International trade is always changing, and the same is true for the demand for the services of U.S.-based stallions in Southern Hemisphere countries.
Some countries, such as Australia, have growing Western performance showing and breeding industries. Other markets still have potential, which – given the right conditions – could be served by U.S.-based stallions.
Shane Plummer, owner of SDP Buffalo Ranch, has been involved in the Southern hemisphere markets for years – particularly Australia, which has a strong stock horse culture – and says certain countries can offer opportunity for stallion owners seeking another revenue stream for their studs.
In Part 3 of this three-part series of Industry Insider with SDP, Plummer explains which stallions have the best chance at success shipping to the Southern Hemisphere, which countries have the most demand for U.S bloodstock and which countries could be the next markets for American equine genetics.
QHN: What stallions have you found to have the most success in the Southern hemisphere?
Plummer: Seven years ago, I totally changed business models and now represent many stallions internationally and I expect there to be others jump up as top sires – it just has not happened yet as there has not been enough time.
Having said that, it is also a competitive world and there are many to choose from. The ocean that is the USA is more like smaller ponds internationally. So too, there are differences in markets and what breeders want. In Australia, they prefer a taller and longer individual than just about everywhere else – that is if I was going to give a stereotype. But what is the same worldwide is that people want quality and people want to win. So, what stallion or bloodline wins in the USA, international breeders will have more confidence that it will win where they are. I am not discounting or knocking other countries. On the contrary, I have the deepest respect for their horses. I am a breeder myself in the Southern Hemisphere and a competitor.
QHN: Are there any stallions at SDP Buffalo Ranch that found particular success in Australia, Brazil or other Southern hemisphere countries.
Plummer: Hydrive Cat has had by far the most impact for SDP in the Southern Hemisphere. He has sired over 240 foals in Australia alone and is #1 in that country by far as a sire over the last decade. I can’t tell you how many foals he has sired in Brazil, because their registry is unregulated for the stallion owner and is not full disclosure for the public, but he’s had many.
QHN: What types of mares are U.S.-based stallions shipping to the Southern hemisphere being bred to? What disciplines are the offspring of these US-based stallions competing in down there?
Plummer: Brazil has imported top-end individuals in all Western performance horse bloodlines. They have some excellent genetics in country and fantastic operations managing them. I think they have gone a more traditional route of having very large breeders, importing a stallion and then breeding that stallion to a herd of their own mares.
Transversely, Australia on the other hand has gone the other direction. Breeders there typically have a few mares and they select stallions a-la-cart for the breeding season. Very rarely do they breed the same mare to the same stallion more than once. Drives me crazy sometimes, but I’m past all that! Other Southern Hemisphere countries do not have established markets anywhere near those two countries for performance horses at this time. It will come, but there will be pioneers that have to blaze a trail. I’ve been there and I’ve done that to get where I am at today. You’ve got to be up to the challenge and have to see the opportunity on the other side of the mountain.
QHN: Do you anticipate any emerging markets in the Southern hemisphere, either in terms of countries that could see more demand or expanded opportunities within a country you already ship to?
Plummer: I do. Of course I do — history has proven that the world is getting much smaller. I can’t see anything on the near horizon. So much has changed over the past 16 months with the pandemic. Once the world gets through it, I think there should be a boom in ventures. The horse market is stronger than I have ever seen it. So, too, is the market for boats, motorhomes, recreational vehicles, VRBO and other luxury items.
QHN: What will it take for some new markets to develop in some of the countries where U.S.-based stallions aren’t currently serving as much?
Plummer: For other Southern Hemisphere markets to emerge, they’ll have to have a stable government and economy to support luxury items such as high-end performance horses.
Also, just as important, these countries must have business practices which allow for horse owners to protect their property and inventory rights. DNA testing and registration certificates are the checks and balances for horse breeders. They won’t invest anything without control and oversight.
Parts 1 & 2
Click here to read Part 1 of this series, where Plummer explored the current demand and trends for U.S.-based stallions in the Southern Hemisphere
Click here to read Part 2 to learn the process for shipping semen to the Southern Hemisphere.