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Stud Fee Terms Explained!


Whether you’re breeding a thoroughbred, sports horse or pony, you come across various stud fee terms. These are often displayed as initials so here is my little guide of what they mean and common conditions.

NFNF – No Foal No Fee

Different contracts have different terms of this. It might be 1st of October, meaning if your mare isn’t pregnant by the 1st of October you get your money back. Or it might be another date. Sometimes it can be if the foal is not alive at birth or doesn’t survive 48 hours.

NFFR –  No Foal Free Return

Similar to NFNF, if there is no live foal at the time stated in the contract, you get another go for free. Most contracts apply to the same mare. But if you’re a large stud, you might be able to use a different mare for this free return. Similarly, sometimes the stallion owner will let you get a free try on another one of their stallions. However, it all depends on your contract.

Filly Foal

This is found more in the racing industry where colts are worth more than fillies. In this case, if your mare has a filly, you get part of your money back. It is often half the money back, but again, it depends on the contract.

First of October terms

This usually ties in with other terms such as NFNF and NFFR. What it refers to is whether the mare is in foal on the 1st of October.

LFG – Live Foal Guarantee

This generally means that you can keep going back for free until you get a live foal. This usually means a live foal at birth, 24 hours or 48 hours. However, some stallion owners may offer longer.

Pay at sale

This is very rare, but has been offered by Darley racing stallions. It means that you don’t have to pay the stud fee until you sell the foal at auction at various ages. Usually foal or yearling ages.

Pay at Birth

This simply means you don’t pay the stud fee until the foal is born.

When Sheikh Mohammed began offering very good deals on his stallions, other stallion owners complained about being out competed. Darley was one of the few owners to offer deals where the mare owner only paid the stallion fee when the foal sold as a foal or yearling. And even then, if the foal sold for less then the fee, part or all of the fee would be forgotten.Article on Darley Deals.

If you are thinking about putting your mare in foal, take a look at our guides on how to breed your mare.

Last Updated on 07/08/2018

6 thoughts on “Stud Fee Terms Explained!”

  1. Pingback: So you want to breed your mare: Can you afford it? | EquiPepper

  2. I have a mini stallion. I also have a woman that wants to breed her mini with mine. I have never done this before and I don’t mind researching a bit more. However, if she and I can come up with an agreement that would be fine as well. She is going to bring her mare to my place and we are going to let nature take it’s course.
    How long, should they be compatible should this take?
    She is slightly larger than my stallion could this be a problem?

    1. Hi, in theory size shouldn’t be a problem as long as he can reach. But its too hard to answer both those questions without knowing all the details. Have they bred before to other horses? How old are they? Have they been health checked? How are you planning to manage them? Are you just turning them out together and hoping for the best? All these things will have am affect. My best advice would be talking to your vet.

  3. I will be taking a stallion in on a breeding loan.
    The owner intends to use our facilities and send mares to us, or for us to send fresh/chilled semen to mare owners that she has sourced.
    Who receives the stud fee, the owner or ourselves?

    1. This feels like a fairly unusual situation. Is the owner paying you to keep the stallion there? If so I would say the owner gets the fee and you function more as a boarding stud. But if you are paying for the upkeep of the stallion with no money coming from the owner, then you would get the fee. It feels like you probably need to get a contract drawn up with the owner so everyone knows where they stand.

  4. Thank you, we are paying for the full upkeep of the stallion.
    We are in the throws of drawing up a contract and this is one of my concerns.
    Thank you for a quick response.


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