Francis Vanlangendonck, who operates Summerfield sales agency with his wife, Barbara, will have the largest consignment at the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. August yearling sale, which kicks off its three-day run Aug. 24 in Central Florida. He also is a member of the OBS board of directors, so he looks at auctions from the perspectives of management and as a seller being served by the company.
As someone who helps make decisions about how to operate OBS and promote its sales, Vanlangendonck is cautiously optimistic about how the yearling sale will perform even though the Thoroughbred marketplace has been struggling since late 2008 because of the negative effects of an American recession and a global financial crisis.
“I think it’s going to be OK, and the market will be fairly solid for the whole sale,” Vanlangendonk said Aug. 20. “We’ve got a pretty good group of buyers who have said they were coming down. OBS went outside the borders of Florida and got some horses out of Kentucky, so we’ve got a little bit better diversity of stallions (with yearlings in the auction’s catalog) than we’ve had in the past.
"They’re not all Florida-based stallions. We’ve got Kentucky-based stallions and some really nice individuals. You can see pictures of the select yearlings on the OBS website. We’ve had a lot of people call and say they saw some horses they really liked.”
As a consignor who has participated previously this year in the Fasig-Tipton July select and Fasig-Tipton New York-bred preferred yearling sales, Vanlangendonck knows it’s difficult for sellers to make a profit no matter where they offer their horses.
“The market is leveling off, and the interest in buying horses is there,” he said, “but people are only wanting to give you so much for them. You’ve got to adjust your reserves to the right spot to get your horses sold. We sold seven out of nine at the New York-bred sale, and two them I knew I wasn’t going to get sold walking in because with one we were shooting for the stars, and the other one had some (physical) problems.
"But the ones I thought we were going to get done, we got every one of them done. Now, we didn’t make a profit on them, because we were dealing with high stud fees, but we kind of knew where we were.”