When you turn to the consignors’ index in the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale's catalog, one of the first names you’ll see is Allied Bloodstock. Formed earlier this year, the company is making its debut as a seller at public auction in the July sale with three horses: a Discreet Cat —Princess Birdeye colt, a Lawyer Ron—Amada filly, and a Silver Train —Haftu colt.
Clark Shepherd and Bert Welker are the partners in Kentucky-based Allied, and they like to joke their new business could have been named “Two Men and a Shank.”
Welker texted that suggestion to Shepherd one day when Allied was in its formative stages and got this reply: “Do you want to go broke?”
Allied, they finally decided, was a better choice. It reflects how much they think alike when it comes to the Thoroughbred industry.
“Ethics has a lot to do with it,” Welker said. “You want to deal with people who are honest, and there’s nobody I trust more than Clark Shepherd. We look at a horse the same way, and we have the same thought patterns and the same theories.”
Said Shepherd: “That’s exactly what I was going to say. Bert also has some attributes that I don’t have and vice versa. We complement each other.”
The two men described Allied as a full-service operation. In addition to selling horses, they will be available to offer their clients advice about planning matings, racehorse management, and bloodstock purchases.
Allied will have a consignment at the Keeneland September yearling sale and plans to participate in the Keeneland November breeding stock auction and the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky November select mixed sale. There also might be an Allied consignment in the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky October yearling auction.
“We don’t want to get so large that we're scattered and smothered; we want to offer a personal touch,” Welker said. “Our philosophy is that if we get so big that we can’t do that, then we’ve lost what we’re trying to accomplish. Every horse that comes in here, somebody owns that horse and they’re giving us that horse to sell, so we want to do our best.”
Sheppard and Welker worked together at Audrey Haisfield’s Stonewall Farm Stallions near Versailles, Ky., and each served a stint as the farm’s general manager.
“When we were at Stonewall, it was like we had worked together all our lives, so this (Allied) seemed like a natural fit for us,” said Welker, who owns Silverton Farm near Midway, Ky., and was a bloodstock associate at Kitty Taylor’s Warrendale Sales after leaving Stonewall.
Even though the Thoroughbred marketplace has been struggling lately, Welker and Shepherd were optimstic about their inaugural Allied consignment.
“It’s just how the timing worked out, and the market is what it is,” Welker said. “We have three good horses and we think they’re going to be well received, so we’re not scared. The first day we were here (July 10), we averaged showing 45 to 50 times per horse, and the people we saw exceeded our expectations based on who we thought would be here looking. We’ve had a lot of second lookers and we even had heart scans on the first day. The buyers have until Tuesday (July 13) to do something like that so I thought that was encouraging.”
The Fasig-Tipton July sale is scheduled for July 13-14 in Lexington.