American Pharoah makes $200,000 every time he’s bred with another horse. That’s $35 million for 175 pairings per year. That’s $10 million more than LeBron James makes for court work. Look at it this way: LeBron James’ current salary is $22.97 million per year. Even if American Pharoah mates only 115 times in 2016, he’ll still earn more than LeBron James.
We’re taking a few liberties with the data. Number one, James also earns endorsement deal money comparable to his salary. Then there’s merchandise sales and other income. Also, a horse doesn’t get to keep his money. In reality he’s paid in oats, medical care and not getting sent to the modern equivalent of a glue factory. The $35 million is just what American Pharoah’s stud fees for a year can amount to. Comparing apples to apples, James probably brings in a lot more money than just his salary. Consider all the millions of dollars the Cleveland Cavaliers and the NBA bring in every year in ticket sales and TV licensing deals because of LeBron.
Also see: How Much Money Does an NBA Player Make?
The $700 Million Horse
American Pharoah has the potential to make $700 million for his owner, just from breeding. Take a look at the table below. A horse can live 25 to 30 years. American Pharoah is just four years old. That means he could stud for another 20 years. At $35 million a year, that adds up to $700 million over the course of his lifetime. When a famous human’s career is over, from NBA stars to NFL stars to big name musicians to actors, that’s pretty much the end of their income. With a horse, the career’s end is just the beginning of the income stream.
American Pharaoh Money Facts
|American Pharoah stud fee||$200,000|
|Potential American Pharoah stud breedings this season||175|
|Possible total American Pharoah stud money 2016||$35,000,000|
|Horse lifespan||25-30 years|
|Potential American Pharoah stud lifespan||20 years|
|American Pharoah potential earnings||$700,000,000|
American Pharoah won the Triple Crown in 2015, as well as the Breeder’s Cup Classic. That makes him the first horse since 1978 to win the Triple Crown and the first ever to win what’s known as the “Grand Slam” in American Horse racing. He’s now retired on a stud farm in Kentucky. He has gained 170 pounds since he stopped racing. Though his life as a stud has gone on less than a year, he has already bred with over 100 mares. That means he has earned over $20 million so far in 2016. That’s more than twice the money he earned on the racetrack.
The horse’s breeder is Justin Zayat, son of world renowned horse breeder and trainer Ahmed Zayat. The elder Zayat has bred and trained horses that have won multiple races and derbies over the years, including the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, Belmont Stakes and others.