Newmarket, England-based Tattersalls sales company saw a 163,098,250 guineas annual turnover in 2003, beating last year's record by 21%, after the most-successful ever December Sale finished Thursday night.
A total of 4,280 head were sold at Tattersalls this year for an average of 38,107 guineas, compared to 3,842 sold for a 35,055 guineas average in 2002.
The December Sale, incorporating foals, breeding stock and yearlings, grossed 63,196,150 guineas for the 1,698 horses sold at an average of 37,217 guineas. The aggregate was up 16% while the 17,000 guineas median rose by 13%.
"After a year in which every sale at Park Paddocks has registered significant increases, often across the board, we could do little other than express our delight," said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony. "The fact that the median has risen at every Tattersalls sale this year, except July which had a record average, illustrates the phenomenal depth to the market, not just at the more rarefied levels, but from top to bottom. Even the smallest rise in the median at our four yearling sales this year was 16% with the largest an extraordinary 56%, and no doubt these figures will prove to be influential when breeders come to make their plans for 2004."
Mahony said the quality of horses offered in the December sale made a fitting conclusion to Tattersalls' successful year.
"Obviously the two dispersals from Wafic Said's Addison Racing and the late Prince Fahd Salman's Newgate Stud will be remembered for a long time, and Ramruma's new European record for a mare of 2,100,000 guineas stands out," he said. "But from our perspective the unrelenting demand from lot one to lot 2,681 has been the feature which has given the most satisfaction. Looking ahead, we felt that the sheer numbers in the foal catalogue placed a strain on the stabling, which impacted on the purchasers and vendors, and we will be looking at the format for next year's December Foal Sale to try to accommodate all parties as best as possible."
Thursday's top lot was Daprika (by Epervier Bleu), a 5-year-old half-sister to National Hunt performer Geos, who was offered in foal to King's Theatre and was bought for 80,000 guineas by Richard Aston to join the broodmare band at his top jumping farm, Goldford Stud in Cheshire.