Survey Says: Require Agents to Disclose Commissions

Edited press release

A recent survey of Thoroughbred horse owners, breeders, managers, trainers, and bloodstock agents shows overwhelming agreement that bloodstock agents should be required to disclose the commission rates they receive to both the buyer and seller. The survey of members of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers’ Club was conducted in December of 2006.

The survey was conducted on behalf of Thoroughbred owner Jim McIngvale in association with Jess Jackson’s Horse Owners Protective Association. Both men have pursued legal action to combat alleged fraudulent activity in the Thoroughbred horse-sale business.

“This survey shows for the first time that it’s not just owners who think dual agency is bad for business,” McIngvale said. “The future of horse racing depends on attracting new horse owners, and we can’t do that unless the new owners believe they can enter the industry and hire experts that will represent their best interests.”

According to the survey results, which weren’t immediately available, more than 90% of respondents agreed that if a bloodstock agent is receiving dual commissions, the situation should be disclosed to both buyers and sellers prior to a sale. Respondents also agreed overwhelmingly that keeping dual commissions secret is wrong.

“In the past, horse racing sales were conducted with a gentleman’s handshake--we can’t do that anymore,” said Marsha Naify, vice chair of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. “This survey shows how important it is that we get full disclosure of the types of commissions that are being paid with full transparency in all horse sales transactions.”

Said Bill Casner, chairman and co-owner of WinStar Farm and chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association: “The Sales Integrity Program is committed to its mission and is glad to see others share its goals. Any efforts that encourage investment as well as provide a benefit to buyers, breeders, and consignors will lead to a healthier industry.”

Sales Integrity Survey (PDF)