I'm really worried :( - Update - Starting over :)

Discussion in 'The Chatter Box' started by HoosierShadow, Jun 2, 2010.

  1. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    There is a chance my husband may lose his job in the near future. I am really really worried, and I hope he'll at least start talking to other farms because it's hard to find a good job now that foaling season is over.
    My husband works on a thoroughbred horse breeding farm nearby. He's been there over 2 1/2 years - been working with horses for 12 years.
    The farm he works for used to be considered a major farm, they are fairly new, the farms they own here were built about 5 years ago, and are DREAMY. Gorgeous...
    Only problem is, the owners are always in deep water, getting sued by people because of stallion deals gone bad, where they'd quit paying on the horses.
    I know of at least 3 different lawsuits over stallions. Not entirely their fault on a couple of them, but they probably should have handled it differentely..
    THen last fall they were sued for millions from a bank they defaulted on a loan. I read they took care of that, and there didn't seem to be any concern about it.
    Last year their top young stallion produced a legendary 3yo filly, who became Horse of the Year.
    But right after she won a big race in the spring, they sold the stallion -- I believe the deal was for about $50,000,000.
    In this time, they bought a farm in FL to go along with their 2 farms here.
    2 weeks ago another law suit was filed. This time by Fifth Third Bank, saying the farm had defaulted on a $15,000,000 loan.
    They made a deal with the bank, to give them the horses that were used as collateral.
    134 horses...

    The owners were quoted as saying they are getting out of the broodmare business, and want to just keep stallions. Their son has horses as well, not sure how many.
    They lost 38 of 50-something broodmares, most all of their babies, yearlings, and a lot of racehorses. There are now currently around 50something horses on the farm - they moved all of the horses from the broodmare farm onto the main farm. So now the farm my husband was working on is empty.
    He's on the main farm now.
    He does night watch, and all of the farm's foaling - they had 40 something babies this year.

    Well, my husband's cousin and brother were working at the farm doing night watch as well. They let my husband's cousin go I guess at the end of the week last week? And now they let his brother go...
    So the only nightwatch person is my husband, and they bumped him back up from 5 nights a week to 6 nights a week.
    This is good news, BUT....what happens now?
    I am just terrified. Honestly.
    He told me this morning that he heard a Billionaire wants to buy the farm - has 50+ broodmares and 2 stallions. He is HOPING and PRAYING if that is true, that the new owner would keep him on & keep him on around the same pay rate, as he makes good $$.
    He has a LOT of experience, he can do just about anything with a horse besides breaking and training which they have never done on the farms he's worked at <the farms shipped elsewhere for training>. He's probably missed 4 days of work in 10 years <not even kidding>, and is a workaholic.
    Any farm would be in good hands with him taking care of their horses.

    But reality is, anything can happen, and we can't afford for him to lose his job or make a lot less than he does now.
    Sure, I can always get a regular job if he has to find something different with less pay.
    However, I 'may' have some big jobs coming up this fall. If things work out I'd be photographing the September yearling sale for a website that pays very well, and it's something I LOVE to do, I haven't missed a Sept sale since 03'.
    This is the sale where people from around the world come and buy horses with expensive pedigrees...Hundreds of thousands of $$ to millions...

    And then...possibly the job of a lifetime for what I do.... As I was told I'd be credentialed for the World Equestrian Games this fall at the Kentucky Horse Park! It's a HUGE....no.... MASSIVE deal around here, and while I am extremely excited to possibly get to go, I am also a little nervous - biggest thing I've ever done was the Kentucky Oaks/Kentucky Derby last year, and the Rolex Three Day Event this past April.
    Otherwise I just photograph at our local track, and all the local horse sales, etc.

    So I just hope we don't have to make any big adjustments. We're comfortable, and getting by, getting our goat herd started, and ng up our place little by little.

    I know everyone is hurting, the horse industry is hurting BAD. Some farms are thriving, and some are sinking. If my husband has to find a new job, I hope and pray it's something he'll like, and something he can stay with for a long time.
    BTW, he is used to working 6 nights a week. So going back to 6 nights is fine with him, he works 12 hour shifts.

    Thanks for listening to me ramble. I really don't want to get my family worried, so I haven't said much about it to them. They live in another state, so they aren't in the loop on what happens around these parts.
  2. FunnyRiverFarm

    FunnyRiverFarm New Member

    Sep 13, 2008
    Hudson, MI
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    Oh wow...what an ordeal. I sure hope everything works out for you and your husband.

    Those photography jobs sound very exciting!

  3. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    Re: I'm really worried :(

    Well I wish you all the luck in the the world that things dont turn bad. I think if they left your husband on thats atleast a good sign. Just pray and hopefully god will answer your prayers.
  4. mrs. lam

    mrs. lam New Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    :pray: He gets to stay at the farm even if it's new owners. Sounds like new owners might be a good thing. I will also cross my fingers for you and the photo work. :hug: for you and your hubby. Hold on. Better things may be on the horizon...

  5. sweetgoats

    sweetgoats Moderator

    Oct 18, 2007
    Peyton CO.
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    WOW it does sound like new owners would be a good idea.

    I hope it all works out. :pray:
  6. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    I am praying.... that it all works out.... :hug: :pray:
  7. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    Thanks everyone I really do appreciate it. Originally we were thinking they'd keep the main farm and just sell the broodmare farm across the road. We thought they might keep stallions, and their son keep his horses. We were also hoping his son might buy back some of the horses from the sales <they aren't worth as much as they were when they got the loan>.
    I am very curious to know who this person is that is interested in both the farms they have here. Hoping and praying it's someone good to work for and that my husband would be able to stay on for them. The farm is about a mile and a half from where we live, so it's very close.
    The manager told my husband 'as long as I have a job, you'll have your job.' So he thinks highly of my husband.

    The photography stuff is a lot of fun. I only do horses, have never had a desire to do people, but might start getting into it a little bit later on.

    I put a lot of my stuff up on flickr if anyone cares to see:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected] ... _deleted=1

    I don't put a lot of my horse sale pics up there, I post those on a different website that is specifically for thoroughbreds.
  8. RPC

    RPC Boer Goat Breeder

    Re: I'm really worried :(

    You take beautiful pictures
  9. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    Thanks! I still have a lot to learn, but it's been fun teaching myself as I go. I used to work with horses years ago, and when I realized how much fun it was to photograph them, I also realized it was my chance to get back around them.
    We live in horse heaven. There are major farms all around us. And there are sales in Jan, April, July, Sept, Oct and Nov. I love the sales, they can be VERY tricky to photograph because you can't ask for every horse to be pulled for pics, so you get them while they are being shown, ask for a few, etc.
    Last Sept me and my friend had 3 days to photograph almost 400 horses.
    The only ones we didn't photograph were the ones withdrawn from the sale.

    This is the website I have been doing sales work for lately. I don't post my pics on flickr usually because there are soooooooo....... many.


    This site is really neat for racehorse people - it's sort of like facebook for horses. I've worked 3 sales for them now, and hope to continue. I'd be doing the sales anyway for my own love of going :)
  10. mrs. lam

    mrs. lam New Member

    Apr 20, 2010
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    My late husband's Aunt lives in Ohio and raises/trains/races throughbreeds. I can ask if she knows any stables in your area. What are you near? She races in Ohio/Kentucky/Florida that I know of. She is a very small farm.

    Do you remember the commercial with the horse running against the track star? That was her horse. :) She got lucky and was at the right place at the right time. It helped that her horse was not bothered by the man "popping" out of the gate instead of a horse. :p He was very nice and loved people. I got to meet him before he passed and he was about the calmest horse I ever met. She had some that would tear up everything and bite everyone that walked by. Moonmask was one of the worst ones. I hated that horse. He ran good though...He had a massive heart attack and was put down. Mary cried for days.

    I'll see what she's up too. I haven't talked to her for a long time.

  11. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    Sorry I didn't reply Mrs. Lam - THat is awesome about your aunt's horse being in the commercial! I do remember that commercial!
    My husband likes the breeding farms, and we live in the Lexington, KY area. So we're only about 15 minutes from Keeneland racecourse <my home away from home in the spring and fall!>.

    My husband said they let 5 more people go - office people. And rumor is, the farm owner bought another farm in FL with a training track, so no doubt he'll be moving all the horses to FL. It's just a matter of....when.
    There is still talk of a billionaire wanting to buy both the farms here in KY. My husband, and even his boss are hoping that will be true - so they could possibly work for the new owners.
    Also, there is a farm across from the broodmare division that is interested in that farm, they are just waiting for a for sale sign to go up.
    These two farms, I can't even imagine their value.... Millions.
    They have around 8 barns on their main farm - including a stallion barn with 10 stalls <or more>, A fully equiped exersior, and breeding shed, then the office, and 4-5 small houses for employees, maint. shed., training track, and the owners house for when they do come to KY <they don't live here>.
    I have no idea how many barns there are in the broodmare division, but I'd imagine no less than 3, and more houses.
    They built these farms up, and they remodeled some of what was already there, so everything is only 3-5 years old.
    So, what I am getting at is, with as new, and 'fancy' as this place is, it would take someone with millions/billions to come in and buy it. With the economy, it's scary to think if it would really sell right away, or sit on the market.
    I'd like to believe the billionaire story to be true!

    So for now, we'll just hope and pray things work out.
  12. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :(

    Hey everyone, just thought I'd post... Well, they put their smaller farm on the market late this past week. It's so sad. They've only had this farm for a few years, and it's just absolutely GORGEOUS. My husband watched this farm every night - during foaling season he had to have help, but this time of year it wasn't uncommon for him to man it alone.
    Here's a link to the ad if anyone wants to see it,
    http://www.homes4saleky.com/Home-photos ... C+KY+40347
    Price: $3,800,000
    Lot Size-Acres: 112
    County: Woodford
    # of Horse Barns:5
    # of Stalls:65
    Road Frontage: 5060
    Tax Rate: 7880
    Topography: Gently Rolling
    Water: City
    Sewer: Septic System

    They keep saying they are going to keep their main farm, but of course, I am sure if the right person came along with a good offer....

    While looking for the listing, I also found another listing for a farm 3 driveways down from us! OMG I had no idea they were selling their farm either! And I think they own another section 2 driveways away as well, and it's up for sale.
    It's so strange, and just shows how awful the economy has affected the horse industry. This is literately 'horse country' with a LOT of the major racehorse breeding farms within a 10-15 mile radius.
    I always remember how owners would say they wished they could get into this intermediate area, but there was never anything for sale. Well...that seems to be changing. And it's very scary.
  13. greatcashmeres

    greatcashmeres New Member

    Jul 13, 2008
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    I'm sorry your family is going through so much uncertainty. The waiting game is never easy.

    I'm sure there was a time the farm owner never dreamed they would be in these circumstances-how sad.
  14. AlaskaBoers

    AlaskaBoers New Member

    May 6, 2008
    Wasilla Alaska
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    wow what a beautiful barn, I've never seen one like that.

    and ya, you definitely take great photos! I follow you on flickr and love seeing the new ones :)
  15. Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    I know what you are going through. I myself have taken a temp job for now but it is not even enough to do most of what needs to be done. I worry about the fate of my own herd. I have worked so hard to get this far. I prey the good Lord will look over your family and take care of all us small time farmers in this time of need. Lord knows I must find something myself better then old 8.00 an hour. For me with the temp job and the goats I have no time to look for much better during the week. Prayers to you and yours and my the good Lord hear mine...
  16. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    Thanks so much everyone. It's a relief that the main farm isn't for sale. AND, my husband's boss told him to give him 2 week notice when he wants his vacation. That's a bit of a relief too, and I hope he takes it soon. He 'was' going to use his vacation this year to go visit his parents in Mexico, as he hasn't seen them in almost 4 years, and he wanted to take our 3yo daughter so they could meet her. We'll see what happens.

    John - I am so sorry to hear things are tough your way. I really hope things get better, and it won't affect your herd. I totally understand about the $$ not being enough to do everything. We've been very fortunate, and trust me I am thankful! I am a stay at home mom and have been for 3 years, besides doing the occassional photography work. So we depend solely on my husbands income. Our house payment is A LOT, but my husband set it up that way so we could get it paid off quickly. Any major decrease in his pay, and I'd have to get a regular job, which honestly, right now wouldn't be worth it - all the $$ would probably end up going to a babysitter, gas to get there/back, extra food/drink to take for lunch, etc. It's cheaper for me to stay home, unless I worked with horses again, and that would mean 6 days/48+ hours a week, and wouldn't go over too well with young kids, that's why I got out of it in the first place. It's just really tough...

    For now we are doing okay, I just hope it stays this way, once this place is paid off, it won't be so bad.
  17. farmergal

    farmergal New Member

    Jun 19, 2009
    Northern California
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    That sounds so stressful but I'm glad the main farm isn't selling yet -- and that the manager really respects and values your hubby! :pray: for you, and for jdgray716, too...

    Myself, my own temp job (writing for a local newspaper while the editor was on maternity leave, doesn't pay much but I love it) is probably drawing to a close soon. I am hoping to start making soaps and lotions to sell at the farmers market but the startup costs are kind of scary. It's so stressful not knowing whether you'll have a job in a few weeks -- I'm still not sure whether the paper will try to keep me on part-time or not... sigh! Hopefully things will turn around soon :)

    btw, horse prices are amazing... 50,000,000 for a horse! I cannot even imagine having that much money! and I feel like usually on farms like that the people doing all the work and taking care of the animals don't make nearly as much $$ as they should...
  18. toth boer goats

    toth boer goats Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2008
    Corning California
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    :hug: :pray: Times are so hard..... for alot of people.... :(
  19. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    Thanks, and I hope the newspaper keeps you on! Temp jobs are so depressing especially if you find one you love, and then have to let it go. I have a friend that was in/out of the nearby Toyota plant, as a temp, and last I heard she finally got in and possibly getting to keep the job vs. being a temp.

    Yeah, horse prices are amazing. The economy has taken a massive hit on sale prices though. I have been going to the local horse sales for years, taking pics as it's a huge love of mine, and recently landed me work with a website.
    The September yearling sale is one of the biggest in the world. They typically have over 400 horses in the first catalogue and they sell from $10,000 to $1,000,000's of dollars each. I love trying to figure out who might be the sale topper. Plus it's exciting to see offspring of some of my favorite racemares.

    One of the farm's stallions had a nice Grade 3 winner yesterday in California, and he is also one of my favorite stallions at the farm, he's a gorgeous boy, and despite being a stallion, he seems real nice.
    Thankfully, he wasn't involved int he lawsuit...whew.


    One of my very good horse racing friends giving him a kiss on the nose


    And their other stallions are getting attention at the 2 year old in training sales <most of their stallions are pretty young as far as having babies on the track>.

    My husband loves his job and his responsabilities. And thankfully makes decent $$ - enough for me to be able to stay home with our 3yo daughter.
    But I agree, most farms don't pay the workers nearly enough. I remember when I worked on a farm I was making $6.77 an hour and working between 48-55 hours a week. BUT I loved my job dearly. That was 9 years ago, but they still don't pay much more than that at a lot of the farms <min. wage>.

    Sometimes, you can get lucky and find housing on the farms, so no rent/utilities, or a farm will offer housing allowance -- my husband gets $200 extra a month for housing allowance to help with rent/mortgage or utilities. Sure it's not much, but they didnt' offer this to everyone, just him and a few others because they thought so highly of them. But also because we wouldn't move onto the farm <they had several houses between 2 farms for employees>.
  20. HoosierShadow

    HoosierShadow Senior Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Central Kentucky
    Re: I'm really worried :( - Update - selling one of the far

    Well, things are getting even worse :( The farm has now filed for bankruptcy protection after another bank has gone after them for $7,000,000. In an interview the attorney said they are planning to move all their horses to FL and sell the main farm.
    BTW, in the latest lawsuit the pic of the horse I posted above is the stallion <Leroy> that is involved in the suit.

    I've already warned my husband before he needs to get his application out there NOW. He was on vacation this past week and just went back to work last night. Not sure if his boss has told him anything or not. I really think he needs to go out today and get his application in at some of the farms.
    I wonder if he can file for unemployment if he can't find anything that pays relatively well? I have a feeling they will move the horses very soon :( THis just plain STINKS.

    Here's the headline article on one of the top horse racing publication websites in case anyone cares to see...
    http://www.bloodhorse.com/horse-racing/ ... bankruptcy