How do you find these horses? Are they prescreened?
We have two fantastic partners in Ireland that we have worked with for years. They travel the expanse of Ireland, where they are based, as well as throughout Europe competing and sourcing horses. They often see potential horses both in competitions and again at their own farms. Together we are continuously refining our search criteria for horses to ensure we only import the highest quality horses for our clients and myself.
Each horse has been evaluated by me, usually in person on one of the many trips that I take abroad each year. For times in between these trips, I will have seen video of the horses on the flat, over fences and cross country.
Prior to importing each horse, they undergo a thorough pre-purchase exam including over 40 x-rays including feet, fetlocks, hocks, stifles and back. The radiographs are all reviewed by a top sports medicine veterinarian here in the United States.
Do you allow horses to be purchased off the video?
Yes, we have several clients each year that purchase horses solely utilizing videos. This is a good option, especially if budget is a concern. You can save the cost of travel to Europe, board and expenses in the States, and allow for direct shipping to you.
Most importantly, we stand behind our product. If after spending time with your new horse, he or she is not what you are looking for, we will work diligently with you on both finding that horse a new home and finding you another more suitable mount.
What does a horse like this cost?
As with any horse, pricing is based on age, height, sex, breeding, temperament, and athletic ability. All things being the same, a horse with less experience is priced lower than one with more. We have imported horses ranging from unstarted 3 year olds to experienced competitors. To find something that you would have difficulty finding in the United States you need to have a budget starting at about $40,000 US to pay for the horse, vetting, shipping, and quarantine.
I already have a trainer that I love, will you work with them to help me find my dream horse?
We welcome the opportunity to work with other professionals. For many professionals, we are their first step in the buying process as we are able to show multiple horses in one place in the United States to a client.
Sometimes trainers wish to join us in Ireland with their clients. We are always happy to accommodate them and foster that relationship as we feel it is in everyone’s best interest.
Can buyers go to Ireland? What happens?
Of course, we are always happy to have clients accompany us to Ireland! We will discuss with you what your goals are for the trip. Then I will speak to my partners and they will source horses based on the parameters we have discussed.
Once in Ireland, one of our partners will join us at the airport. We will then start our search and travel throughout Ireland to different stables. Appointments are set up for us in advance. Our partners will drive us to the facilities, so you won’t have to worry about transport and can rest and relax between locations. Once at the different stables, staff will show us the horse, sometimes in hand first but certainly ridden. If you like the horse enough to proceed, you, I or your trainer can get on the horse and try them as you like with videos done by myself or my partners. We will spend all of our days abroad looking at horses in this manner. Each day we stop for lunch and then finish our day with a nice Irish meal and lodging. The hotels will be prearranged so there is no need to worry.
Will I be able to try the horse cross country?
If we are in Ireland, we will try and arrange a cross country opportunity. Often times we will either do it at the time we look at the horse or once we have looked at all the horses.
If we are in Pennsylvania or Aiken, we can absolutely facilitate this, providing the facilities are open. Many cross-country courses are closed from November to April in Pennsylvania.
If I purchase a horse still in Ireland, how long will it take to get him home and what is the process?
Once you make the decision to purchase a horse, we will negotiate the sales price and then make an appointment for a pre-purchase exam. We have long-standing relationships with several vets in Ireland. I have a particular set of radiographs that I recommend to be taken and I am happy to share that with you and your team.
Our recommendation is always to have the horse evaluated on hard and soft ground and to have a ridden exam. We also recommend doing a neurologic exam and scoping the horse’s airway in addition to taking radiographs. After a successful pre-purchase exam I would recommend having the radiographs reviewed by your American veterinarian.
After the pre-purchase process is concluded and the sale is finalized, we require the purchase price be sent to us by wire transfer. At this point, we will start to work on getting your horse to the United States. Our commercial shipper in Ireland is Equine International Shipping (“EIS”), and our quarantine expert in the United States is Dutta International. Both EIS and Dutta will work together to plan the easiest trip for your horse regardless of destination. They fly into New York, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles. You would need to wire the money to EIS and Dutta before the horse ships. The whole process usually takes two to three weeks to get your new horse home to the United States.
Once the horse arrives on US soil, they will undergo a 2 to 3-day quarantine at their entry point. Geldings can then be picked up or delivered to you at your farm. Mares and stallion would have to undergo another approximate 20 days of quarantine at a different facility to check for sexually transmitted diseases. This would be an additional cost and payable upon pickup. We can help make all of these arrangements.
What happens after the sale?
Immediately after the sale you will receive a package with your horse’s passport, plus coupons from our sponsors. You can use these coupons to purchase merchandise and supplies at a discount.
We also like to keep connected with our matches. We will continue to follow up and are always willing to have people bring their horses back for lessons or training. We enjoy watching our horses succeed!
We have a strong social media community via our Facebook group and Instagram page. We encourage our new owners to share their successes, both big and small, with the Excel Star Sport Horses online community.
Do we do trials?
We do not allow trials as we feel it is not a beneficial situation for the horses. They are taken from their current training and social situations, put in another environment, and are not given an opportunity to adequately settle. Instead, we encourage you to come try the horse at our facilities a few times to make sure you’re sure of your choice.
What happens if I get my horse home and the match isn’t working?
Unfortunately, sometimes this happens, rarely, but it has. We stand behind our matches and we feel that all horses that are sound in their minds and bodies have homes. So, if in the regrettable situation this occurs we will work to find your first horse a home and search for a more appropriate horse for you.
What happens when your horse becomes an FEI horse and needs to upgrade their breed passport to an FEI passport?
Once you are qualified for the FEI levels, you will need to change your breed passport to an FEI passport. The Excel Star Team will split the cost of the name change to help ensure the horses keep their Excel Star prefix.
If we want to sell the horse in the future are you willing to help or what is the process?
As mentioned above we stand behind our horses and will be happy to help find your horse a new home if they are sound and able. If they are not, we are happy to help place them in a situation appropriate for them.