With an increasing demand for world-class Australian bloodstock from both domestic and international buyers, for not only racehorses but also weanlings, yearlings, broodmares and stallions, Dave Mee established PBI in 2005 to provide private brokerage services sourcing racehorses for the domestic market.
Dave Mee of Pinhook Bloodstock is a member of the Federation of Bloodstock Agents Australia (FBAA). Prior to establishing Pinhook Bloodstock, Dave travelled extensively in Australasia, North America, and Europe working for some of the worlds leading Trainers, Stud Farms and Bloodstock Agents including Sir Patrick Hogan, Gai Waterhouse, David Payne, Clive Brittain (UK), Taylor Made Farms, and Eddie Woods (USA).
The Impact caught up with Mee to discuss the Great Southern Sale catalogue and the business of pin hooking
Q: Would you say confirmation of the horse is the biggest factor when pin hooking?
What other criteria do you use to Pin hook horses?
A: When referring to pin hooking in the traditional sense i.e. weanlings to yearlings, there are several factors that I consider
but yes conformation or type is the cornerstone of those considerations. I'm yet to come across the perfect specimen
but when considering type I guess the art is looking at a weanling and taking a calculated risk on those aspects of
the horse such as feet and legs, potential growth trajectory, overall condition and health; temperament etc. that you and
your team think you can either maintain, improve or enhance by yearling sale time
Other factors that come into play, in no particular order are obviously sire, female family, the background of the horse – which farm it has come off, how it has been raised up to this point. And obviously, price is paramount as you’re looking for the best horse you can buy for the budget your client has provided you with.
The other general thought I would add is the two questions you need to ask yourself when buying a horse are:
Where will I sell the horse and who is going to buy it? i.e. being very mindful of the potential target market when it comes to selling the horse as a yearling.
Q: In percentage terms, what kind of ROI can one expect from pin hooking?
A: Good question. The aim is around 25-30%.
For any person thinking of investing in pin hooking horses; whether it be weanlings into yearlings, yearlings into breeze-up horses or mare trading is that it is primarily a numbers game.
I always advise my clients that it is better to take 25% of four horses as opposed to buying 100% of one horse.
Or buying 100% of 4 horses would be even better
Q: How did you get into this business?
A: I grew up on a sheep farm in the South Island of NZ and I always loved horses and left the sheep farming to my brother! My grandfather and father always bred and raced a few and were both involved in the racing administration side of things.
I worked for local trainers in the holidays and then gaining a job at Cambridge Stud was my first full-time job after school and I just graduated from there I guess – working for quite a while in the USA and Europe for various studs, trainers and agents before coming to Australia
Q: There is quite a selection of weanlings, broodmares, racehorses, and yearlings on offer. What are you looking to buy?
A: At this sale primarily weanlings and mares
Q: What are the kinds of sires you search for in such a sale?
A: The broad question as it normally depends on the clients budget but preferably proven sires or first season sires and I don’t mind taking a punt on a sire that’s actually in the dreaded 3rd or 4th season, as if you can pick it right there can be a bit of value shopping in that space. Often easier said than done!
Q: What are your past successes?
A: Recent success in the last 18 months includes:
- Dawn Approach yearling colt purchased for $75k, resold for $320k
- Kermadec weanling colt purchased for $50k and resold for $140k
- No Nay Never weanling colt purchased for $50k and resold for $120k
- Hallowed Crown weanling colt purchased for $2k and resold for $75k
- And at the recent Magic Millions mare sale a stake placed mare I purchased privately for clients for a low six-figure sum was sold in foal for $425k
Q: How would you define a horse a perfect horse?
He was obviously before my time but when you see photos, vision and talk to the leading horsemen of the older generation (in the USA) and delve a bit deeper into racing history and stories he was by all accounts as near to equine perfection as there has been.
Q: What are the criteria you look for in terms of physical or other attributes?
A: My own criteria that I look for? There’s a bit more to it but basically, I look for four main attributes:
Published In The Impact 13 Issue, 2 Vol
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