Every day, Victoria Charmoli is striving to learn something new about breeding and apply it to her business, VC Breeding & Sales
BY April Bilodeau
Victoria Charmoli started out like most horse-crazy kids. She was constantly begging her parents for riding lessons and to ride the ponies at local fairs.
The riding lessons turned into leasing a horse, and once she got older, she began showing. In high school, she attended a boarding school that gave her the opportunity to assist with breeding and raising young horses. While she didn’t ride much in college, after graduation she started buying, retraining, and selling off-track Thoroughbreds to suitable homes.
An unexpected diagnosis of Lyme disease hit Charmoli hard, which prevented her from riding, and forced her to consider other career options in the horse world.
A Pivot in Plans
Due to her health, Charmoli was forced to take a step back and reevaluate how she could continue to be involved with horses. Remembering how much she enjoyed learning about and watching the foals develop in high school guided her to a career in breeding.
In December 2022, she started VC Breeding & Sales, a small, hands-on breeding business based in Wisconsin. When she opened her business, she leased six stalls at a small local farm, but in four months, she outgrew that facility and expanded to her current facility.
Charmoli has four broodmares: a Trakehner, a Holsteiner, and two Thoroughbreds that are both approved in Warmblood registries. She had one foal last year that was sold shortly after birth. Currently, she has one mare in foal due in spring 2024.
“People forget about the breeding side of things,” Victoria Charmoli tells The Plaid Horse. “They want the quality horse that they can show and win with. But without breeding, we wouldn’t have the sport.”
While eventually she would like to add a couple more mares to her herd, as well as a stallion, Charmoli prefers to keep her business small so she can continue to provide not only the best care to her mares and foals, but also to her selection process.
“I put so much work into choosing the right stallions for my mares,” says Charmoli. “I choose a stallion not just because I like the horse, but because they are a good fit for my mare.”
The same effort she puts into matching a mare to a stallion is put into selecting the right homes for the foals.
“People come to me and will specifically list what they are looking for in a foal,” says Charmoli. “From there, I evaluate if I have the right match. If I don’t have it, I look to see if we can make that perfect match in a future foal. I like making things happen for people.”
Charmoli also provides flexibility during the sale process of her foals.
“I love to get creative,” says Charmoli. “Quality foals are expensive, so I always try my best to facilitate an easy sale that favors the buyer so that they can get their dream foal.”
Due to the smaller size of VC Breeding & Sales, Charmoli is able to take a personalized approach to her program on a daily basis. Custom plans are provided for each mare and when there is a foal on the property, they are not only handled daily but they are also groomed, blanketed, and haltered on a regular basis. That way when a customer buys a foal from Charmoli, they are sure to receive a well-handled horse.
In the future, Charmoli’s goal is to have her own private facility and partner with a local vet to open up a reproductive clinic so that proper breeding and foaling can be more accessible in her area.
Charmoli encourages other young horse enthusiasts with a passion for entrepreneurship to get out there and start their own business. While she admits it can be difficult, she looks at every day as an opportunity to learn and get better at all aspects of the business.
“I think it’s really important that young horsemen and women understand that as long as you have a drive and a passion to learn and grow, you’re going to do just fine,” says Charmoli.
When it comes to breeding, Charmoli says it’s all about bettering the breed.
“I try to learn everything I can about the markets, how things fluctuate, different breeding protocols, embryo transfers, anything I can,” she adds. “When we know better, we do better.”
Outside of the barn, Charmoli is a nurse in the cardiac/neuro wing.
“It’s a fast paced environment,” says Charmoli. “No matter how long you’ve been a nurse, there are still opportunities to grow, and that’s why I love the equestrian world so much… because I respect and embrace the concept of continuous education and learning.”
Her work at the hospital has proven to have many parallels to her life as a horsewoman and breeder.
“In the horse world, no matter what level you are at, everyone is still on a level playing field because everyone has something to learn,” says Charmoli. “Even the best have opportunities to learn and grow every day. I try to remember that.”
For more information about Victoria Charmoli and VC Breeding & Sales, visit www.facebook.com/VCbreedingandsales.