About Our Sales Appointments
Purchasing a horse from Virginia Sport Horses is quite different from purchasing a horse from a sales barn, horse broker, horse seller, horse trader or private owner. We seek to serve a customer base that appreciates and is interested to purchase a 100% sound, sane and sensible horse, selected for his profession based on conformation and aptitude and raised and trained professionally. We have over 10yrs and thousands of sales appointments worth of experience matching people to horses. If you come to a sales appt, please allow us to help you to select a horse and direct the flow of the appointment. Show More
We raise, train and sell our own fresh horses....wedo not sell USED horses.
Because we breed, raise and train horses, we operate 2 farms in Central Virginia. Our horses do not live at any of the facilities where you might come to view them or to vet them. We prepare for our sales appointments more than one week in advance, trailering horses to and from our farms, to hunt fixtures, equine facilities and cross country courses and invest in grooming, preparation, coggins, fuel, grounds fees and farrier as well as employ 2 or more contract professional riders to help ensure that the horse selected best meets our customer's needs. Each appt represents an investment on our part towards the goal of matching the customer to one of our horses that day...such that the sales process may be concluded in a timely manner (during the remainder of the week) and the horse can be paid for and in its new home in less than 10 days.
Our sales process is quite different and the policies that we have designed are reflective of the sales process and put in place to protect our customers, ourselves, our riders and our horses. We hope that prospective clients can appreciate and understand how we do business and come directly to us with any questions or concerns.
Selling honest horses is threatening to those who routinely or occasionally sell lame horses or horses with issues. As such, we are sometimes made a target for libel or slander by unscrupulous and cowardly individuals. If you read or hear disparaging information about our policies, please realize that the source may well be a horse trader, dealer or private seller whether identified or anonymous who does not understand or agree with what we do. We would very much appreciate it if you take the time to jot down the name and contact info of the person, or source of this information so that we may correct or inform them of the laws that protect business and private individuals from damaging interference, slander and libel. We appreciate all well intended input and criticism of our policies as we are constantly revising them to best meet the needs of our customers, employees and riders.
Open House and Horse Expos.
To better serve new customers and our amateur and private horse owner customer base, as well as folks who just want to visit, we offer free of charge quarterly Riding Horse Open Houses and participate in Regional Horse Expos.
Opportunities to Hunt, Trail Ride, Hunter Pace or Show our horses.
Individuals seeking to "look at" one horse only have the opportunity to lease that horse for the day for Hunting, trail riding a hunter pace or show. We will transport the horse and accompany the individual to the event.
Appointments for Horses Under Saddle.
For serious and professional customers, VSH is pleased to provide a horse purchase experience which brings our professional expertise and services together to assist you and/or your trainer in selecting the correct riding horse and/or prospect. With over 100 Sport Horse prospects to choose from, we work closely with you, your trainer and our professional riders and trainers to select, prepare and show a selection of horses that meet a well-defined set of requirements. Starting with a phone interview and detailed questionare, our sales process entails a detailed profile and needs analysis resulting in the careful selection of a minimum of 4 prequalified candidate horses. Show More
Your sales appointment will likely take place at a facility with an indoor arena as well as cross country course, hunt fixture, trails or stadium jumps according to your needs. Both Liz Booth, owner of Virginia Sport Horses and our professionaltrainer/rider as well as your trainer if interested will be resources available and working to aide you in the selection of your equine partner. Many of our customers fly in for appts or drive from points North and South. As necessary we can meet customers at Kellys Ford Equestrian Center (convenient to Dulles Airport - hub for inexpensive Jet Blue flights) or at dorey Park (convenient to Richmond International airport and points South and East of Richmond).
Present at the sales appt will be Liz Booth and at least one or more rider/trainers. Liz has been matching approximately 1 - 2 persons per week with horses for over 10 years now and most of VSH trainer/riders are also very experienced matching people to horses and have at least matched several hundred people to horses. Together this is far more experience doing precisely this than any trainer who we have ever had present at a sales appt. So while its important to speak with any trainer who will be part of the decision making process, customers who do not have an established relationship with a trainer (weekly contract for at least 3 months) may findbringing that trainer to the sales appointment to be counter productive, rather than helpful. Similarly, bringing a random friend or barn acquaintance is similarly going to hinder rather than assist the selection process.
The cost to us for an average sales appointment includes farm prep costs, salaries, fuel, horse transportation, and grounds fees. We are happy to bear 100% of these costs for appointments which result in the sale of a horse and the lions share for appts that do not. We do ask that customers pay the fuel and grounds fee portion of this cost for appointments that do not result in a sale in the form of a $200 advance payment to secure the appt. Payment can be made by personal check made out to Liz Booth and must be received at least 2 days prior to the appt date.
We can accomodate 1 - 3 persons at a sales appt. We offer trail rides and host hunt excursions for larger groups, but sales appointments can only be conducted in a focused and productive manner when limited to the client and one other person, preferably a professional trainer. We ask that customers who feel a bonafide need to have more than one other person participating in the appt contact us directly to discuss this before the appt is scheduled.
In the event that customers/trainers arrive more than 1 hour late. We will still attempt to show you horses, but this charge will apply.) If the appt is successful, and results in a purchase contract, the charge will be deducted in full from the deposit. This enables us to recover our fuel cost and grounds fees for no shows...
To be clear....this is not a charge "just to look"....sales appointments are the culmination of a well executed requirements definition process. Our Open Houses and Expos provide the opportunity for potential customers "just to look" free of charge..
Weather permitting, field horses can be shown at a hunt fixture with a cross country course. The above is still applicable. Please be aware and prepared for the fact that whether the appt takes place in an indoor arena or not..winter conditions in Virginia are MUDDY...
Please be polite and considerate to any landowner or barn owner who is so gracious as to open their facility to our use during this season. It is considered good manners to THANK your host and to speak positively about their facility to those who may ask.
While we are happy to host the customer and the customer's trainer, we are not happy to host a "committee". It is unfair and counterproductive to bring unannounced and uninvited guests to a sales appt. In our 20 yrs of doing business, we have never once successfully sold a horse to a "committee" and so we do not choose to spend our time and resources in this manner. If there is a bonafide reason why 4 or more persons be present at the sales appt we will be happy to discuss this with the customer in advance such that special arrangements can be made.
We are accustomed to assisting any and all skill levels of rider, so clients should know that they will be assisted and treated with serious attention and respect regardless of skill level. Clients are likewise responsible for the behavior of their guests. Please be aware that I will not stand quietly by while the "know it all" guest from a local stable treats my rider or any other person disrespectfully...we request that customers chose their guests wisely as they are NOT necessary or contributary to the process.
We regularly host guided trail rides and fox hunts and will gladly schedule one of these for the day after a sales appt for up to 10 people. Sales appts can only be conducted efficiently and safely with 3 or less people in addition to our staff present.
Vettings can be scheduled at the conclusion of your visit. Deposits are the greater of $800 or 10% of the purchase price and are non-refundable, but fully applicable to the purchase of any horse for up to one year. We will accept advance wire transfers, cash and personal checks drawn on major banks only for deposits. Please be certain to bring cash or funds for a deposit to your appt.
A sales appointment is a preplanned and serious event designed with the goal in mind to assist the client in selecting a horse that suits their needs. Please be prepared with cash, money order or check drawn on a major bank to place a deposit on the horse of your choice.
If you feel that you will need more than one sales appointment to reach a decision, please discuss that with us in advance so that we can plan the best an most efficient way to handle this. For instance if you want to schedule a sales appt unbeknownst to your trainer and then a second with your trainer once you have made a selection, please advise us in advance. We very much prefer and have had greater success before and after the sale to involve the trainer or other vested parties upfront and avoid the possibility of hard feelings, bruised egos etc when the horse eventually arrives at his new home. In some cases we may be negotiable on the price of a horses, we are not able to negotiate on the price of a horse when we have already borne the cost of several sales appointments. We realize that where traditional sales appts are concerned, trainers may give the instruction...go look at the horse first then call me if you like it... Our sales process is quite different than traveling around looking at random horses and your trainer will appreciate being involved upfront and our tried and true method of making the best use of his/her time.
Since our appt is a planned activity on the part of several individuals that involves considerable investment in time and money, rather than a drop-in at a random barn or horse owner's backyard, we have the STRONG PREFERENCE that clients NOT schedule an appt to see just one more horse after ours... In the rare circumstance that we fail to match a client to a horse, we are completely understanding of the fact and prefer to leave the appt knowing a true status. It is NOT OUR CHOICE to spend a day matching a person to a horse only to have them return 30 days later and have to repeat the process.
Please be aware prior to your sales appointment that we do not release horses on trial or for any manner of unsupervised riding or care. You are welcome to try the horse as many times as you need, and we can arrange to bring the horse to your barn (if you are reasonably local), your hunt (if you pay the related fees and charges) or to a cross country course or trail riding location. If a trial is a requirement for you, lets identify that up front.
Sales appointments which do not involve riding can be scheduled any day of the week. We are happy and proud to show our foals out to pasture with stallions and dams during spring and summer months and there is no charge for these visits. If we are rounding up a group of young horses from pastures for an appt there may be a $200 cancellation charge. The charge is always directly aapplicable to the price of any horse purchased that day.
Trainers and other appt guests.
Between Liz and her riders, there will likely be years of professional expertise and the experience brought with helping thousands of people define their requirements, assess their riding skills, strengths and weaknesses, goals and select a horse that compliments these and is the right fit. It may be likely that the VSH Staff experience far exceeds that of your trainer or guest, in horse selection. While we want our customers to give full consideration to whether or not having a trainer will be beneficial, we want our customers to know that we are there to help them in this process. While we don't mind guests at sales appts, please let us know in advance who to expect so that we may have the appropriate equipment, forms, permissions etc. Show More
Last but not least... when you come to a sales appointment, we will treat you and your trainer or guest with respect in all aspects of your appointment. We ask that you and your trainers, guests, clients treat the Virginia Sport Horses team in kind. If you are a trainer and your client is apt to be rude or does not possess good manners, we respectfully ask that you advise them to look elsewhere. If you are the client, please be sure that your trainer or any guest understands the process and treats our staff as the professionals that they are and our horses as the honest horses that they are.
Likewise if you are a client we would appreciate if you have fully discussed compensation for your trainer prior to their arrival. Many trainers are routinely bribed by sellers, particularly if not compensated by their client... No one works for free. It is not fair to waste either your time or our time, hosting a sham appointment where your trainer systematically shoots down our horses based on criteria that were not a part of the needs definition phase of our selection process simply because they prefer to have you purchase a horse from a crony or one that is more suitable for them than it is for the client. This is not fair to anyone.. Life is too short...we have too many good horses and good customers to play games.
Short Notice Weekend Sales appts.
Sometimes clients call and need to schedule a weekend sales appt that week. While we will do our best to accomodate these requests, what it means is that things are set in motion immediately. If you call and request a sales appt for a weekend date, please be aware that you are agreeing to pay the cancellation deposit. Cancelling the appt after we have done several days of preparation but before the check arrives is dishonest..