Carlos Mateos Gil |
Sports writing (EFE).- Why can a competition horse cost 10 million euros? «They are geniuses, they are capable of not knocking down a vertical of 1.60 meters coming at ‘seven thousand’ per hour or they understand when difficult jumps are coming. Age also affects. Carolo López-Quesada, head of the show jumping team of the Royal Spanish Equestrian Federation, has the secrets of the market.
A luxury product in itself, the purchase from Saudi Arabia of “Álamo”, one of the best jumping specimens in the country and which was once purchased by the soccer player Sergio Ramos and the jockey Sergio Álvarez Moya, affects Spanish sport.
In this way, Alamo came and went. But he has left behind good moments, as explained by Carolo López-Quesada, head of the jumping team of the Royal Spanish Equestrian Federation (RFHE): «He has had great results for Spain, he has won some important grand prize. We have been able to enjoy him ever since and it is an honor to have a horse with these characteristics at our service”.
«Our sport is like that, the owners at certain times are interested in trading a horse and it has come out. It is already fifteen years old, obviously it affects us because it is a wonderful specimen but we have peace of mind and the illusion that they will invest in another one. It is very good, but a new one has entered the stables a few days ago that looks extraordinary. A door closes and a window opens”, he adds.
Money, then, has meant that without the option of giving an opinion, this horse could go from being an ally to an enemy in Paris 2024, if Spain manages to be one of the European teams to qualify for the Olympic event. In that case, it is trusted that Álvarez Moya “will have a horse in good condition.”
«It is mandatory that the horse be very good but that is not a guarantee of total success because the pairing may not work. In percentages I would say that it is 70-30% in favor of the horse, 60-40%. If there is no horse you do not skip the big tests, it is the same as if Fernando Alonso does not have a car that runs like the others, he cannot win the world championship, clarifies López-Quesada.
That is one of the reasons that justify the large amounts that can be paid for these ‘off-road racing cars’: «The horses are worth what they are worth because some are geniuses, they are capable of not knocking down a vertical of 1.60 coming at ‘seven thousand’ per hour or understand when the difficult jumps are coming and do them without fail. Some have faculties that allow them to avoid wide jumps and others do not. There are a lot of circumstances. Age also affects.
“If I had to buy a horse right now, it would be King Edward. He has won the World Championship in 2022. I don’t know how much he could be worth, a lot of money. If I had all the money in the world, I would spend a large part of my estate because even though I am retired, just taking a leap with it must be magical. It can exceed ten million euros, some have been sold for that price, although not many. In the races it is more common », he comments.
It is, therefore, large quantities that already have a great influence on the GDP of countries like France, where it is said that it is “the third or fourth industry in export”. Spain follows this path, as reflected in a study commissioned by the federation to the consulting firm Deloitte and carried out with data from 2019, the year before the coronavirus pandemic.
According to this, the economic impact of an equestrian sector that generates 149,863 jobs is valued at 7,392 million euros (0.59% of GDP): «It is beginning to be an important percentage. It’s not just the horse; It is the world of feed, hay, transporters, stable builders…».
The document reflects the transactions in an estimated way, because ‘opacity’ in this aspect is common: «I couldn’t say which one cost the most. For example, my father told me that in 1953 Paco Goyoaga, the best horseman in Spanish horse riding, brought a horse worth 200,000 pesetas. He did not have a lot of money but he looked for it in his family and he went for the good times, he took risks because he did not have enough to spend what he spent ».
“He was something incredible at the time and he was a wonderful horse. That amount would be a fortune today. And now there are horses that are sold for over a million euros. Today there are more horse buyers than top quality horses. The great horse is scarce and that is why they are worth so much », he adds.
It is not, however, a non-refundable investment: «It pays off in many ways. The first thing is that there are many horses that are uncastrated and bring in a lot of money as studs. In the case of mares, the same. It can bring many children of maximum level and has an important value. Besides there is the next competition itself, where there are important prizes ».
“Then there is the concept of selling. If you buy a horse that is five or six years old with an important projection, you put the work differential in it and it ascends steps, it will be worth what was paid for it multiplied by ten or twenty”, reasons the member of the federation.
Even so, not all horses are left uncastrated because “they are more difficult to manage” as they are “more aggressive” and have “worse character”. It is therefore a matter of weighing the pros and cons in the project where generally the rider is at the mercy of the owner of the horse due to the great monetary effort that is required.
All for the dream of obtaining sporting achievements such as an Olympic medal that is literally more expensive than in other disciplines: «For Paris 2024, the horse that participates with a team must be in the hands of a team owner on January 1, 2024. country. Four or six months before the Games, someone with a lot of money cannot buy several to run them. It is a self-protection system only for this event.
“When January 1 of a Games year approaches, in November and December of the previous year, there are always a lot of big horse operations coming out. Our sport is like that, the horse is worth a lot of money and someone has to pay for it. It can be the rider, an owner, a company, a bank… someone has to have that capacity”, justifies López-Quesada.