Gross Down 30.8% at NZ Yearling Sale

Average and median also fall.

(Edited New Zealand Bloodstock press release)

Business declined significantly at New Zealand Bloodstock’s premier yearling sale, which ended in Karaka Jan. 27 after a two-day run.

The 366 horses that sold grossed NZ$53,330,000 (approximately $28,158,773 in U.S. funds) and averaged NZ$145,710 ($76,936). The median was NZ$100,000 ($52,801). Compared to 2008, the gross fell 30.8% from the sale record of NZ$77,115,500 (for the 387 yearlings that sold) while the average declined 26.9% from NZ$199,265. The median dropped 33.3% from NZ$150,000.

The clearance rate decreased from 86% last year to 77% this year.

“There's no doubt the market was strong in places, but buyers are selective, as they can afford to be given the current climate,” said New Zealand Bloodstock managing director Petrea Vela. "Clearly, the market is experiencing a downturn, but in light of the fact that our 2007 figures were records at the time, to be in that range is still a good result for the industry. In particular, the activity of our local buyers has been very heartening and demonstrates their confidence in our industry even in these uncertain times."

While the opening session’s top price of NZ$800,000 ($423,576) wasn’t surpassed, one lot came close. A Stravinsky filly was knocked down to bloodstock agent Dean Hawthorne for NZ$775,000 ($409,208). Consigned by Cambridge Stud, the filly is the second foal out of the Zabeel mare Diamond Smile.

"I've purchased this filly for a Victorian client who is looking to build up a nice broodmare band,” Hawthorne said.

The leading buyer was David Ellis of Te Akau Racing, who spent NZ$4,475,000 ($2,362,845) for 12 yearlings.