10/23/2008 11:00PM

Eisaman operation a working relationship

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The veterinarian Dr. Barry Eisaman is a Florida-based commercial breeder and pinhooker who targets the 2-year-olds in training sales. Most of his sales 2-year-olds are yearlings he buys at public auction. A small percentage of his annual cadre of 2-year-olds in training are homebreds. In 2008, Eisaman Equine, agent, cataloged 91 2-year-olds in training for the four Ocala Breeders' Sales auctions.

Last month, at the Keeneland yearling sales, Eisaman Equine bought 33 yearlings for close to $1.7, an average of more than $51,000. These and others accrued at the OBS August yearling sale will stock his consignments for the 2009 season of 2-year-old auctions.

An integral part of Eisaman's operation is Shari, his wife. The two share a Thoroughbred heritage. Barry's father operated a training facility in Pennsylvania, so the young Eisaman grew up working with horses. Shari's mother, Irma Stein, bred and raced Thoroughbreds.

"Too much uncertainty in my father's line of work," said Barry. "Your financial circumstances can change in a moment when you operate a training facility. You can too often become dependent on one or more important customers sending you business, and when that doesn't happen, you can have problems."

Eisaman had an aptitude for scholarship and realized early on that high grades and the knowledge that went with those grades were the tickets to the future certainty and the stability he sought. His journey through academe led him to the New Bolton Center of the University of Pennsylvania and a degree in veterinary medicine.

Eisaman said he had completed his university requirements and was "ready to go to work," when an inquiry came from Dr. M.B. Teigland's veterinary clinic in south Florida. "They were looking for a qualified vet to join the practice."

Eisaman spent the next 10 years working the south Florida racetracks.

"Working at the racetracks was like being in a gated community," he said. "You never got to see or experience much else. A trip to Ocala in the 1980s convinced me that this is where I wanted to be."

As for the approach he and his wife use in business, Eisaman said: "We sometimes see the sales horse first and check out the pedigree. Other times we start with the pedigree and check out the individual. We sort of come to a mutual understanding that a particular yearling fits the program, and then we try and buy that horse within middle market price range."

Eisaman Equine, a 300-acre farm and training facility north of Ocala in Williston, has a five-furlong training track and barns to accommodate 200 horses in training. The broodmare band currently has 23 mares, and they are bred in Kentucky and Florida. Matings are planned with a goal of developing a homebred 2-year-old in line with those yearlings purchased at auction.

Eisaman then separates his sales horses from client's horses, horses who will go to the track, not the sales. He also does not push his sales horses to break records.

"I want my horses doing what they can do without stressing them," he said.

This approach is evidenced by seven Eisaman Equine sales horses who won or placed in graded stakes in 2008.