Goffs Sportsman's Sale Suffers Declines

Following sharp declines at its flagship Million sale, Goffs conducted its one-day Sportsman’s yearling Oct 2 in Ireland, and it also fell short of its 2007 counterpart.

The sale was reduced from two days last year to one in 2008, and the 2,377,300-euro turnover fell significantly from the gross of  5,183,800 euros 12 months ago. The 12,007-euro average fell 17%. and the 7,500-euro median dipped by 25%. The clearance rate was 72.8%.

Topping the auction was a 90,000-euro Dubai Destination colt bought by local agent Bobby O’Ryan. The yearling will be sent to trainer Dermot Weld.

"Trade at today’s Sportsman’s sale followed a similar trend to that witnessed during the Million sale, although the scale of the slowdown was, happily, less severe,” said  Henry Beeby, Goffs’ chief executive. “We produced a quality catalogue of Sportsman’s yearlings but a number of external factors were at play that are simply out of our hands."

"Clearly the worldwide economic crisis has had a negative impact upon sales throughout this week, but even more specific to the Sportsman’s sale are the current problems within the Italian racing industry. Italian buyers are traditionally among the leading purchasers at this sale, and while we were delighted to welcome several buyers from Italy to Goffs this week, the numbers present were significantly down on previous years, which is disappointing.

"It has been a spectacular year for graduates of both the Million and Sportsman’s sles and while there have been some excellent results in the sales ring this week for vendors and purchasers, overall it has been a tough week which coincided with the worldwide financial crisis that caused such consternation as it seemed to lurch from one disaster to another. To sell a luxury like a racehorse in that climate is a challenge to say the least.

"The current recession in the Irish property market undoubtedly had a negative influence on sales with many Irish property developers, who have been such active purchasers in recent years, notably missing from the list of buyers this week. This is a problem unique to Ireland for while we have enjoyed their patronage in recent years, we have certainly felt their absence very keenly this week.”