How much does it cost to get a foal?


Whatever your breeding project, whatever your profile as a breeder, you've probably already asked yourself the following question: how much does it cost to produce a foal? Of course, each breeder will answer this question individually, depending on his or her structure, system (or lack of system!), number of mares, and many other factors, but this article is an attempt to give you an overview of the costs involved in producing a foal and to put a figure on them.

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I. The main costs involved in producing a foal.

1. The stud fee.

2. Technical costs/harvesting costs and dispatch of doses to the planting centre.

3. Implementation costs.

4. Maintenance costs during your mare's pregnancy.

5. Costs associated with foaling and the first 6 months of the foal's life.

6. If you wish to sell your foal at the age of 4.


II. Summary of production costs for a foal.

1. Covering.


3. Foaling and the first 6 months of the foal's life.

4. From 6 months to 3 years of age.

5. Breaking in and training.


Good to remember.



I. The main costs involved in producing a foal.

In this article, we have chosen to exclude items such as: maintenance and depreciation of the breeding structure, social charges, staff wages and equipment work, which can vary a hundredfold depending on the infrastructure and size of the farm.

But there are many other factors involved in producing a foal. Depending on your budget, your region and the quality of the services on offer, prices can vary. Nevertheless, it is possible to group the items of expenditure together:


1. The stud fee. 

The cost of a covering can vary considerably depending on your expectations: if you want to cover a star stallion such as Mylord Carthago or Glamourdale, expect to pay between €2,500 and €3,000. A more leisure-oriented stallion will cost you less (around €500), but for a sport stallion, the average is around €1,000. Of course, covering an 'in-house' stallion that you own will cost you nothing... at least not directly. You should also be aware that covering a pony stallion will cost you less than covering a horse stallion. 

Furthermore, the choice of breeding technique will have an impact on the final cost of the covering. Generally speaking, pasture breeding and in-hand breeding are less expensive than chilled and frozen semen, but some stallions (particularly sport stallions) are only available through artificial insemination. 

On FoalR, you can use the search criteria to filter prices and breeding conditions. 


2. Technical costs/harvesting costs and dispatch of doses to the planting centre.

Depending on the technique chosen, the costs to be taken into account differ:

  • with hand-breeding and pasture breeding, there are no costs for making doses or sending doses to the implantation centre.
  • In chilled and frozen semen, you should expect to pay an average of between €250 and €350 for the production of doses, plus shipping (which depends on where the stallion is based and your region), which can also cost around €250. The cost of transporting the semen is usually quoted for stallions stationed in a country other than your breeding centre. You should therefore allow at least €500 for technical costs and the cost of sending doses.


3. Implementation costs.

Once the doses have arrived at the installation centre, you will need to allow for :

  • insemination costs: according to the IFCE, you should allow between €120 and €400 for insemination costs, depending on the mounting technique used and the rates applied by your centre. 
  • gynaecological follow-up: the gynaecological follow-up package costs around €100 on average, but prices can go up to €350. 
  • Transport and boarding for your mare at the foaling centre: if your foaling centre is close enough to your home, you can leave her there only when she is in heat. You should expect to pay around €100 per heat on average. On the other hand, if the mare's usual accommodation is a long way from the centre, you may have to board her there for much longer. Let's take the case where the mare takes on the second heat: she will have arrived at the centre a few days before the first heat, and will probably only leave after the DGs (pregnancy diagnostics) following the second heat, to confirm pregnancy on the one hand, and the absence of twins on the other. All in all, this adds up to 2 months' boarding... Costs can amount to €500 for 2 months if the mare is in the pasture. In a stall, costs quickly rise to €300 a month.


4. Maintenance costs for your mare during your pregnancy.

Once again, depending on the type of accommodation your broodmare has, the amount of your expenses during her gestation period will vary. However, the list below (which is not exhaustive) can give you an idea of the costs you need to take into account.

  • Your mare's feed (hay, supplements, mineral and vitamins complement)
  • Vaccinations
  • Trimming
  • Deworming and/or coproscopies
  • Any boarding costs

The mare's feed is undoubtedly the element that will have the biggest impact on maintenance costs. If she is in pasture all year round, and in good shape with plenty of grass and a mineral and vitamins complement), she will cost you much less than a mare who needs to be supplemented every day with a commercial "breeding" type feed: depending on the brand, quantities and transport costs of the feed, you can quite quickly be looking at €800 a year for feed. For a more precise idea of the nutritional requirements of your pregnant mare, see our article on feeding a broodmare. And don't hesitate to consult your vet or a nutritionist for a suitable ration.


5. Costs associated with foaling and the first 6 months of the foal's life. 

Foaling is always an important (and potentially stressful) time for a breeder. If you have the slightest doubt, don't hesitate to contact your vet! And even if everything seems to be going well, don't hesitate to call in your vet to check that the foal and its mother are doing well. 

The newborn foal will need to be cared for and will also need to be administratively up to date: in most cases, there are costs involved in registering the foal with the studbook of birth, and for foals born in France, you will need to declare the birth to the SIRE and have your vet come to draw up the foal's booklet and fit a transponder (the cost will depend on your vet). 

During the first 6 months of its life, the foal and its mother will still incur costs. During this period, you'll need to :


6. If you wish to sell your foal at 4 years of age.

If the process of "creating" your foal has already cost you a few notes, you should be aware that the same will be true for the period from weaning to 4 years of age.

Here's an overview of expenses from 6 months to 3 and a half years:

  • Accommodation/feeding: Depending on how your foal is housed, costs may vary: if he's in your meadow all year round, you'll need to provide at least CMVs and unlimited hay at certain times of the year, depending on the region and the lack of grass, not forgetting water, of course. You also need to make sure that he can shelter from the rain or sun (natural or manufactured shelter). On the other hand, if you have to board him, the costs will obviously be higher. On the basis of pre-boarding at €150 a month (which is more in the lower range), you will already have €5,400 in boarding costs to plan for before breaking-in (from 6 months to 3 and a half years, for example).

Please note: the way in which a young horse is housed is an essential factor in its well-being. Your foal should be kept in pasture all year round (in regions where this is possible) with a herd of young horses of his own age. Above all, take care not to leave him alone.

  • Deworming: on average, deworming should be carried out 4 times a year, depending on the region (deworming is more or less resistant), unless you carry out coproscopies and the results are negative. Expect to spend an average of €200 on worming for these 3 years.
  • Vaccinations: at the rate of one booster per year (between €40 and €80 for influenza and tetanus), you can anticipate a budget of around €120 to €240. If you vaccinate your young horse against rhinopneumonia, add €40 per injection, i.e. €120 the first year (2 booster doses), then 2 booster doses per year (€80). 
  • Dentist: check every year if possible. Expect to pay between €180 and €200. 
  • Trimmings: approximately every 8 weeks. If your farrier charges €40 per trimming, you should budget at least €700.

These figures are given as an indication. Each practitioner will charge different rates. Furthermore, an injury, accident or any other unforeseen event could significantly increase this budget. 


During the breaking-in period and then during the development period:

  • All costs related to trimming/shoeing, dentist, deworming, vaccinations will remain at your expense.
  • If you choose to have your young horse broken in by a professional, you will have to add to these costs the breaking-in service + any boarding at the stable where it will be broken in. Expect to pay an average of €500 for 1 month's work (excluding boarding costs) for breaking-in.


Once it has been broken in, the situation will depend, once again, on your choices, skills and wishes. 

  • As far as accommodation is concerned, the most economical scenario is, of course, if you have the possibility, to take him in your home and use your facilities for his training. Otherwise, you'll have to factor in boarding costs.
  • Finally, there's the question of how to get the best out of your horse, which involves working him and, if necessary, taking him out to compete. If you have the skills to train your young horse and take him to competitions, that's of course ideal. Otherwise, if you still want to develop your young horse, you'll have to opt for a "work/development" boarding arrangement (or have a professional rider come to your home on a regular basis if the horse is staying with you).

If you want your horse to be shown off by a professional on a competition circuit reserved for young horses in his 4-year old year, you need to budget for transport, stall hire, entry fees and the rider who will ride him. With around 10 competitions during the season and a possible national final, this is an expense that should not be overlooked.


II. Summary of foal production costs 

As you can see above, prices vary enormously depending on a number of parameters. So we've tried to draw up a summary showing the low and high ranges. And you can see just how much it can vary...!

1. Covering. 
Production costs Low range High range
Stud fee
Low range: you own the stallion.
High range: you buy a covering from a star stallion.
€0 €3000
Technical fees €0 €500
Insemination costs €120 €400
Gynaecological monitoring €100 €350
Pension at the set-up centre
Low range: 1 heat.
High range: 2 months' board.
€100 €500
Total €320 €4750


2. Gestation. 
Feeding the broodmare during gestation
Low range: grass, hay, mineral and vitamins complement.
High range: grass, hay, "breeding" type feed.
€800 €1800
Low range: flu + tetanus.
High range: flu + tetanus + rhinopneumonia.
€60 €180
Trimming (depending on rates and frequency of trimming) €90 €150
Low range: negative coproscopy.
High range: 4 dewormings during gestation.
€10 €80

Low range: no dentist
High range: annual dental check-up

€0 €60
Low range: the mare stays with you.
High range: you pay €400 per month for board in a meadow.
€0 €4400
Total €960 €6670


3. Foaling and the first 6 months of the foal's life.
Veterinary fees for foaling €210 €350
Identification Low range: identification, pupping. High range: identification, pupping, parentage, studbook registration, etc. €28 €300
Board + feed for mother and foal €400 €1500
Mother and foal care: trimming, deworming, vaccinations, dentist, etc. €500 €600
Total €1138 €2750

Total cost for a foal at 6 months of age €2418 €14170


4. From 6 months to 3 years of age.
Housing the foal €0 €5400
Foal feeding €1500
Foal dewormers €200 €450
Foal vaccinations Low range: influenza + tetanus. High range: influenza + tetanus + rhinopneumonia. €120 €440
Dentist Low range: one visit every 2 years High range: one visit per year €90 €270
Trimming Low range: 1 trimming per year (depending on the type of terrain the foal is used on) High range: 6 trimmings per year €25 €270
Total €1935 €7 190


5. Breaking in and training.
Breaking-in pension (1 month) €500 €500
Breaking-in (1 month) €800
Training pension (12 months) Low range: the horse stays with you and you do the work yourself. High range: pension valorization (700€/month). €0 €8400
Competitions Low range: 5 competitions during the season, on the day, about 50km away (on average) from the accommodation. High range: 10 competitions during the season with box reservation, approximately 100km away (on average) from the accommodation. €1000 €4200
Care: vaccinations, worming, shoeing, dentist Low range: barefoot horse. High range: horse shod on all 4 feet (€90 per shoe). €420 €810
Total €1920 €14710


Total cost of a 4-year-old horse valued €6273 €36070


Good to remember: 

> The price of a foal is far more than the price of a covering. 
> Depending on your project, your discipline and your choice of accommodation, costs will vary considerably.
> The period during which your young horse is being developed is the most expensive. If your aim is to sell your foal, bear in mind that its sale price will be affected by its sporting results.
Now you know how much it costs to make a foal...choose your stallions on foalr