Fasig-Tipton Photo

Signs Encouraging Going Into F-T Winter Sale

The number in the catalog is up and there is buying interest from Australia.

November is the prime month for mixed sales in Kentucky. Auctions held then traditionally attract the best horses and produce the highest prices.

But Fasig-Tipton's Kentucky winter mixed sale, which is scheduled for Feb. 6 in Lexington, could generate some excitement in a rebounding Thoroughbred marketplace.

“There are some pretty nice mares in here carrying first foals and some promising-looking fillies coming off the racetrack,” said Bayne Welker, Fasig-Tipton’s vice president of sales. “We’ve actually been notified that we’re going to have some Australian interest this year, which is a little bit abnormal for a February sale. Someone down there still has some orders for some maiden mares or some open mares.

"That’s very encouraging because there usually isn’t much of an international market at this sale. It’s more of a domestic market.”

The auction’s catalog has 425 lots, which represent an increase of 32.4% from 2011’s total of 321. The growth comes at a time when foal crops and the number of horses at many other sales are declining.

“I think the overall quality is up as well,” Welker said. “We don’t get out and inspect these horses, but I’ve heard some good reports on the some of the just-turned yearlings and some of the fillies and young mares that are coming.”

The auction will start at 10 a.m. (EST).

During the 2011 winter mixed sale, the median price rose 7% from the previous year to $5,350. But the average price declined 7.3% to $14,739 while the gross dropped 14.1% to $2,623,500. The number of horses that were sold fell 7.3% to 178. The buy-back rate decreased to 22.3% from 28.9% in 2010.

Not included in the above figures were no guarantee seasons to stallions. Five of the seven offered were sold and they grossed $198,000.