OBS February Pinhookers Cut Financial Risk

Yearling-to-juvenile pinhookers are under less financial pressure as they head into the start of the selling season for select 2-year-olds in training, and in a recession-battered economy and Thoroughbred auction business, that is a good thing.

Among the 160 horses cataloged for the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. February sale, which is scheduled for Feb. 16 in Central Florida, there are 100 that were sold as yearlings. Their average price was $46,745, which is down 31.6% from the average of $68,342 for the horses being pinhooked in 2009. The gross amount paid for this year’s pinhooked horses as yearlings was $4,674,500, down 33.6% from the $7,039,200 total for 103 pinhooked horses in last year’s auction.

The average yearling price is the lowest for horses being pinhooked in the OBS February sale since the average of $42,091 in 2004. The gross amount paid for yearlings is the lowest since the total of $4,630,000 in 2004.

In 2009, the average yearling price in North America was $40,307, which was down 21.7% from the previous year.

The rate of return on investment for pinhookers at the 2009 OBS February auction was 30.7%, a big decline from 63.4% in 2008 and the sale record high of 160.2% in 2004. Only 33% of the horses offered last year by pinhookers were profitable compared to 50% in 2008.

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