Selling Around The Dispersal: Sellers Navigated Uncharted Waters In Fasig-Tipton July Breeding Stock Sale

Fasig-Tipton‘s auctions are well-known for their flexibility when it comes to adding late entries to an established sale, but Monday’s inaugural July Breeding Stock Sale introduced an entirely new marketplace segment with the clock winding down.

The Breeding Stock Sale was introduced by Fasig-Tipton on June 15, less than a month before the auction was to take place on July 12. The initial announcement centered around the Far From Over/Fountain of Youth Dispersal, but it invited other sellers to enter the catalog with their mares and foals to take advantage of the tentpole liquidation.

Summer broodmare sales are uncommon on the U.S. landscape, save for an urgent dispersal here and there, meaning the July Breeding Stock Sale would be an untested marketplace in a business that clings harder to the sure things each passing year. Entering the sale would be a leap of faith, with the hopes that buyers would be there to catch the horses on the other side.

How successful that leap was depended on who one asked around the sales grounds on Monday afternoon, but the general ethos in the new offering didn’t change from what one might see in any other sale.

“It seems like if you have something of quality, in foal to a quality horse, they’re going to buy them, and I don’t think it matters if it’s now or November,” said Gainesway’s Brian Graves.

Gainesway handled the breeding stock session’s highest-priced offering, Jeweled Princess, a Cairo Prince mare who sold in foal to Horse of the Year Gun Runner to Stoneriggs Farm for $225,000.

Graves said the mare’s owner contacted him about her potential chances in the new sale when it was announced, and they agreed she could do well in the venue, which was a common refrain among several consignors when it came to recruiting prospects for the auction, even on relatively short notice.

“When Fasig announced that they were going to have that dispersal, and they were opening up, the phone really started ringing for us,” said Mark Taylor of Taylor Made Sales Agency. “It wasn’t a lot of arm-twisting, it was really more people calling and saying, ‘I really hadn’t thought about it, but I’ve got this mare I’d like to turn into some cash; I’m going into the yearling market, or whatever, and I just would rather get the money now, as opposed to pay bills and wait until November.’”

Consignors said the opportunity for mid-season liquidity on the open market was one of the sale’s biggest selling points their clients discussed when considering a mare for the sale.

“Generally speaking, we did reach out, but didn’t get a great reception,” said Derek MacKenzie of Vinery Sales. “Most of the ones we got, the people called us – partnership dispersal type stuff. Most people thought it was better to wait until fall.”

MacKenzie said the market showed up for his mare in foal to Omaha Beach, who is likely to be an early leader among commercial sires when his first foals hit the sales ring later this year. However, there was not as much depth as he’d hoped for horses below that level, and having a foal on the ground next to the mare was not necessarily the selling point one might assume it would be.

The buyer ranks made it clear that young mares were a priority on Monday. Of the six horses to sell for six-figure prices, only one had more than two foals on her produce record.

“I probably would have missed the market a little bit,” said Fasig-Tipton president Boyd Browning. “I was really surprised with how well some of the in-foal mares and broodmare prospects sold that weren’t part of the dispersal. I was a little surprised that some of the mares with foals at their side didn’t bring a little more money, but it’s making a significant commitment to buy a mare that might have five or six foals on the ground. We’ve seen that be an area of weakness in the marketplace, whether it’s in November, January, or February, and it’s still there.”

However, that’s not to say having a mare with a foal at her side made her an instant disqualifier in the July marketplace. Taylor said that the sale’s placement on the calendar, before the foals are weaned from their mothers, has the potential to open up a more diverse group of buyers in time.

“We’re pretty new into this, but I definitely thinks it was a plus,” he said. “It gets weanling pinhookers basically bidding on mares. Then, it gets mare buyers bidding also, so it just opens it up. A mare we sold for $40,000, the baby by her side was a Big Brown, but it was a New York-bred, and a really good foal. She’s in foal to Maclean’s Music, and I think a lot of people said, ‘Man, if she can have a Maclean’s Music that looks like that Big Brown, I’m rolling.’”

So much of selling a Thoroughbred comes down to getting the horse to look their best when they arrive at the sales grounds, and for those who might be looking to sell a young horse as a weanling in the fall, Taylor said moving ahead in the calendar to July might help a few horses be at their most marketable.

“When you’re selling foals in the fall that have been weaned, it eliminates at least half of the foals from being good candidates, because the weaning process makes them go into a crash,” he said. “They get a weaning crash, where they lose weight, they lose their topline, they don’t look as good as they did before, so this allows you to sell a foal that looks in good shape – still got that milk fat, looks good – but when you pull them off the mare, a lot of them just go really downhill, and you can’t get them back to where they should be by November. This is just a whole new way to do commerce surrounding foals.

“A lot of times, you go look at all these babies before they’re weaned, and I’ll be giving a lot of high grades,” Taylor continued, “but then you go back and look at them in October when they’ve all just been weaned for a few months, all my grades go down, because they’re pot-bellied, they’ve got no top line, they look like little guppies.”

From the group of six horses that sold for $100,000 or more on Monday from the breeding stock session, five of them came from outside the tentpole dispersal, proving there was buyer interest beyond the headline act.

There likely won’t be a dispersal to serve as the foundation of future July Breeding Stock Sale catalogs, should it become an annual part of Fasig-Tipton’s calendar, but solid returns among the sellers who took the chance in the new market could help fill catalogs in the future.

“The people that brought them thought there was an opportunity, and I agree with them,” said Pat Costello of consignor Paramount Sales. “I think it was a success.”

The post Selling Around The Dispersal: Sellers Navigated Uncharted Waters In Fasig-Tipton July Breeding Stock Sale appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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