Horseriding and horsemastership have become more and more popular in the last years in Romania. Ozana Moraru, president of the equestrian centre from Snagov, Equestria Riding Club, told BR in an interview more about the club and the trends of this industry.
How did you come up with the business idea and what was the initial investment?
It was not a business idea from the beginning; it started like a wish to accomplish a passion and to purpose to myself a lifestyle, but soon after I started to calculate the investment needs and the expenses, I decided to start a business around the horses, at least for covering the monthly expenses.
How profitable is the horse mastership in Romania?
If you don’t take into consideration the initial investment in the riding facility (buildings, stables, riding arenas, all the infrastructure, etc), it can be profitable, if you diversify at maximum the activity connected with the horses. Anyway, it is not not very profitable, unless you sell in good conditions some horses – the horse trade itself can be more profitable, but the Romanian market, unfortunately, is still very low, in terms of number of bought and sold horses and in terms of horses’ price.
If you take into consideration the initial investment – and this one was high, because the riding facility is a big and modern one – you have very, very low chances to cover these initial expenses, especially because even after many years, the local taxes for this investment (buildings, infrastructure, etc) are huge!
Lately there have been opened several horseriding centers near Bucharest and in other parts of the country. How does Equestria Club differenciate from the others?
We offer to our clients, horse owners or only horse lovers, the biggest (and most beautiful, I would say) covered arena in the country, the most modern stables, with large boxes, made of the most resistant and suitable wood, with individual paddocks for horses. We have a very good access from the main road, National Road 1, in the vicinity of the Snagov area and in the way to the Valea Prahovei resorts – so, it is very ease to reach us.
Moreover, we offer in our Riding School the biggest number of school horses, well trained and diversified on student’s level, with the best conditions for training, for both beginners and advanced students, adults and children, no matter the weather or season.
What is your clients profile?
Some of them are children in love with animals, in general, but especially with horses; some of them are teenagers who like to perform a sport, who like to establish relationships with friends of similar ages, with common activities, such riding, or even competing in horse contests. Others are adults who work quite hard during the day and want to relax at the end of the day and come for a riding lesson, or even decide to buy a horse and want to spend with him some relaxing hours once in a while, or regularly.
In any case, they are people with an income above the average, but not exactly…millionaires!
Another type of clients are the professionals in equestrian sports, who train their own horses or other people’ horses, who participate in competitions, and sometimes buy and sell sport horses.
How much of your clients are amateurs and how much do this for performance to attend competitions?
More than two thirds are amateurs, adults, teenagers or children, and one third are professionals.
I saw that you own 28 horses in Equestria Club. How much are the costs for their administration?
About 300 euros per horse, per month. This includes the food, the nutritive supplements, the shavings for the box – changed every two days, the water supply, the training done by my riders (employees of the club), the shoeing (every two months), vaccines and anti-parasite prophylaxis – every six months, and others.
What was the turnover of the center in 2015 and what turnover do you expect for 2016?
For the Riding Club Association, I expect a lower turnover, because we had a lower number of competitions in comparison with the last year. For the company itself, I expect the turnover to be a bit higher in 2016, because we had this year more horses in pension, belonging to other owners and because we also offered more riding lessons and had other activities, such as workshop meetings, than in 2015.