where the horse is always the hero
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Posted 2018-04-16 10:58:24  

The Markus Jooste factor – or rather lack of it – had a devastating effect on last week’s CTS April yearling sale and vendors are now bracing themselves for a difficult time at next week’s 526-lot National Yearling Sale.

The Durbanville sale was billed as a combination of last year’s Emperor’s Palace Select and the Cape Town March which together resulted in 332 sold for an average of R173 328 and a R57.5 million total. Last Thursday and Friday only 208 out of 289 horses on offer were sold and the average slumped by 43% to R97 764 while the aggregate was only just over R20 million.

At last year’s Emperor’s Palace nine yearlings went for R1 million or more (by no means all of them for Jooste partnerships) whereas last week the highest price was R700 000.

Sales company CEO Wehann Smith said: “We are all aware of the effect that Steinhoff and Mayfair Speculators have had but even so the results were a little bit down on what we expected. On the positive side one has to believe that this is an abnormal year and hopefully it is just a blip on the radar. But it is certainly very tough on the breeders.”

Seemingly not all of them were as stunned as the bare results would suggest and Cape Breeders chairman Vaughan Koster said yesterday that he was not all that surprised.

He explained: “For starters we were on a hiding to nothing having two sales within little more than ten days of each.

“Secondly the liquidation of Mayfair Speculators is having a huge effect on the industry. What Markus used to put into it each year is no longer coming in and on top of that all his horses have been up for sale. I don’t want to sound all doom and gloom but we have to be realistic – there just isn’t the same money around.

“I think we have to expect a reduction at Nationals although I believe the sale will still be relatively strong. It’s the regional sales that are going to be difficult. Everybody in the industry is going to have to tighten their belts and cut costs for a couple of years when I believe the market will turn around again.”

Koster expects the anticipated re-opening of the export protocols to act as the catalyst and believes that breeders have a part to play in expediting this, saying: “We need to push hard to ensure that this goes ahead because it will make a big difference.”

Michael Clower for Gold Circle


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