Consignors and sale company officials are predicting the Fasig-Tipton Midlantic Eastern fall yearling sale will break strong from the gate and hold a steady pace during its three-day run Oct. 1-3 at the Maryland State Fairgrounds in Timonium, Md.
"I think it is going to be a strong sale," said Boyd Browning, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Fasig-Tipton. "This is a good place for a horse sale, and it has shown over the years that it is an honest and consistent market."
This year's sale boosts a smaller catalog than the previous year. A record 962 horses were offered in 2006 and produced total receipts of $14,580,700. The buy-back rate increased by 10 percentage points to 31.6%
The 2007 edition features 903 cataloged hips, 14% fewer than last year's 1,052.
"Hopefully, having less horses will produce a greater demand and that will show in the results for our consignors," Browning said.
The Midlantic sale offers buyers the opportunity to choose horses with potential to earn additional money. Many of the horses consigned to the sale are eligible for the Maryland Million sire program or were bred in New York or Pennsylvania, whose breeders' rewards programs are thriving.
"We've got a good market here and I am expecting good things," said New York-based consignor Thomas Gallo. "You can get a real nice horse here for $50,000 to $150,000, and I think that is the real strength of this market. You also have a lot of good regional-bred horses here. You have a lot of people request the New York- and Pennsylvania-bred horses and the Maryland Million-eligible horses. There is a good cross-selection."
Maryland-based consignor Bob Manfuso of Chanceland Farm said he was impressed with the number of showings the two days before the auction and believes the strength of the middle market during the recently concluded Keeneland September yearling sale will carry over.
"I think the strength of the middle market at Keeneland is a good sign for us and I expect to see a positive response. This is a sale where you can get a really good horse in the $50,000 to $60,000 range," he said.
Rick Abbott of Pennsylvania-based Charlton said he was also pleased with the early number of showings. "I think yesterday (Sept. 29) we had 50 different people here looking at horses and today we have been equally as busy, if not more," he said.
Abbott said the many buyers he has spoken with said they were not able to fill their orders at Keeneland. "I think we are looking at a really strong market," he said. "This isn't rocket science. The good horses bring good money, and the bad horses are hard to sell. But I think there will be plenty of money available for the right horse."
Another positive sign for the sale is a strong presence of international buyers who were also active during the middle sessions of the Keeneland sale.
"There are a lot of people here and there are fewer horses, which I think is good," said Kentucky-based consignor Kitty Taylor. "I have seen Russian buyers, and the Koreans are here. I think it is good that they have those types of people coming in for the sale. I think that can only help things.”
The sale begins Oct. 1 at 10 a.m.