OBS Sale Ends With 36.6% Decline in Gross

Average falls 29.1% for yearling auction's select and open sessions combined.

The Ocala Breeders’ Sales Co. yearling sale, like many other auctions before it in 2009, couldn’t overcome the weak economy and ended up posting results that were down signficantly from 2008.

When the auction ended its four-day run Aug. 27 in Central Florida, the results for the one select session and three select sessions combined included a gross of $7,588,400 for the 662 horses that sold. The average price was $11,463. Compared to last year, the number of horses sold fell 10.7% from 741. The gross plunged 36.6% from $11,974,700. And the average declined 29.1% from $16,160.

The buy-back/no bid  rate fell from 35.6% to 33.4%.

“Whenever you have a sale, you want it to be a good sale and better than the sale before, but realistically the market has changed since last year,” said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. “Last fall was really when we had the first big impact on the horse business as far as the sales go from the downturn in the economy. There was some drop-off in August and September, but the biggest drop-off was after that, and it’s kind of continuing on. We are feeling the effects of that, and the breeders certainly have felt a significant impact from it.

"The yearlings bred for this sale in 2007 were bred on stud fees based on when things were going well, and their breeders are feeling the pain because of that.," he said. "The buyers have the advantage at this point, and they are able to be very selective and focus in on just the horses they want, and the other horses, hopefully, are changing hands.”  

During the select session, the 113 yearlings that sold grossed $3,708,500 and averaged $32,819. The median price wa $25,000. Compared to last year, when the same number of horses was sold, the gross plummeted 34.2% from $5,633,000. The average dropped 34.2% from $49,850, and the median plunged 37.5% from $40,000.

The buy-back rate declined from 43.5% last year to 38.3% this year.

A Medaglia d'Oro -- Lolabell filly topped the select session and the entire sale, bringing $275,000 from Charlotte Weber’s Live Oak Plantation. Francis and Barbara Vanlangendonck’s Summerfield sales agency consigned the bay yearling as agent. Medaglia d’Oro also is the sire of BlackBerry Preakness Stakes (gr. I) Rachel Alexandra.

“The bright spot is that the (price for the) sale topper was higher than last year,” Ventura said. “The Rachel Alexandra factor certainly is alive and well. Medaglia d’Oro fillies are very valuable and I thought she (the $275,000 yearling) bought a very fair price in this market. There was plenty of action on that horse.”

During the open sessions, the 549 horses that sold grossed $3,879,900 and averaged $7,067. The median was $4,000. Compared to 2008, the number sold fell 12.6% from 628 while the gross plummeted 38.8% from $6,341,700. The average dropped 30% from $10,098, and the median declined 27.3% from $5,500.

The buy-back/no bid rate fell from 33.9% to 32.3%.

The results for the sale’s final session included a gross of $1,061,900 for the 171 yearlings that sold. The average was $6,210, and the median was $3,500. The buy-back/no bid rate was 31.3%.

A Congrats  filly named Scarlet Scarlet, who is a member of her sire’s first crop, topped the final session, bringing $38,000 from Vinery Stables. Abbie Road Farm (Lisa McGreevy) consigned the dark bay or brown yearling. Scarlet Scarlet is out of the 9-year-old winning Tabasco Cat mare Red Hot Star.