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Top 10 Most Expensive Horses

The equestrian world is among the most competitive and lucrative sports.

The sports that horses compete in, in short, can make you a lot of money. Beyond the sport, breeding programmes are also likely to make you money.

With this in mind, I’ve conducted a list of the top ten most expensive horses to be bought, why they were sold for much and what happened afterwards.

  1. Plavius – 9.2 million

Plavius was bought back in 2006 by Godolphin Racing. At the time, he was owned by the Vice President of the United Arab Emirates, though Plavius never lived up to his expectations. He now has a career record of 18 starts, 2 wins, 3 places, 2 shows and has earned over $50,000.

  1. Jalil – 9.7 million

Born in Kentucky in 2004 and sold to Godolphin Racing, the American thoroughbred makes number 9 on our rich list. Bought in the same year as Plavius, Jalil made his highly-touted racing debut at just two years old finishing 6th place. Despite retiring in 2008, Jalil won the Maktoum Challenge Stakes and ended his career with a rough earning of $327,000.

  1. Snaafi Dancer – 10.2 million

Once upon a time, this horse was the most expensive horse ever sold. Dancer was sold for a hefty 10.2 million to Aston Upthorpe Stud, a breeding company owned by the Emir of Dubai. Aston seemed to justify the price due to the fact that Dancer was a descendent of Northern Dancer, the most prolific stud horse of all time. Unfortunately, this was not to be, as Snaafi Dancer never actually raced. In fact, he was branded “too slow to even bother”. Once he retired, it was also discovered that he had fertility problems, thus making his breeding capabilities almost useless.

  1. Meydan City – 11.7 million

Again, I find myself referencing the purchases of the Emir of Dubai. Meydan City was sold at auction in 2006 for 11.7 million. Like the aforementioned horses, Meydan City failed to live up to his expectations, having yet to win a race in his first seven attempts. Meydan City earned a grand total of $1,360 in his whole career.

  1. Seattle Dancer – 13.1 million

Seattle Dancer once held the world record for the most expensive yearling ever sold at auction. With his lineage coming from the 1971 British Triple Crown-winning horse Nijinsky, a heap of expectation was thrown onto his back. All in all, he had a modest racing career, winning two races. He was more profitable as a breeding horse after retirement, fathering 37 different stakes-winning horses, earning a total of $181,808 in his lifetime.

  1. Palloubet D’Halong – 15 million

Palloubet was the most expensive show jumping horse ever sold. Palloubet’s former rider Janika Spunger was the main reason why the horse was so expensive. Palloubet was sold at age ten to the Dutch Olympic Gold Medallist Jan Tops for a hefty $15 million to compete for Qatar.

  1. The Green Monkey – 16 million

Currently, this horse holds the record for the most expensive thoroughbred colt sold at auction. The Green Monkey is yet another descendant of the widely known Northern Dancer. Big things were expected of this horse and unfortunately, The Green Monkey was an awful failure. He only competed in three races before retiring and finishing a measly third at best. His total career earnings mustered up to a poor $10,440. He lived in Florida as a stud, before passing away in 2018.

  1. Totilas – 21 million

A dressage horse and the most expensive one ever sold. Totilas lived up to the hefty price tag, unlike a few of the aforementioned horses in this piece. He was considered the most outstanding dressage horse in the world, breaking countless records for points during competition, formerly holding the Grand Prix Freestyle Dressage world record and is one of the only Dressage horses in the world to score above 90 in a competition. After being sold to German ownership in 2011, Totilas had not been living up to his potential and had also been injured. Most alarmingly, there were allegations of animal abuse and cruelty aimed towards the German owners and trainers.

  1. Shareef Dancer – 40 million

As a racehorse, Dancer performed modestly well, starting 5 races and boasting a 3-1-0 record and earning over $245,000. The Emir of Dubai bought him for $40 million in 1983 and he went on to have a very successful career as a sire, breeding horses whose combined winnings exceeded over $2 million, as well as being the damsire of winning horse Dubai Millennium.

1.Fusaichi Pegasus – 70 million

This is the most expensive horse ever sold. Pegasus was a considerable racehorse. He won the Kentucky Derby in 2000 and finished his career with nine starts, six wins and two losses. The most impressive stat is that Pegasus won over $1,994,400 during his career. After retiring from racing, Pegasus became the most wanted horse for breeding since Shareef Dancer. Sold to Coolmore Stud, an Irish breeder for $70 million, he wasn’t too successful as a breeding horse. Pegasus now resides in Kentucky with a stud fee of $7,000.

Get the Best for Your Horse

Whether your own animal companion is a famous racehorse or dressage champion, or simply a much-loved member of your family, you want what’s best for them. That means ensuring they have the most comfortable place to live, where they can be happy and healthy for all of their days. Prime Stables is here to help you build this ideal spot for your horses, with our wide variety of bespoke-made stables, barns, and field shelters.

Our team will work with you closely to decide on the details before the frames are crafted from high-quality timber. This will then be delivered and assembled on your site, ready for your horse to move in. All you have to do to make this happen is get in touch with us. We’ll provide your horse with the home he or she deserves, whether they’re known throughout the world or just to you.

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