It is no secret that horses change ownership for vast sums of money. This is especially true if the horse in question has enjoyed a successful racing career or has a particularly strong bloodline to other elite racehorses. The most successful horses can win their owners hundreds of thousands of dollars. Some win millions, but big money awaits those who breed these fantastic animals.

Owners of stallions command a stud fee each time from the owner of each mare they breed with. Seeing how stallions can breed up to 100-200 times per year, having a sought-after horse is big business. British stallion Frankel is a prime example. Frankel was born in 2008 at the Juddmonte Farms stables that Saudi Prince Khalid Abdullah owns. He had people scouring for online bonuses in the Bovada review pages whenever he raced because he won all 14 of the races his owners entered him in. Frankel was a fantastic racehorse.

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Massive Stud Fees

Frankel covered his first mares in February 2013. His stud fee, at the time, tipped the scales at £125,000. That fee has since risen to £200,000 because of the quality of his offspring, many of which have gone on to win major races. Bloodstock records show Frankel covered 133 mares in his first season, earning his owners more than £16,600,000.

It is easy to see why successful racehorses are in demand when looking at Frankel’s figures. This is one of the reasons Coolmore Stud broke the record for a horse at auction in the year 2000 when it paid a monster-sized $70 million fee for Fusaichi Pegasus. This smashed the previous record of $40 million paid in 1983 for Shareef Dancer.

Fusao Sekiguchi paid $4 million when the colt was a yearling and named him after himself, the Japanese for number one, and the famous winged horse of Greek mythology. Fusaichi Pegasus only raced nine times in a relatively short career, winning six of those races and earning his owners almost $2 million in prize money. His stock rose significantly when he won the 2000 Kentucky Derby, becoming the first pre-race favorite to win the race since Spectacular Bid in 1979.

The World’s Most Expensive Horse

Racing experts predicted an excellent future for Fusaichi Pegasus, but he lost to Red Bullet in the Preakness Stakes and did not race in the third leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. Instead, he was cold to Irish breeder Coolmore Stud for $70 million. He spent several years serving as a so-called “shuttle stallion” standing in Kentucky during the Northern Hemisphere breeding season and New South Wales during the Southern Hemisphere breeding season.

Reports suggest Coolmore Stud charged a stud fee upwards of $150,000 during the horse’s peak years, but this waned to $7,500 when he was pensioned from stallion stud duty in October 2020, a year where he covered only two mares.

Fusaichi Pegasus was the final active stallion of the great Mr. Prospector. As a stallion, he is represented by some 86 stakes winners, including 30 graded or group stakes winners worldwide. His progeny earnings weigh in at more than $110 million. Now 23 years old, the world’s most expensive horse can finally enjoy his retirement.