There has been mounting pressure by heavyweight Australian breeders on Inglis and Magic Millions to rethink their previously announced new dates for the all-important sales series in Australia next year. One of them has yielded.
Inglis, which had moved its marquee Easter yearling sale a month later, has again revised its dates. Its Easter and Classic yearling sales have been pushed back an additional week to give buyers and vendors more preparation time. The Australian Easter yearling sale will start April 20, the day after the AUS$3-million Golden Slipper (Aust-I).
The equine influenza outbreak has already forced changes to the annual Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale, which generally features 1,500 yearlings and kickstarts sales across the world each year. It has been moved to March. That decision is under review, as major breeders are not happy with the change. Many would prefer that Magic Millions reschedule the event yet again to late May.
During the past week, directors of Inglis, Magic Millions, and Aushorse, have discussed ways to improve the span of 2008 sales dates. It is widely agreed by participants that an 11-day gap between the revised dates for Magic Millions and the Australian Easter yearling sale, as announced last week, would not be feasible for the big farms.
When Inglis initially moved its sales dates, Magic Millions followed suit. But the 11-day gap between the two largest Southern Hemisphere yearling sales was promptly called to task by farms who just are not geared up to prepare hundreds of yearlings at a time.
John Messara, president of Aushorse, has been consulted about the new Inglis sales dates. “The extra week will help,” he said.
The revised schedule for the major Inglis sales in 2008 is:
* March 2-4: Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale -- Oaklands, Melbourne (unchanged)
* April 20-28: Australian Easter Yearling Sale -- Newmarket, Sydney (select session April 20-22; classic session April 25, 27-28)
* May 4-7: Australian Easter Broodmare Sale -- Newmarket, Sydney (select session May 4-5; general session May 6-7)
Dates for the Autumn Yearling Sale at Oaklands and the Scone Yearling Sale are expected to be announced within several weeks.