Fasig-Tipton officials will reduce the number of under tack shows from two to one prior to next year's select sale of 2-year-olds in training at Calder Race Course in Florida.
"For all concerned -- horses, buyers, and consignors -- we feel less is better," said Walt Robertson, president of Fasig-Tipton. "With one breeze show, there will be less stress on the horses. Consignors will be gone less (from home), and buyers will be gone less."
The breeze show will be held on Friday, Feb. 29, four days prior to the auction on Tuesday, March 4.
"We've batted this around for some time, and we've decided that now is the time to do it," Robertson said. "Hopefully, it will make it easier for buyers and consignors while allowing us to put a better 2-year-old product out there."
The second and final breeze show traditionally has been conducted on a Sunday, two days before the start of the auction. Holding next year's one breeze show on a Friday will give buyers more time to view the videos of the works before the sale and will allow Fasig-Tipton officials more leeway to move the breeze show to another day if the weather is bad, Robertson said.
The Fasig-Tipton Calder auction holds the juvenile sale records for gross revenue, average price, and median price. The marks for gross and average of $62,187,000 and $403,812, respectively, were established in 2006. The record of $250,000 for median was set earlier this year.
"I'm fine with it," said Florida pinhooker Niall Brennan of the change.
According to Brennan, having just one under tack show will help address concerns expressed by buyers that horses were being worked too hard in preparation for juvenile auctions. Even with drug testing and the installation or planned installation of synthetic surfaces at some sale facilities, something else was needed to improve buyer confidence, Brennan said, because of the lack of new buyers, a decline in the size of the veteran buying base, and the increased selectivity of shoppers at sales of 2-year-olds in training.
Brennan added that having just one breeze show probably won't hurt consignors' ability to market their horses. Under the two-show format, "if your horse didn’t breeze well in the first show or had a very average breeze, it didn’t matter (to the buyers) if they came back and did better (in the second show)," he said.