Courtesy of Barrel Horse News Opportunities await with international buyers—learn how to market and sell your horse abroad with these tips.
Article and Photos by Abigail Boatwright
If you’re looking to expand your sphere of potential buyers for your horses, you may find that thinking outside the box can yield successful results. Barrel racing is popular all over the world, and there are strong and growing markets in many countries outside the U.S. Learn from the experiences of these sellers and shippers to international countries as they share tips to sell your horse abroad.
Connections help, but aren’t mandatory
Most of our experts got their start selling internationally by having a contact from another country, being able to speak another language, or by building connections through their travels. However, you don’t necessarily have to know someone from a foreign country to sell your horse abroad. Jessica O’Neal from DJ Quarter Horses in Commerce, Texas, has forged a long-term buyer-seller relationship with several clients in Europe, all because one buyer found the horses she’d advertised on her website.
“They are now repeat customers, and bring their own customers every year,” O’Neal said. “So it’s been absolutely wonderful for us, because they like what we have, and they keep coming back.”
O’Neal also advertises through other websites, but she says all of their ranch’s international traffic goes to their own website. The ranch includes bloodline info on every horse, which helps buyers on their search for mare and stallion prospects.
Debbi Trubee of North Farm in North Lawrence, Ohio, has sold 5-10 horses annually to European countries during the last decade. She says good photos and videos are mandatory for selling horses internationally. In addition to advertising her horses on the farm website, she also posts on social media such as Facebook.
“With social media and websites now, you don’t have to have an ‘in’ to sell horses overseas anymore,” Trubee said. “If a friend of a friend sees your horse’s photos, the exposure is going to happen. So if it’s a quality horse with good photos and a good video, the market is open to everybody.”
Other methods used by our experts include websites such as dreamhorse.com, equine.com, barrelhorseworld.com and publications such as Barrel Horse News and The American Quarter Horse Journal.
Accomplishments can sell themselves
JD Yates of Pueblo, Colorado, sells many horses internationally, mainly to Brazil. His buyers often find his horses through their accomplishments, whether they are listed in a publication or online.
“Most of the horses I’ve sold abroad have either won a lot at the barrel racing futurities with my sister [Kelly] and have earned a reputation that way, or they have been shown in AQHA competition and earned a lot of points, with their names published in leading standings in the magazines,” Yates said. “My buyers look the horses up by their stats.”
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