Fewer horses sold for much less money than a year ago during Keeneland's online auction of September yearlings. Still the Lexington, Ky., sales company insists there is a silver lining to the second edition of the Internet RNA Auction, which provides a second chance for horses failing to bring their reserve prices during the live auction.
"There was a lot more interest, meaning new buyer registrations, as well as more bidding activity," said Stephen Koch, Keeneland's Internet sales administrator. "Consider this a work in progress. The Internet will play a very important role in the Thoroughbred market in the future. We are committed to the Internet auction."
The number of registered buyers did nearly double from 270 during last year's inaugural auction, which was spread out over three separate days, to 425 for this year's auction that was held Sept. 27-28. And one bid did reach as high as $149,000 for a Grand Slam colt out of Stephanie's Road. But the Grand Slam colt didn't sell. In the end, five horses sold for $27,800 or an average of $5,560 and a median of $2,500. The top selling yearling was a colt by Marlin out of Say What You Mean, who was bought by Jim Melvin Akerlind for $15,400 from Columbiana Farm.
Last year, the three online sessions sold a total of 13 horses for a combined $500,200, or an average price of $38,477.
"Keep in mind we did sell five horses," Koch said. "That is five that weren't sold before the Internet auction."
Keeneland will hold an RNA sale in association with the November breeding stock sale. No plans have been made to offer an online session with the October yearling sale.