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  • Writer's pictureLindsey Stier

Horse Appraisal FAQ

Updated: Apr 30, 2019

Here at Stier Horse, we've conducted hundreds of horse appraisals for clients. We decided to compile a list of our Frequently Asked Questions to help people understand the horse appraisal and horse donation process.

Horse Appraiser Texas
SIEC Ledgepoint - Horse Donation to TCU

1. If I Donate My Horse, What's The Tax Break?

2019 Standard Deductions
2019 Standard Deductions

As is the answer to most questions: it depends! We’re not CPAs, so please consult your accountant to address your specific situation.

The general rule of thumb is the higher your tax bracket, the greater your savings. If Mary is in the 35% tax bracket and she donates a $10,000 horse, she would qualify for $3,500 in tax savings. If Mary is in the 22% tax bracket, she would recognize $2,200 in tax savings. Everyone‘s situation is different, so speak with your accountant to know how donation could effect your tax savings.

2. How Do I Find My Horse's Value?

California Horse Appraiser
Hollywooood - Horse Donation to Fresno State

When we determine a horse's value, we look at a variety of factors including age, training, breed, pedigree, competition record, aptitude, and more. From there, we look at the market to determine what similar types of horses are for sale and have sold. Once we have that information, we analyze the data to determine your horse's Fair Market Value.

If you are ever curious about your horse's Fair Market Value, you can always send us an email or give us a call and we would be happy to discuss our process and give you an estimate.

3. Do You Require Veterinary Records?

If an owner or a program has a question regarding a horse's soundness, we encourage either party to complete a pre-purchase examination. Our staff are not veterinarians and cannot determine the extent of a horse's soundness and impact on it's value.

4. Do You Need To See My Horse In Person?

Though we love to meet our clients, we do not require on-site visits for the majority of our appraisals. Using recent video footage and market research, our team is able to research all of the necessary factors to determine a horse's Fair Market Value, no matter where the horse is located. A list of our required materials can be found here.

5. Where Can I Donate My Horse?

Ohio Horse Appraiser
Undulata's Perfect Alibi - Horse Donation to William Woods

A horse donation is eligible for the IRS Charitable Deduction only when the horse is donated to a registered 501(c)3 Non Profit. There are many horse programs that are not 501(c)3 Non Profits so always make sure you have checked the program's status before committing a donation. Stier Horse works with the top horse donation programs in the country to ensure our clients are dealing with the best programs available.

6. Can My Trainer Do My Appraisal?

If your charitable contribution is over $5,000, the IRS requires that you have a certified horse appraisal. Your trainer must be a licensed horse appraiser in order to provide an appraisal for tax purposes. Stier Horse has a Lifetime Certification through the American Society of Equine Appraisers.

7. What Types of Horses Can Be Donated?

There are programs for all types of horses! If you would like to donate a horse as a riding horse, it should be currently under saddle and have a skill set that matches the needs of the program. Soundness issues aren't deal-breakers, but if a non profit is going to take over ownership of your horse, the horse needs to be able to perform to that program's needs. If a horse is going to a breeding program, it needs to have desirable breeding and be of production age. If a horse is very old, very unsound, or has not been under saddle for an extended period of time, it probably is not a candidate for donation.

Florida Horse Appraiser
Thunderball - Horse Donation to Chastain Horse Park

If you ever have any questions about horse donations or horse appraisals, please feel free to contact our team and we would be happy to speak about your specific situation and horse.

-Stier Horse Appraisal

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