The Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's fall mixed auction got off to a sluggish start on Monday during the first of two consignor preferred sessions. Gross revenues, average price, and median price all declined significantly from a year ago. And more than 30% of the horses offered were bought back by their consignors or failed to get a bid.The 204 horses sold grossed $2,247,800 and averaged $11,019. The median was $7,000. While the number sold was up by 25.2%, the gross and average were down by 13.5% and 30.9%, respectively. The median was down by 36.4%. The session opened on a discouraging note when the first horse in the ring failed to attract a bid. Last year during the auction's first consignor preferred session, 163 horses were sold for a gross of $2,599,200, an average of 15,946, and a median of $11,000.Consignors and buyers blamed the downturns on a catalogue that had less quality than in 2000, America's economic downturn, and various developments associated with the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the recent military strikes on Afghanistan.Ayrial Delight, a stakes-winning mare by Quick Dip, brought the top price of $62,000. Consigned by Nancy Bauman, agent, the mare was purchased by Ramspring Farm. Ramspring is owned by Frankfort, Ky., surgeon Mac Patrick and his wife, Mary Leigh, said Kentucky bloodstock agent Dick Lossen, who signed the ticket. The 9-year-old mare, who is an earner of $458,992, is in foal to Halo's Image.The session's high-priced weanling was a bay filly by North America's leading first crop sire, Valid Expectations. Consigned by Kellie Creek Farm, she was purchased $55,000 for by The Lads, a Kentucky-based pinhooking partnership. The filly was produced from My Jean, a winning 12-year-old daughter of Time for a Change.Silver Hiawatha, a winning Silver Buck mare who was in foal to Thunder Gulch, was bought back for $124,000 by her consignor, Doug Arnold of Buck Pond. Proper Dial, a winning Proper Reality mare in foal to Thunder Gulch, was bought back for $72,000 by Richland Farm, which consigned her through agent Mark Toothacker. The sale runs through Thursday.