KLAWERVLEI’s Farm Sale was a highlight on racing’s social calendar the last several years. The Stud’s boss John Koster talks about adapting and surviving in difficult times, and the potential, and excitement, around Klawervlei’s forthcoming sale to be held in conjunction with gavelhouse.com.
TT: As a progressive measure, in this Covid-19 time, you wouldn’t have needed much convincing to stage the farm sale online. What do you expect we’ll see in the line of participation?
JK: I really don’t know what to expect—everything in these Covid-19 times is exceptionally fluid. Online sales is a new concept for our thoroughbred industry. Hopefully we will follow global trends and embrace this method of sales. With racing opening on the 1st of June, I’m hoping there will be renewed energy. We would rather go down trying, than not at all.
TT: Mick Goss recently staged an e-mail sale, which by all accounts was well supported and successful. Do you think the ‘live’ aspect will encourage buyers even more due to its competitive, real-time nature?
JK: The Summerhill online sale gave me hope. Every horse was sold. I do think the gavelhouse method is a simple and very effective way for the purchaser to relate to and participate in. It will create excitement.
TT: Following on from that, we’ve seen BSA also launch an online sales platform? Do you think that these sales so close to each other will affect buying power either way, or do we have a selective market with strong, base supporters on all sides?
JK: Sales in 2020 are going to be tougheither way. Any platform to assist breeders and owners to sell their horses should be embraced.
TT: Tell us how Klawervlei has coped during Covid-19 and your views on what we’ve seen happening in racing. Your future views as we stand today? Is unity possible?
JK: Klawervlei is experiencing the same issues as all breeders in South Africa, no income and extended costs with much uncertainty about the future.
However, I genuinely have hope for the industry. To have the calibre of MOD (Mary Oppenheimer Daughters) within our industry is a huge privilege and something we should all be extremely grateful for. I also believe strongly in the five gentlemen who are tirelessly working to transform the industry into a vibrant, sustainable and, importantly, transparent one going forward.
Each sector should follow suit. The recent collaboration of the racing media is an example to us all. It will go a long way to encourage all sectors towards unity within racing and breeding.
TT: Tell us how Klawervlei’s stallions are doing.
JK: With no racing, it is a case of wait and see. Captain Of All is putting up his hand in a strong way—his future looks exceedingly bright. Twice Over’s second crop is not as strong as his brilliant first crop, but he has the backing of some of the country’s top owners and trainers with exciting progeny in the wings. Pomodoro has proven in no uncertain terms that he can upgrade very weak mares. With a book of 132 mares in 2018, he has every chance to climb into the top echelon of stallions. We look forward to the remainder of two-year-old racing for the Coup De Grace babies—so far very promising. The William Longsword yearlings were well received— they start their campaigns at the end of the year. Royal Mo has sired outstanding foals— much to look forward to.
TT: Compare this year’s catalogue to previous years in quality. Is there a Captain Of All or an Edict Of Nantes among them?
JK: I, like many of my compatriots, am a sales junkie. There are always those special horses that could be life-changing at every sale. We have potent pedigrees and wonderfully athletic yearlings represented at the sale. This is without a doubt that strongest draft we have presented at the farm sale, It is great to see representation by such a variety of fellow breeders.
TT: What is your message to buyers on the 2020 Klawervlei Farm Sale?
JK: This is a new concept—embrace it and put in that extra effort required. We are here to assist in any way you might require.
Make sure you have a strong w-fi signal. It is a great way to buy a horse from the comfort of your lounge, with a log fire burning and a glass of your favourite rouge at hand.
This is a good time to buy.—next year will be better than this year and with pending change in exports, the value of these purchases are sure to increase significantly. Fortune favours the brave!