The picture above is of a Castledale mare in UK, of the 12 hand range size. To buy and import one like her seems to be costing at least $15,000.
Most of our purebred stock here at Bellbottom Farm we have found from youngstock born in USA from imported horses; and have personally invested about $10,000 each in; Truffles mare was $12,000 as a yearling and worth every penny.
Our mares other than gypsy cobs we have also tried to invest in the best stock we could find; yet being economy minded these have mostly ranged in the $500-$1000 range.
So, by the time you feed a mare in foal for a year and raise the baby, it is unreasonable to expect that breeding stock from our herd should be under $1000 in value. IF we would be able to offer stud services from our stallions it would be priced at $1000 plus AI expenses. I cannot even justify that without people reserving at least three stud service contracts during a season to accommodate my pasture breeding program. I have not found convenient service for AI collection to use; it is a very complicated issue for our particular situation.
While fillies will be highly desired as produced from our herd, we do realize that some colts will not really be expected to fulfill their lives as breeding stock (among the crosses that are half gypsy). We feel they are excellent choices for good children’s ponies and offer them as such, to be gelded. Our colts that are 3/4 gypsy have proven to have quite good factors for developing the new American Mini Gypsy. They have plenty of feather on the legs and our oldest one so far was very impressive with the two babies that he produced last year, even from a small quarter horse mare the colt had obvious gypsy horse qualities. The breeding program is really about producing good fillies, and investors should expect to pay competitive prices for good fillies destined to contribute to the future of the miniature gypsy horse.
For instance, 2012 saw our first crop of foals sired by The Executive, son of the famous Producer horse. We expect it would be fun for someone to obtain a little colt from such a gypsy horse reputation for as little as $1000. Yet the fillies have a lot of money and effort invested into them already. They are the gold mines for the future. Producer was known as a maker of good fillies, and his son has impressed us with both sexes produced so far! Just consider, if I had only purchased a small gypsy stallion to produce the babies from my four mini mares, I would have about $15,000 in them so far! The first mini cross baby born in 2012 was a TINY colt; it is not really out of the realm of possibilities that I will have only one filly born from this group during a foaling season! Or NONE! Then I have another year of feeding and maintaining the horses, hoping to produce some nice fillies TO KEEP FOR MYSELF. If I have two fillies born from these mini mares, it would be a steal for someone to buy them from me for $2500.
For my 3/4 bred gypsy crosses which are well on their way to looking purebred and coming down in size, I will be pricing them starting at $3000 for colts (somewhat depending on color and quality) and upwards to $5000 for 3/4 fillies, some of which will be maturing to only 11 hand range. 3/4 colts are good options for beginning your own mini gypsy breeding program for producing F1 fillies for yourself.
In my opinion it is CHEAPER TO BUY USA AND BREED RATHER THAN IMPORT! However, there are some families of smaller gypsy cobs whose bloodlines are not well represented in the USA as of yet. So I do hope that people continue to be interested in importing small purebred gypsy cobs. I hope that breeders in UK and Ireland work alongside North American breeders to develop the truly miniature gypsy horse of the future. There are a fair number of purebred gypsy horses that are in the 12-13 hand tall range, already in USA and currently being bred to perpetuate that size. (Costs to ship and import to USA from UK runs about $10,000 a horse)
In closing I will emphasize that during the 2015 season, I will be working to fine tune my own breeding stock choices; I want to keep fewer numbers and increase the quality in each year I breed. So, there will be lots of great opportunities for people who are interested in getting involved with their own project/program. The time and cost of getting involved is never better than present!