In a move that removes a potential restriction on the future relocation of the Los Angeles County Fair's racing dates, the fair association announced it has purchased controlling interest of Barretts Equine Ltd., which conducts the top 2-year-olds in-training auction in the state each March.
Last year, for the first time, all sale companies that conduct major juvenile auctions in Florida, Kentucky, and California tested horses for drugs following pre-sale under tack shows. This year, two companies, Ocala Breeders' Sales (OBS) and Fasig-Tipton, are tightening their medication policies.
On March 12, the Nasdaq composite index sank below 2000 and the Dow Jones industrial average experienced a staggering 436-point drop. The following day, Barretts conducted its select sale of 2-year-olds in training and suffered one of its worst financial beatings ever. The gross, average, and median all declined sharply. The buy-back rate climbed to its second-highest level in the auction's history. And the sale failed to produce a seven-figure horse for the first time since 1996. Just a coincidence? Gerald McMahon didn't think so. The Barretts president saw a direct link between Wall Street's crash and his California-based company's plummeting fortunes.
One day after the stock market plunged dramatically, business at the Barretts Equine Ltd.'s March select sale of 2-year-olds in training suffered significant setbacks. Gross revenue dropped by 33.8%, and the average and median prices fell by 27.2% and 44.0%, respectively. The buy-back rate was 45.4%, reaching the second-highest level in the auction's history.
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