An era ended in Florida Sunday when more than 70 horses owned by the estate of Fred Hooper were dispersed during the opening session of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Co. fall mixed sale. One of the best known and most successful figures in the Sunshine State's Thoroughbred industry, Hooper died on Aug. 4 at the age of 102.
"It's tough," said Hooper's widow, Wanda, her voice breaking as she described her emotions prior to the dispersal's start. But she later smiled as she recalled how much she and her husband enjoyed the sport of racing together. "We had a very good time," she said. "It was exciting--from coast to coast--Saratoga and California. Good horses, Eclipse Awards, lots of happiness. It was great. This is a wonderful industry."
The 76 horses sold during the Hooper dispersal grossed $1,731,900 and averaged $22,788. Insight to Cope, a stakes-winning daughter of Copelan, brought the top price ofon $230,000. In foal to Diplomatic Jet, the mare was purchased by Randy Gammill in the name of his Diamond G Ranch in Oklahoma.
"I liked her race record, and I liked her conformation. The price surprised me a little, but I was willing to go higher," said Gammill, who plans to breed Insight to Cope to the Diamond G stallion New Way, a winning son of Danzig. Insight to Cope was produced from the winning Visualizer mare Precise Vision, a half-sister to the champion sprinter Precisionist.
A 9-year-old daughter of Precisionist, Preciseness, brought the second-highest price of $220,000 even though she was barren. She is the dam of grade III stakes winner Draw Again (by Roman Diplomat). Her buyer was Richard Spoor, a North Carolina resident who is the founder and president of Amerlink Log Homes.
Troubled by fertility problems, Precisionist has only been able to sire a handful of foals. Spoor said one reason he purchased Preciseness was because she was such a rare commodity. Gammill of bought Preciseness' yearling colt by Diplomatic Jet for $67,000, and her weanling End Sweep colt for $150,000.
Two other dispersals were conducted on the OBS fall mixed sale's opening day. Fifty-eight mares owned by the Mockingbird Farm of Harry T. Mangurian Jr. and his wife, Dorothy, grossed $1,507,700 and averaged $25,995. In the dispersal of mares and weanlings owned by Farnsworth Farms (Mike Sherman, president) and Locust Valley Corp., 143 horses grossed $1,096,000 and averaged $7,664.
For all three dispersals combined, the number of horses sold totaled 277. The gross revenue was $4,335,600, and the average was $15,652.
The Fall Mixed Sale continues Monday with the first of three consignor preferred sessions.
Sales results are available via the OBS web site at