The Japan Racing Horse Association (JRHA) will conduct a select yearling auction for the first time in 2006. During its first year, the sale will be a one-day affair, and it will be held in July in conjunction with the JRHA's two-day foal sale at the Northern Horse Park on the Japanese island of Hokkaido. In 2007, the yearling sale will again be conducted in July, but the foal sale will move to the fall.
The changes are being made at the request of Japanese horse owners, according to Naohiro Goda of the Tokyo-based Regent Co. A number of owners have become familiar with the yearling market while shopping in the United States and Europe, and they like the idea of buying horses of that age. The Japanese traditionally sell most of their young Thoroughbred stock as foals.
During last year's select foal sale, Fusao Sekiguchi purchased a Dance in the Dark – Air Groove colt for 490 million yen ($4,537,037), a world record price for a foal or weanling sold at public auction.