THERE are plenty of major and minor bloodstock auction events going on these days, it feels like almost a sale a week.
There are pundits who believe that sales events should be reduced to a streamlined minimum in the current economic climate, but big and small sales at random time throughout the year have actually been around for decades.
Invariably, they all seem to hold their own – there always seems to be a sale for everyone, and a horse for everyone!
The next two sales coming up this month is the Emperors Palace Summerhill Summer 2017 Ready To Run Sale on Tuesday, 21 February, catalogued here, – a sale of unsold two-year-olds from last year’s sales and horses on the farm who have never been to an auction.
The next day, Wednesday 22 February, sees a Mixed Sale at the Shongweni Polo Grounds, conducted by BloodStock SA and Michael Holmes Bloodstock. This catalogue features horses for sale, ready to race, and mares for the breeding paddock.
Our headline photo is of the erstwhile champion Main Man, who set a national record for a horse at auction when sold at the TBA’s Super Sale back in 1987. He was bought for R1-million by John Freeman Insurances from a sale with only 37 lots. The sale averaged over R50,000 per lot sold.
Interestingly, other Graded winners on this auction went for a whole lot less. Buddy Nassif bought Shooting High for R40,000, Thoroughbred Services got Royal Award for R38,000, and Brandyball was knocked down to Costa Livanos for only R16,000.
“Even allowing for his proven racing ability, few would have predicted a R1-million price tag on Main Man,” noted the SA Racehorse.
In the same month, Freeman’s Thoroughbred Group held a dispersal sale at Gosforth Park at which 14 horses from the estate of Mr ZD Mahobe were sold. The highest price here was R33,000 paid by Derek Shone for an unraced three-year-old colt named God’s Country, by Harry Hotspur.
“The situation had not been helped by the poor condition of most of the horses,” said John Freeman. “There was also a degree of buyer resistance caused by a feeling that if the horses, most of which were unraced three-year-olds, had shown any great potential their present trainers would have made some effort to find new owners for them.”
Well, it’s not always that easy, never was. Point is, if there are horse sales, there will be buyers!