The dinner was once again a sellout, with 500 people in attendance. A majority of the more than 100 stallion seasons offered were sold by telephone bid, with 22 being offered at Friday's live auction.
Friday evening's Thoroughbred Charities of America Stallion Season and Art Auction was the most successful and perhaps most unique in the 17 year history of the event.Held for the first time at Keeneland, the TCA auction raised a record $2.8 million while honoring Roy and Gretchen Jackson, as well as representatives of the New Bolton Center, for their efforts on behalf of injured Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. 1) winner Barbaro."All we did this year was follow the leader, and the leader was Barbaro," declared Gretchen Jackson to great applause. "He has brought the horse community together and for its welfare."TCA founders Herb and Ellen Moelis put the $2.8 million raised at Friday's auction in perspective when recalling the $15,000 raised during the inaugural event, which was held in the living room of their home at Delaware's CandyLand Farm in 1989.Ironically, TCA auctions have traditionally been conducted by auctioneers from Fasig-Tipton, who found themselves in the unique position of conducting an auction from the podium at Keeneland's entertainment center."The only reason we came tonight," joked Fasig-Tipton announcer Terrence Collier, "is because we were told that we'd be able to audition for Keeneland." The highest price at auction was a 2007 no guarantee season to Bernardini which -- at the $280,000 winning bid by James Keogh -- went for considerably more than the stallion's $100,000 stud fee.