Median Grows at Goffs Orby Sale in Ireland

The clearance rate improves while the gross stays about the same.

The Goffs Orby yearling sale ended its three-session run Sept. 29 in Ireland with a 3.4% increase from a year ago in its median price, a gross that remained about the same, and an increased clearance rate.

“ ‘Steady without being spectacular’ is probably the most apt phrase to describe the last three days trade, although so many buyers have also commented, ‘The good ones are as hard as ever to buy,’ ” said Goffs chief executive Henry Beeby.

The final results included a gross of €22,522,500 ($30,618,200 in U.S. funds) for the 487 horses that were sold. The average price was €46,247 ($62,871), and the median was €30,000 ($40,784). The number sold was up 4.3% from 2010, but the average was down 3.2%. The gross rose less than 1%.

The clearance rate was 79.3% compared to 76.6% last year.

An Acclamation filly brought the third session’s highest price of €53,000. Paddy Twomey purchased the bay yearling from Rathbarry Stud.

Produced from the winning Danehill mare Talah, the filly is a half sister to Ceremonial Jade (by Jade Robbery), who was a 2009 stakes winner in England.

“Our first thought is to thank the Irish breeders who have sent us a superb bunch of yearlings, especially to days one and two,” Beeby said. “Some significant buyers felt they were the most level collection of quality yearlings we have presented at Goffs for many years and they are testament to the faith placed in the Goffs service by our vendors.

“We have welcomed increased numbers to Kildare Paddocks with buyers from 20 countries following the focused work of the Goffs team alongside our partners at Irish Thoroughbred Marketing. “Our global work to promote the catalog is clear evidence that Goffs is, indeed, the gateway to the world for Irish horses and it is heartening that more and more breeders heed our call for the best each year. That so many British trainers converged on Goffs also demonstrates the quality of the catalog and the enduring appeal of the Irish horse together with recognition of the value and customer service for which we are renowned.

“To some a top price of €350,000 ($475,808 for a New Approach – Posterity filly in the second session) may seem a disappointment after a high of €950,000 last year and it is clear that the average has slipped marginally for that reason. But it is noteworthy that the three day median price has risen, illustrating the solidity of the market whilst a clearance rate of 79% is a real triumph in the current climate.

“The middle market between €50,000 ($67,973) and €200,000 ($271,890) was generally accepted to be the most competitive and that is borne out by the increased number surpassing the €150,000 ($203,918) barrier (25 as opposed to 20 last year). Indeed to trade over €22.5 million ($30,587,600) of horses against the backdrop of the headlines we have all endured in the Eurozone countries in recent months is a definite positive. We continue to defy the gloom and doom that seems to dominate so much of our lives at the moment.

“It is probably also noteworthy that we cataloged more fillies than last year and a greater number of yearlings following a huge demand for places. Those factors may have had some consequences for some of the statistics, but Goffs exists to serve the Irish breeder where possible and tinkering with the format of the sale unnecessarily is not going to help those that support us each year.

“Yes, we are perfectly happy with these results,” Beeby concluded. “A huge crowd of international buyers battling for the cream of the Irish foal crop; a clearance rate that would stand up to scrutiny in any year; an improvement in the all important median price; and a real buzz from start to finish – the Orby Sale is a must for all serious buyers of the classic racehorse.”