You have purchased a breeding stallion and now the fun begins! First and foremost you have to define what kind of client base you are trying to market. In doing this you need to research and find out which direction is going to me more profitable for the stallion that you have chosen. In the example that I will work with we will talk about a performance stallion. Working towards the ideal way to promote your stallion but keep in mind that it can be done towards any event or breed.
I think that the single most important ingredient to any breeding operation is the quality of mares that you have to breed. Do not confuse this with the importance of the breeding stallion, you have to have both, but it is more difficult to find a top quality mare than it is to find a top quality stallion. Your job as a stallion owner is to entice the quality mare owner to breed to your stallion. Thus producing quality offspring that will be put in the hands of a talented trainer. Sometimes as a stallion owner you have to take an active roll in making sure that these good offspring get the chance at becoming something. Even so much as purchasing your stallion’s best offspring and promoting them yourself.
From a business stand point, this is a sound investment in the future of your program. All moneys spent on the training and showing of the offspring are a tax write off, even for a gelding since it is still promoting your stallion/business. Even if you are promoting a stallion that is for pleasure riding, it is important to show not only that he is good minded, quite and easy to handle but that he can put that good mind on his offspring. I would recommend that some of his best offspring be started under saddle with a good trainer and taken and promoted on trail rides by the trainer. Leave nothing to chance, employ the professional of your choice to promote the offspring in the best light to the public. This is not a place to cut corners and save money. You have invested your money to make sure that the offspring of your choice get seen by the public, spend the little extra to make sure that when in public the offspring is ridden and shown well.
Advertisement; Marilyn is going to love me for this but it is very true. This is something that cannot be over looked. The key to advertisement is frequency. I cannot tell you how many times that I have seen an ad somewhere for 6 months before I make a call to it. If I see the ad once or twice and never again it is hard to remember where I had seen it. But if I see it every month in a publication that I read every month then I know that I can run down to the store and pick that publication up and get the contact information that I need. I can be low on horses in training because of the time of year and things be lean, but I can guarantee you that I will not cut advertising out of my budget.
The other important part to advertising besides frequency is to appeal to your target audience. Lastly, make sure that your ad makes your stud look his best. The ad is at times the first time that a possible buyer has a chance to see your horse. If the picture in your ad is not the best or makes him look different than he does in person, chances are you will loose the client before you ever get a call. I can not tell you how many times I see a stallion photographed in an unflattering way. Hire a photographer, and rely on their expertise and your knowledge of the industry.
There are other ways to advertise your stallion. Take marketing ideas that you have seen in normal business and apply it to your horse business. You can sponsor classes at local horse shows for a reasonable fee in your stallions name. This does two things; it shows your commitment to the horse industry and gets your business out there. You can even donate prizes in your stallions name, or go so far as to create a futurity in your stallions name.
If you are going to try to hit the big time in the performance horse industry there is one piece of advise that is very important. You win or lose when you purchase the stallion. The cheapest part is purchasing the stallion. The price of marketing, your time, training, showing, saddles, facility, entry fees, all of these things cost the same whether it is a good horse or a bad one. Promoting your stallion is the most important part and it is not the place to cut corners. Think about all of the hundreds of thousands of dollars that have been spent on promoting Smart Chic Olena. If he had not produced horses that could win it would have been a huge loss. The promoting helped enhance what the horse already had, and brought it to the attention of everyone.
Lastly choose people to work with that have the same desires to excel as you do. I have surrounded myself with people that compliment me in areas that I lack. I strive to learn more and have the desire to reach higher goals, and I want the people around me to have the same desires.