The Tattersalls December mare sale finished its four-day run Dec. 3 in England with a 16% increase in median price from 2008 and a gross that was down less than 1%. The average price declined 3.3%. In addition, the buy-back rate rose to 79.3% from 68.2% last year.
The top-priced horse on the final day was Wannabe Grand (by Danehill), the 13-year-old winner of the 1998 Shadwell Stud Cheveley Park Stakes (Eng-I). Produced from the Shirley Heights mare Wannabe, Wannabe Grand has produced six winners. Australian breeder/owner Scott Springott purchased her for 62,000 guineas ($107,856 in U.S. funds) from The Castlebridge Consignment, which sold Wannabe Grand for Chippenham Lodge Stud. The mare wasn't covered earlier this year..
The mare auction’s final figures included a gross of 33,197,700 guineas ($57,750,215) for the 628 horses that sold. The average was 52,863 guineas ($91,962), and the median was 14,500 guineas ($25,224).
The results for the entire December sale, which ran for nine days and offered foals and yearlings in addition to mares, included a gross of 56,903,100 guineas ($98,954,127) for the 1,399 horses that sold. The average was 40,674 guineas ($70,735), and the median was 15,000 guineas ($26,086). Compared to 2008, the gross rose 14% while the average increased 3.9%. The median was up 36.4%.
The buy-back rate increased to 78.6% from 63.3% last year.
“The economic upheavals of 2008 had a dramatic effect on the bloodstock industry throughout the world, and we approached the 2009 sales season with an air of trepidation,” said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony, “but the resilience of the market has been extraordinary. From the beginning of Book 1 of the October yearling sale to the conclusion of the December sale today, all of the sales at Tattersalls have outperformed expectation and, while we are a fair way off the dizzy heights of 2006 and 2007, it has been particularly gratifying to see a real sense of confidence return to the industry. The Tattersalls December sale is a key indicator of the health of the bloodstock industry, and we can all derive a measure of optimism from the 2009 renewal.
“In total, we catalogued 2,183 lots for this year's December sale, which was 545 less than last year, and (it was) the smallest December sale since 1993,” Mahony continued. “Remarkably, turnover for the sale has risen by 14% and all the key indicators of average, median, and the percentage of lots sold have shown significant improvement on 2008. Not only have the figures provided encouragement for the industry going forward, but equally importantly there has been a genuinely vibrant feel to the proceedings of the last two weeks.”