The combination of high stud fees and falling Thoroughbred prices has battered commercial breeders financially in recent years. But this year they finally are getting some relief based on results of two important yearling auctions.
The decline in stud fees is the main reason why commercial breeders’ fortunes are taking a turn for the better.
During the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling auction, 35% of the horses offered were profitable for their consignors compared to 27% in 2010. The average stud fee paid to produce the 191 yearlings that were sold was $23,914. The amount was down 22.1% from the $30,712 average for last year’s 243 yearlings that were sold. That trend made up for a decline in the sale’s average yearling price of 7.8% to $69,890. In 2010, the average was $75,780.
The yearling price to stud fee ratio for the sale, held July 12 in Lexington, was 2.78, up from 2.34 last year.
During the Fasig-Tipton Saratoga select yearling auction, which was held Aug. 8-9 in upstate New York, 69% of the horses offered were profitable for their consignors, compared to 49% in 2010. The average stud fee paid to produce the 103 yearlings that were sold was $57,974. The amount was down 29.3% from the average of $81,960 for the 118 horses that were sold in 2010. The sale’s average price grew 15.9%, from $275,551 last year to $319,340.
The yearling price to stud fee ratio was 5.23, which was up from 3.19 in 2010.
It was encouraging to see that commercial breeders made more money, whether or not the average price for a sale’s yearlings increased.