OBS Spring Sale to Test Depth of 2YO Market

There are 1,221 horses in the catalog for the auction, which begins April 19.

Even though the catalog for the Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. spring sale of 2-year-olds in training is smaller this year, the auction will still be the largest of the juvenile selling season. The sale, which kicks off its four-day run April 19 in Central Florida, has 1,221 horses in its book, a number that is down 12.1% from the 2009 total of 1,389.

The spring sale is an open auction, with most of its stock consisting of middle and lower level horses. Because of its large number of offerings, it provides a stiff test of the market for young stock's depth. Last year, the gross revenue, average price, and median price all declined, following the general downward trend in the Thoroughbred markeptlace. But the setbacks weren’t as severe as some that were experienced in the select portion of the juvenile market.

Earlier in 2010, there were signs of stabilization at the select sales. In the first major open sale this year, which was conducted by Fasig-Tipton in Texas March 30, the median price rose while the gross revenue and average price remained close to 2009’s figures.

The spring sale will be the third auction conducting by OBS this year, following select sales in February and March. The February auction produced three horses that sold for $400,000 or more and surpassed the 2009 price peak of $340,000, but the March auction turned in an even more encouraging performance, with a 10.6% increase in average price and a 16.8% upswing in median. There also were buyers for horses at every level of the market, according to consignors.

Two shoppers at the March auction, Patti Miller of EQB and trainer Rick Violette, said they had clients who were interested in buying horses at the OBS spring sale.

The spring sale’s four sessions all will begin at 10:30 a.m. (EDT).