a pleasure to work with. It makes it easy to be repeat customers, also not so much on the bank account...”, she laughs.
It is getting too expensive to buy jumping horses unless you have the money to spend like that; most in the industry don’t, is the opinion of Sarah. “We have seen for many years now the growth and success with foal auctions and now with embryos in Europe. I think it’s a great way for breeders and riders to connect on a global stage that otherwise wouldn’t. To continue to be progressive, it is time that we are able to have more economical ways of buying the next Azur or Casall without breaking the bank. We also have a major geographical problem here, so with embryos it is much easier because you can move the mare wherever on the globe and there isn’t a concern that a foal by its side will get injured in transit. I think for riders to not have that extra stress of their newly bought foal self-imploding before they can get it to their stable safely is also a big factor here.”
“Ultimately, Americans are dreamers deep down and to have a smart investment for the future is an ideal we are all interested in obtaining. To highlight this ideal through an embryo auction I think could be a very successful platform to make this dream happen.”
For questions about the Flanders Embryo Auction in Ocala you can contact Sarah Owen by telephone and WhatsApp (+1 828 231 5393) and email firstname.lastname@example.org. Check the embryo collection online at www.flandersfoalauction.be.