Horses valuable commodity in Georgia - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Horses valuable commodity in Georgia

August 13, 2003 

Blakely- Kerry Fagiano has been riding and working with horses most her life.

"They just have been part of my family for so many years, I can't imagine life without them," Fagiano said.

 While she's full-filling her passion for horses and drissage, Kerry, and others like her, are stimulating the state's economy. Last year, horses brought $248 million into Georgia. Part of that money comes from people purchasing imported horses like Gason.

"He's a danish warm-blood," said her trainer Tom Harvey at Quail Valley Farm in Blakely.

They double in value once they're here. Then there's the expense of caring for the horse, a trainer and competition.

"Our hay bill for three months will be $2,500, so there's a hay grower in Quitman, Ga., that is benefitting from that," Harvey said.

Gason is a European warm-blood. That makes him a good candidate for drissage and jumping because of his strong, short back and the large bones in his legs.

"Those horses are specifically bred for specific jobs," Harvey said. "It's a science over there."

 And over here, the sport is expensive. You can spend from $15,000 to $300,000 on the horse of your choice.

 "So you can just go crazy," Fagiano said. "You have to budget. It's an expensive sport." It's also a time-comsuming sport.

"We spend so much of our time and our energy and our money doing this," Harvey said.

When riders take a horse as far as they can, they're often sold to another breeder, hopefully for a sizeable profit. Gason should sell for around $40,000.

Kerry's in no hurry to see him go.

 "We have all fallen in love with him." So the two will keep cantering through competitions and adding money to the state's economy.

posted at 10:02 p.m. by brannon.stewart@walb.com

 

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