EquineCommerce.com, the online company which sells horses through a bid/ask system, registered its first sale on Dec. 30. An online bidder purchased a Smart Strike no-guarantee season for $24,500. EquineCommerce.com launched its Web site in early December.
Charlie Boden, the chief operating officer of EquineCommerce.com, said in the case of stallion seasons, his company does not consider the buyer and seller as public record, so those parties were not released.
"I think in future sales of entire horses, as opposed to seasons, you'll be able to know the listing member who sold it," Boden said.
On Tuesday evening Barry Weisbord, CEO of EquineCommerce, said he didn't expect business to pick up on the web site until later in 2004, but that he hoped it was a major player in the auction world by September.
"In our minds it was a soft opening, like a restaurant trying out a new chef," he said at the monthly meeting of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Farm Managers' Club, where he was the featured speaker.
Weisbord told the group he felt EquineCommerce would be particularly suited for selling racehorses and in some cases, broodmares.
"The ability of marketing racehorses is all about timing," he said. "Timing becomes the friend of the seller, not the enemy of the seller (in this case). Sometimes the best time to market racehorses is when they're winning." Weisbord said he hopes his company can soon offer video clips of a horse's recent races for prospective buyers.
Weisbord's comments went beyond EquineCommerce.com. He also talked a lot about technology and its potential for growth in racing, particularly broadband Internet access.
"Now broadband means watching a race from anywhere in the world," he said. "The necessary time commitment restraints have been repackaged and re-presented" to potential owners.
"This is a fantastic tool and properly utilized is the best thing we've had in years."