Arqana Sale Average Stays Nearly the Same

The gross and median for the October yearling auction suffer small setbacks.

Arqana’s Deauville October yearling sale ended its four-day run with a downturn of less than 1% in average price. The gross dropped 3.2% and the median declined 4.8% during the auction, which was held Oct. 17-20 in France.

The clearance rate fell to 68.1% from 73.1% in 2010.

“The results reflect the consolidation of the new format and of the level of prices that were reached last year,” said Arqana president Eric Hoyeau. “The average and aggregate (gross) are the third best ever for this sale, only to the exceptional year 2007 and to last year’s highly satisfactory results, when the August (yearling) sale had been disappointing and the October sale had somewhat caught up. The clearance rate has, however, been affected by the greater number of horses  cataloged, which was a record for this sale. Such a large offer played against the sale’s momentum, and we will have to apply a more rigorous selection next year in order to maintain a busy trade.”

During the auction’s fourth and final session, 91 yearlings were sold for a gross of €1,622,000 ($2,236,300). The average was €17,824 ($24,575) and the median was €14,000 ($19,302). The clearance rate was 61.1%.

A Hurricane Run filly brought the fourth session’s highest price of €68,000 ($93,754). Gerard Augustin-Normand’s representative, Sylvain Vidal, purchased the bay yearling from the Coulonces Consignment.

The filly is the first foal out of the winning Slickly mare Slyta, who is a full sister to French stakes winner Stikine.

The results for the entire October auction included a gross of €10,327,000 ($14,238,100) for the 375 yearlings that were sold. The average was €27,539 ($37,969) and the median was 20,000 ($27,575). Last year, 384 horses were sold.

"Overall, if we look at the French yearling market this year (August and October sales combined), it was a good performance,” Hoyeau said. “We cataloged 40 yearlings more than last year, and the number of horses sold increased accordingly, from 668 in 2010 to 703 in 2011. The cumulative average price also improved despite the larger numbers, and the overall turnover went up 11%. However, such generally satisfactory results should not hide the difficulties faced by many commercial breeders to balance their books.

“It is more than ever necessary to take actions aimed at increasing the number of owners in France and at encouraging existing owners to turn over their stock more regularly by putting more emphasis on young horses in the racing program. I think these two aims should be amongst the priorities of France Galop’s next president, in order to support the breeders who provide the necessary raw material to our sport.”