A member of one of the Thoroughbred industry's best known families has her first consignment at the Keeneland September yearling auction. Martine Head, who is selling under the banner of Longitude Farm, is a daughter of Alec Head, the patriarch of a French breeding and racing dynasty. Trainer Criquette Head is Martine's sister, and their brother, Freddie Head, is a trainer who used to be a jockey.
“I’m thrilled to be at Keeneland,” Martine Head said. “I’ve sold in England; I’ve sold in Ireland; I’ve sold in France; and I wanted to experience this, also. I could have given my horses to somebody else to sell, and I was approached by a big consignor here. He said to me, ‘You’re going to get lost there. And I said, ‘No, no, no. I would love to be there because that’s the only way to know the market, to know what goes on.”
Two horses in the Longitude consignment are scheduled to sell Sept. 9. They are a Smart Strike – Vilia colt and a War Chant – Great Buy colt. A Lemon Drop Kid – Child Bride colt and a Lemon Drop Kid – Heavenly Spirits colt are scheduled to sell Sept. 18.
“I bought two yearlings that I’m reselling here, and two are owned by clients of mine,” Head said. “I’m not expecting top, top, top dollars. My horses are $250,000 horses, something like that.”
Head managed her family’s farm in France, Haras du Quesnay, from 1988 until 2000, and “I still do their PR (public relations) and everything,” she said. “I’m living in Kentucky now because I want to raise my son (Charles, 11) in America. I’m just starting a tiny little operation for me. I’ve got a few mares, and I board them at Hagyard Farm. I’ll try to buy a few foals this winter, maybe in January or even before then in November. The idea is to breed, race, and maybe sell a few. I would love to have a horse with (trainer) Christophe Clement.”
So far, Head’s experience at Keeneland has been “very good,” she said. “It’s very interesting because there are a lot of people I need to meet that I don’t know. There are new faces. The Europeans, I know, but I’ll be even more interested the second week (of the sale) because I’ll have to get familiar with a lot of people I don’t know yet. It will be a great challenge for me to meet trainers and to understand more about American racing and buying.
“So far, from what I’ve seen, Keeneland could be the best organization in the world,” Head continued. “Being in it (the September sale), seeing how everything is picked and cataloged, it’s been phenomenal. When you walk around here, everybody’s got a lot of space. It’s extremely well done.”