Selling Thoroughbreds at 70 mph

Selling Thoroughbreds at 70 MPH

Selling Thoroughbreds at 70 mph

It was Sunday morning and we were getting ready to travel from Canton, GA (Atlanta) to KY to pick up two new Thoroughbreds to bring back to Bits & Bytes Farm. Both horses were at their breeders farms in the Lexington, KY area. One horse had a new owner in the Atlanta area anxiously waiting to meet her new off-the-track Thoroughbred prospect. The other would be coming to Bits & Bytes Farm to be trained and sold from the farm. Just as we were getting the truck and trailer ready for our trip, I received a text message from my partner Becky that another horse at the track needed to find a home fast.

Late Charge aka

Our Partners Find Great Horses at the Track For Us

Becky is a race trainer at the track and she had sent us photos of “Charger” earlier in the week but we had held off putting them up on the site as the horse was due to race on Saturday. Sunday arrived and his trainer was ready to let “Charger” go after a disappointing sixth place finish. He was done with the horse and wanted him gone fast so that he could bring in a new horse. Knowing that time was of the essence, I posted “Charger’s” photo on the Bits & Bytes Farm Facebook page. I loaded his photos and videos onto my laptop computer and by noon we were on our way to Kentucky. The farm phone number was forwarded to my cell phone so we would not miss a call if someone tried to reach us while we were on the road.

Ring, Ring, Ring

We had not made it out of Georgia and my cell phone started ringing. It seems that a really pretty, 17 hand Thoroughbred is very much in demand. All through Tennessee, I screened potential buyers and shared more information about the horse. By the time we reached Kentucky we had several people requesting more photos. The photos were on the laptop but we had no Internet connection to email them…what to do?

A Little Background on Bits & Bytes Farm

Bits & Bytes Farm is so named because its owners have a digital marketing ad agency that uses computers “bits & bytes” to produce Web sites, presentations, graphics and PowerPoint training for corporations. The Bits & Bytes Farm Web site was created in 2001 as a way to experiment with designing Web sites in the early days of Web design.

Back in 2001 we had purchased several Thoroughbreds to sell from our farm and the Web site was used to market them. Trainers who found out about our program asked us to purchase their horses to sell. We could not buy all the horses being offered to us. So, to test which horses might be the most easily sold from our farm, we put photos of the trainers’ horses up on our Web site as “Prospect Horses”. This helped us determine which horses to bring to the farm to sell based on the level of interest.

As the Internet matured, and people became more comfortable purchasing all kinds of products on-line, we started selling the “Prospect Horses” before they made it to the farm. Today most of the 300+ horses we have found second careers for, since 2001, were sold as “Prospect Horses” – directly from the race track, to the new owner without ever coming to Bits & Bytes Farm- without them ever seeing the horse in person! Learn more on our archive pages.

I Have a Cell Phone and a Computer – I Can Solve this Problem

Back to the present problem…the solution to getting additional photos to potential buyers was in my hand as we were driving at 70 mph towards Kentucky. My Samsung Galaxy S4 smartphone allows me to connect to the Internet and its USB charger cable connects to the computer. The photos were transferred from the computer to the cell phone (which has all my email accounts) and emailed out to those who sent me their email contact info after speaking with me.

Fresh off-the-track Thoroughbred - Late Charge  and his new mom Tammy Gomez- SOLD!
Tammy Gomez called us on our way to Kentucky. She is the lucky owner of Late Charge.

A Match Made on the Road

By the time we crossed into Kentucky, we had identified a good match for “Charger”. The potential buyer, Tammy Gomez, happens to live in Peachtree City just south of Atlanta. Now all we needed was a deposit and a vet check and it might be possible to bring “Charger” back to Atlanta the next day with our other two horses.

Bank Info and Vet Check

Bank information was relayed Sunday evening so that the deposit could be made on Monday morning. The vet was given a ‘heads up” that we would need a vet check in the morning. By Monday morning at 9:15 am the full cost of “Charger” was in our bank account. Now on to the vet check! The buyer was given the vet’s name and number and my partner at the track filled in more information about Late Charge aka “Charger. We gave Tammy links to Late Charge’s pedigree and race records. Buying a Thoroughbred is different than buying any other horse. Their lives and careers are documented on the Jockey Club’s Web site so you really know a lot more about any Thoroughbred that is currently racing than you would about any other breed of horse.

Thoroughbred number one loads easily!
Thoroughbred number one loads easily!

Multi-Tasking

We headed to the first farm to pick up horse number one. The vet check on Late Charge started while we were taking photos of another prospect horse that will be for sale soon on our Web site. Tammy had the vet take x-rays while we were photographing the new prospect horse. By the time we were loading our first horse to head to the second farm, the vet check was complete. Tammy gave us the go ahead to release the funds to the owner of “Charger” with a phone call followed by an e-mail.

Elizabeth and a new prospect
Elizabeth stands next to the new prospect horse to judge the size. Her eyebrows are at 16 hands so this horse is 16.1+ hands tall.

SOLD!

In just 24 hours we found another great home for an ex-race horse — while on the road. Now we needed to get Late Charge from Belterra Park which is 90 miles to the north, down to Lexington where we were picking up Shank Hill Striker aka “Striker” at his breeder’s farm.

Shank Hill Striker - Horse Two
Loading horse two, Shank Hill Striker, at his breeder’s farm.

Filler Up

Fortunately there is no racing on Monday and Becky was able to load “Charger” on her trailer and head towards Lexington while we were loading “Striker” at the breeder’s farm. After loading “Striker” we drove north just a few miles to the Kentucky Horse Park exit off I75. We waited about 10 minutes for “Charger” to arrive with Becky. Paperwork and checks were passed in the parking lot of a gas station and Late Charge was loaded into our trailer for the ride home to Georgia. It was now just 26 hours since his photo went up on our Facebook page and our trailer was filled with three beautiful Thoroughbred race horses.

Late Charge was the third horse loaded.
26 hours after his photo went up on our Facebook page, Late Charge was loaded at a gas station off I75 in Lexington, KY. He filled the third box stall and we were ready to head home to Georgia.

“Striker” the “Walmart Greeter”

We arrived back in Georgia late due to construction delays in Kentucky. All three horses traveled in box stalls with hay nets and fresh water. “Striker” was our official greeter at all stops with many people taking photos and videos of him. During our bumper to bumper crawl through the construction zone, “Striker” kept a semi-truck driver entertained with his head bobbing.

Shank Hill Striker the "Walmart Greeter"
Shank Hill Striker the “Walmart Greeter”. People came with their cell phones to take photos and videos of Shank Hill Striker. He smiled and nodded hello to everyone including the semi-driver who was close behind us in the construction traffic.

“Charger” was in the center stall so we needed to climb in around him to check horses and refill the hay nets and water buckets at each stop. He was relaxed and calm and started nuzzling us to get more hay. By the time we arrived home, we were all ready to get to bed. Each of the horses unloaded quietly (another advantage of an off-the-track Thoroughbred) and settled into 12’ x 18’ stalls deeply bedded with shavings and stocked with more hay and fresh water. They enjoyed a light mash supper before we tucked ourselves into bed. It has been just 36 hours since Late Charge was put up on the Bits & Bytes Farm Facebook page and now he was resting comfortably in our barn.

Shank Hill Striker greeted everyone on the ride home.
Shank Hill Striker greeted everyone on the ride home.

Sign Up So You Don’t Miss Out

Maybe we can help you find your own Late Charge or Shank Hill Striker? Be sure to get on our EARLY RELEASE Mailing List so you don’t miss out on the next safe, sane and sound Thoroughbred horse for sale. Do it today. Thoroughbred horses sell fast at 70 mph!

Shank Hill Striker greets his new mom Caryl Berzack the next day.
Shank Hill Striker greets his new mom Caryl Berzack the next day.

 

See photos of our first ride on Late Charge.

See more photos of Shank Hill Striker and his new mom.

See the current Prospect Horses we have for sale.

 

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