Can an Accomplished Thoroughbred Bloodstock Agent Benefit You?

bloodstock agent

Can an Accomplished Thoroughbred Bloodstock Agent Benefit You?

thoroughbred bloodstock agentsBuying and selling thoroughbred horses on behalf of their clients in exchange for a commission is the job of a thoroughbred bloodstock agent. Bloodstock agents can specialize in either racing stock or breeding stock, or they can specialize in a combination of the two. Others may have specialized knowledge of thoroughbreds in other important racing areas, such as Europe, Australia, and Japan, while others may just offer services in the United States or in other countries.

Bloodstock agents can specialize even further on the racing side of the equation, if they choose to. While some agents concentrate their efforts on identifying prospects for clients who want to race the horses they purchase, others may engage with clients who are looking for horses that they can resell for a profit in a short period of time, a practice known as “pinhooking.” They might buy a weanling to sell as a yearling, or a yearling to sell as a two-year-old in training if they have the opportunity.

A thoroughbred bloodstock agent who specializes in breeding may be involved in counseling customers on breeding plans for their mares and in the buying and selling of stallion seasons.

Duties and Responsibilities of a Thoroughbred Bloodstock Agent

Bloodstock agents have a long list of responsibilities that focus around collecting knowledge about specific horses and bringing buyers and sellers together in order to facilitate the sale of those animals. Some of their typical responsibilities are as follows:

  • In order to determine the worth of thoroughbreds being offered for sale, both privately and at public auctions, it is necessary to examine their pedigrees and conformation.
  • Bloodstock agents may place bids on horses in the auction ring on behalf of their customers, and they may also begin or broker agreements for horses that are being sold privately.
  • In addition to advising clients on breeding strategies for their broodmares, a thoroughbred bloodstock agent may also assist in the booking of these mares to stallions who are in high demand.
  • They may do insurance appraisals or refer clients to insurance providers; in most cases, the insurance agency pays the agent a commission for the referral.
  • Traveling extensively to represent their clients at sales events around the country and overseas is required.
  • In order to sustain and increase their sales business, they must constantly network and build contacts with other industry professionals.
  • Working in close collaboration with veterinarians, farriers, and other equine health specialists to assess the overall fitness of individual horses.

Salary of a Thoroughbred Bloodstock Agent

The majority of bloodstock agents are self-employed and do not get a predetermined income unless they are employed by a prominent player in the thoroughbred sector. These individuals are compensated for their services by receiving a commission on the sale, which is typically 5 percent.

Agents who are “on retainer” for a certain fee and provide guidance on a number of horses for a specific buyer or sale are also available. Agents with years of experience can earn salaries ranging from $80,000 to well over $100,000, while those just beginning out in the sector can expect to earn salaries in the range of $30,000 to $50,000.

A thoroughbred bloodstock agent’s earning potential improves considerably as he or she obtains expertise and has more relationships in the field. As self-employed persons, bloodstock agents must factor in a variety of additional expenses, such as the cost of their own health insurance, the upkeep of a business vehicle, and other travel expenses, such as flights and hotel accommodations.

Educating, Training, and Certifying

There are no precise educational qualifications for being a thoroughbred bloodstock agent, and there is also no official licensing structure in place to get them started.

Success in this business can be achieved by anyone who possesses in-depth knowledge of the thoroughbred industry as well as a keen eye for assessing the abilities of horses.

In order to advance in the thoroughbred sector, most bloodstock agents begin their careers as assistants on top breeding farms, as trainers’ assistants, or as sales representatives for sales agencies.

After acquiring some hands-on industry experience, many people choose to pursue an apprenticeship with an accomplished thoroughbred bloodstock agent in order to learn the ropes of the bloodstock industry.

Skills and Abilities Required of a Thoroughbred Bloodstock Agent

The following are examples of other talents that a thoroughbred bloodstock agent should possess to assist them succeed in their job:

  • Understanding of thoroughbred pedigrees, as well as equine anatomy and physiology, as well as news from the industry and current market trends.
  • To be successful in this career, bloodstock agents must have strong marketing, sales, and business management abilities.
  • Be familiar with the criteria for the ethical operation of a bloodstock agency, which were drafted by the Sales Integrity Program and are available on their website.
  • Because a bloodstock agent’s performance is strongly related to their reputation in the industry, it is in their best interests to do business honestly and with integrity.

Prospects for Employment

In the midst of several years of stagnant expansion, the thoroughbred business has begun to show signs of resurgent development. Those involved in the thoroughbred sector believe that the industry is starting to recover. A positive increase in the number of bloodstock agents is predicted during the next five years, according to industry forecasts.

Situational Aspects of the Workplace

Bloodstock agents travel to farms and boarding facilities to inspect horses for new clients or clients who have already made a purchase. They also attend horse auctions on a regular basis.

Timetable for a Day’s Work

A thoroughbred bloodstock agent is often self-employed, which gives them the flexibility to work their own hours around their schedule. Their working hours, on the other hand, will most likely be governed by the schedules and requirements of their clients.

Whether you are new to the game, experiencing more losses than wins or just looking for a new approach, I am confident that I can help you breed or buy a better racehorse. To find out more about OPTIMAL Matings and how they can help your program, please subscribe to my Blog/News page HERE to receive future information on complimentary mating recommendations, sales short lists, stakes winner pedigree analysis, news on personal client success and any other random thoughts or ideas that I may have. Also, receive a complimentary copy of my report “Blind Luck or Designed Luck? – How A Kentucky Derby Winner Was Bred” sent directly to your inbox.

For inquiries or more information about Shepherd Equine Advisers, please contact Clark Shepherd at 859-321-6618, or by email at

I would love to hear any comments or questions that you may have. Please submit them below. Maybe we can address them in a future post!

I offer my expertise as a bloodstock agent, sales consultant, and pedigree analyst to assist in breeding or purchasing superior thoroughbred racehorses through sound pedigree principles, horsemanship, and consistent implementation of well-designed plans. To find out more about how my services can help your program, please contact me at 859-321-6618, or by email at

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