I Just Like to Look

It’s one of my favorite times of year – sale season! Thank the lawd that I am alive in an age where we can look at an endless amount of ponies online at just the click of a button. Two big eventer-centric sales happen one right after the other in Ireland in November – Monart and Goresbridge. It’s my ultimate dream that someday we will have a fantastic eventer sporthorse auction like these in the US someday. I spend a lot of time thinking about how we could make it work, and get our american bred sporthorses in the hands of american riders. It’s a lot harder here.

just a full brother to Annie Clover, nbd…

I also really like the foal auctions from the breeding registries, with Zangersheide usually being my favorite. The Holsteiner folks have a few auctions a year and the summer one, with young horses, is always a highlight to me too. You do start to lose me a bit with the riding horse auctions where the horses have clearly been pushed and the gaits or jump are definitely being manufactured and manipulated. Those are… not so great. But still, these sales are the best kind of window shopping, you can see so many horses right there in one spot, with their breeding listed. I’m definitely NOT a buyer, but as someone who is perhaps a bit obsessed with breeding I like to look at as many horses as I can. These things are a free education. Seeing the horses online isn’t as good as seeing them in person like we sometimes go gallivanting across Europe to do, but there’s still a lot to be gleaned.

Plus lets be honest it’s fun to pick out the ones you like most and then see how they sell and who buys them, even if a small part of me dies every time an American rider buys from overseas. A lot of big name riders source young horses from these sales, and I get why. There are so many nice ones in one place, in a way we certainly haven’t been able to emulate here yet.

Image result for copper beech davidson
Copper Beech, sourced from Goresbridge

Aside from trying to pick out the best ones, I also like to pretend-shop for myself. The horse I’d pick for me is different from the one a lot of pros would gravitate towards as a 5* horse. I want something nice but not so fancy that I can’t ride it, something with enough TB blood, that doesn’t seem like too much a of punk, and from a line that I’m pretty familiar with. This go-round I’m picking this one:

Yes, it’s buckskin. We’ve talked before about my weird closeted obsession with buckskin, ok? Don’t act surprised. I will never get on board with breeding for color but if a horse I already like comes in buckskin wrapping, it’s on. This one is by a stallion I’ve mentioned on here a few times (because I’m low key obsessed but he’s not available frozen so it’s one big SAD for me), who is the sire of one of my favorite 5* horses Tullabeg Flamenco, and it’s out of the same dam as freaking BANGO. This guy, Wheelagower Gold, looks like a total dude in his video. Like he could pack my butt around with few complaints. The only thing that could make him better is if he was a she.

Aside from the sporthorse auctions I also have a relatively unhealthy addiction to perusing TB listings. Let’s be honest, if I ever actually DID have a budget for another horse (which I don’t need in any way shape or form) it would certainly be trending more towards OTTB. Totally fine by me, since I love them. I keep up with TB bloodlines with the same level of obsession, and my endless window shopping is definitely a part of that. Benchmark Sporthorses will be the death of me someday, and I regularly like to browse the CANTER listings. Which is where I stumbled upon this guy:


Potomac River, a 10 year old stakes-winning stallion. I’m always on the lookout for good TB stallions for sport programs that we could breed to the warmblood mares, and this one definitely stopped me in my tracks. He’s raced for SEVEN YEARS, still has clean legs, and has a pedigree stacked with turf lines. Be still my heart. Surely some sporthorse person needs him.

What horses have y’all been pining after online lately? Show me ponies! Or… who’s your favorite in the Goresbridge sale? Or… who’s buying me Potomac River? Kidding (no I’m not).

24 thoughts on “I Just Like to Look

  1. I’m so incredibly happy with my OTTB by Ghostzapper that I’m CONSTANTLY looking for another one in all the OTTB facebook groups, but dang if they aren’t hard to find. His daughters have proven to be wonderful race dams (hello Stage Magic, dam of Justify) and most of his offspring run and make money on the track so they don’t become OTTBs all that often. Plus Adena Springs limits his book. Simon could easily event or be a hunter and he’s proven to be an amazing foxhunter. If I find another one remotely like Simon I’d probably buy it, even if I don’t “need” another horse.


    1. I’m 100% not in the market for a horse (I just sold mine in August), but I came across a Ghostzapper offspring on the ASPCA marketplace for the RRP and would definitely look into it if I was at all in the market for a horse. I’ve known a few people with Ghostzapper babies and they really seem like quality, often ammy friendly horses.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I never cease to be amazed by Simon’s brain! I tried him on a freezing cold day in January, literally 3 days after he “officially” turned 3. He had raced about 45 days previously and it was difficult to get him to canter! He never gets upset or seems to have a bad day and he takes all the weird stuff I throw at him like a pro. And the icing on the cake is how stunning he is! I know a couple other people with GZ babies and they have had nearly the exact experience with theirs. 🙂


        1. I know of a ghostzapper mare for sale near me, and if she weren’t way out of my price range, I’d snap her up! She did the RRP in 2018 and has been sitting around since. She’s lovely!


  2. My heart has always gone pitter patter for a good Irish horse, I would LOVE to go over there for a riding trip sometime. In the meantime, LOVING looking through those catalogs.


    1. We want to do a short riding trip in conjunction with one of the big events like Tattersalls or Millstreet, and go look at stallions while we’re there. The next Europe trip!


  3. Nice pick on the buckskin…I’m a buckskin lover too! I like the idea of a nice irish horse – I could not ride it, but I like the idea! 😉 I’m with you on browsing auctions online – I enjoy doing that for the big auction at QH congress. I’ve attended in person 2-3 times which is really interesting, especially when one of your picks goes for big money.


  4. I would like wheelagower gold very much please. besides having a gorgeous jump, my favorite conformation type and a sweet color he also has a really beautiful classic profile on his face as well.


  5. I have never been a big chestnut fan…but somehow, I’m always a sucker for a nice, dark liver chestnut. That stud is absolutely gorgeous and he looks to have a very kind eye, too


  6. I’m so guilty of this too (window shopping). And I have to say that Potomac River is a nice find! I’m surprised he ended up on CANTER though- the really nice ones seem to go to specific resellers like Benchmark before ever hitting the CANTER type sites… makes me wonder?


      1. OK now I’m being an annoying commenter… buy OMG I want Covfefe from Benchmark! He wants to be the next Arthur, with a better brain and name. #whyamipoor


  7. I’m a trail rider, and Arabians are my breed. There’s one out there, a stallion, called FVF Oberon’s Vanity…..he’s accomplished in dressage and other sport horse disciplines, but he’s about as classic Crabbet as you can get. If I were to breed my mare, he’d be my pick! They’d make a very pretty (and I’m sure very gray, since they’re both grays) baby!


  8. Not listed on any of the big sale sites but Roger is for sale. A fantastically talented OTTB that can be imported all the way from New Jersey! Lol


  9. I’ll pick Newmarket Patriot! We’ve had great luck with Polydor in our jumpers. My current AO jumper (who was a 3* FEI jumper) is by a Polydor stallion and my trainer’s FEI jumper stallion is out of a Polydor mare. Both are careful, quick, scopey, and LOVE their jobs.


  10. Oooh, just noticed he has Landadel too! I was too distracted by Polydor! My other two jumpers have Landadel and are amazing. Yep, I’ll definitely take that one please! I know you like it for eventing, but I love a blood type for jumpers too!


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