The racing industry has enjoyed a fantastic weekend of racing and camaraderie over the last week. Champions Day at Turffontein on Saturday was evidence of the progeny that can be produced in South Africa with the majority of the feature races being won by locally bred horses. Speaking to the Bloodstock South Africa team on Monday afternoon after the sale when the dust had settled all were unanimous that it was a buyer's market and even though the aggregate was down on previous years, the average was on par with last year and the prices attained were more realistic and indicative of the current economic environment.
Chief Executive Officer of the Thoroughbred Breeders' Association, Jan Naude was happy that the average price realised more or less maintained its previous levels. He mentioned that "the overall sales figures were influenced by the vendor buy-backs which were not included this year in the overall aggregate of the sale." Jan mentioned in particular that certain breeders were still on cloud nine after the sale but none more so than David Southey from Southford Stud when Form Bloodstock went to R1million for their Dynasty colt, the half-brother to the well-performed The White Horse. He ended off by saying that the results of the sale were "pleasing in a difficult environment."
Newly-appointed Sales Director, Tom Callaghan, who has only been in office for 2 months felt that the sale was a genuine one and offered excellent value for money with a good middle market but that there was no doubt that "the sale felt the effects of the economy and the current market conditions." Commenting about the vendors at the sale, he said that "the breeders had a tough sale but they were very positive and bullish about the future with the economic gloom starting to lift, and big advances being made in the lifting of the export ban. He ended off by mentioning that "the auction process was fair and this was a real horse auction."
Caroline Simpson who has presided over many thoroughbred sales in her time at the TBA commented that the buyers this year got real value for money. The cross-section of prices from R60 000 to the highest price of R1.7million with a median of approximately R200 000 was indicative of the buyer spending power. "More popular and successful sires went for bigger money whilst unproven sires struggled" she said.
She was most pleased with the week leading up to the sale saying that "it was relaxed and everybody enjoyed all the events that we put on and the good times spent with racing friends." Finally she made the point that the decision in the selection process in cutting down the number of yearlings on the sale from 600 last year to 467 this year was the "best move we made."
The sale closed just before 7p.m. on Sunday evening with an overall aggregate of R82 million and an average of R240 441. The highest price paid was R1 700 000 by Glen Kotzen for the full brother to 7-time winner Stratos, Lot 460 Stratocruiser consigned by Klipdrif Stud as agent.