According to an old saying, "Everything is bigger in Texas," but Fasig-Tipton's yearling sale in the Lone Star State has gotten smaller. And that could be a positive development.
The auction’s catalog lists 370 horses, a number that is down 26.9% from last year’s total of 506. And the sale’s length has been reduced from two days to one. It will begin at 10 a.m. (CDT) Aug. 31 at Lone Star Park.
Because of the weak economy, “most people are less likely to test the market with their product, and of course, supply is going to shrink more in the future (as the North American foal crop declines in size),” said Tim Boyce, who heads Fasig-Tipton’s Texas division. “That will help the market, I think. Every plant needs a good pruning now and then.”
Even though the catalog isn’t as large, the quality of the horses “is as deep as it was last year,” according to Boyce, who added: “We’ve got some pretty darn good sire power. We have the offspring of first-crop sires like Rockport Harbor , and we have yearlings by hot sires like Tapit . Our local stallions are represented as well. I’m thrilled with the individuals physically, and hopefully, the buyers will find something they like here. The sale has always been a source of value to them. If they come here and find a nice-looking individual that they really like, they can walk away with it for a reasonable price whereas at other sales they might have to settle for something that toes out a little bit or toes in a little bit because they can’t compete at the upper level.”
Fasig-Tipton has focused on improving its hospitality efforts at recent sales and auction participants will notice an upgrade in Texas.
“Fasig-Tipton has been going the extra mile all year along, and we’re continuing to do that down here in Texas,” Boyce said. “I know people will be pleased with the sale grounds and the environment that we’ll have here. We have a hospitality tent because in 100-degree weather, it’s kind of nice to have a little oasis that our buyers and consignors can go to to cool off. They can study the catalog, get coffee and doughnuts in the morning and water or a little ice tea in the afternoon, and then go out back out there and look at more horses.”
In 2008, when 281 yearlings were sold, the Texas auction's gross increased 2.6% from the previous year to $3,369,700. However, the average price dropped 12% to $11,992, and the median fell 27.4% to $4,500. The buy-back rate was 36.6%, about the same as in 2007 when the rate was 36.9%.