With no major dispersals in the mix and working against an ailing economy, the two-day 2008 Barretts October mixed sale began Oct. 27 facing an uphill battle. The first day saw 143 horses sell for $536,600, yielding an average of $3,752 that was 69% last year’s event.
“It was tough sledding as expected,” said Jerry McMahon, Barretts’ president and general manager. “This is kind of the new reality at the lower end of the horse market, and I think it’s going to be that way for a while.”
In 2007, the Stan Fulton and Golden Eagle Farm dispersals boosted the mixed sale numbers. Five six-figure horses came from the Fulton dispersal, including the $250,000 sale topper. Without a similar dispersal, the opening-day figures were unable to come close to those of a year ago.
The Fulton dispersal alone in 2007 accounted for $1,322,500 of the $2,434,500 gross from the sale’s first session. The 2008 average declined from the $12,112 average of the 2007 first session. Horses of racing age were the strongest at this year’s first session, with 28 averaging $5,257.
Dennis O’Neill bought the highest-priced horse of the first day, paying $80,000 for a yearling daughter of Exchange Rate —Our Dear Helen, by Bates Motel. H & E Ranch consigned the filly, who is a half-sister to stakes-winning Me My Mine. The dam, Our Dear Helen, is a stakes winner and earner of $108,440.
Ron Valenta’s La Canada Stables bought two horses of racing age out of the mare Wallis of Windsor. For $35,000, Valenta got Scandalous, a 4-year-old son of Memo, and for $30,000 he got Beltene, a 2-year-old daughter of California leading sire Unusual Heat. Havens Bloodstock Agency Inc., as agent for Charlotte Wrather, consigned both.
The sale continues Oct. 28 at the Hinds Sales Pavilion in Pomona, Calif., beginning at 11 a.m., PDT.