March 2-Year-Old Sales Jammed Into Three Weeks in 2008

Three of the most important select sales of 2-year-olds in training will be jammed into a three-week period next year unless auction officials change their minds on the schedules.

The Fasig-Tipon Florida auction is scheduled for March 4, with the Barretts March sale following on March 11. The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. March auction is set for March 18-19. There usually is at least a week off from selling between two of the auctions. This year, the break came between the Fasig-Tipton sale March 6 and the Barretts auction March 20.

OBS decided to make its auction in 2008 a week earlier than 2007 (March 27-28) because Easter falls on March 23, when shoppers would have been inspecting the OBS horses, and because some important buyers would be in Dubai for the March 29 Dubai World Cup (UAE-I) program.

“With the World Cup, we would lose some pretty big players we would like to be here and because of that, in combination with Easter Sunday, we felt it was important to move our sale up a week,” said Tom Ventura, OBS general manager and director of sales.

California-based Barretts, with its 2008 March sale sandwiched even more tightly between two East Coast auctions, looked at a late February date but decided to remain in the middle because of a huge motor coach convention scheduled then for Fairplex Park, where the sale company is located.

“There’s not a whole lot we can do,” Barretts president and general manager Jerry McMahon said. “It will be a logistical problem for our consignors from the East Coast, and I don’t think it will be healthy for buyers to have to absorb three major sales within three weeks. A lot of people aren’t happy with the schedule. We just hope everything works out.”

One solution would be for Fasig-Tipton to reschedule its sale and conduct it Feb. 26. Boyd Browning, the company’s chief operating officer and executive vice president, wouldn’t commit to a change, but he also didn’t rule it out.

“We always look at all the options for the convenience of our buyers and consignors and make the best decision for accommodating them,” Browning said.                            

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