Commercial Breeders Form Organization

A new organization that seeks to better educate buyers of horses at public auction announced its formation today. Called Consignors and Commercial Breeders Association (CBA), the group is open to any consignor or breeder who sells commercially.

"We've been working on this for two years now," Bayne Welker of Mill Ridge Sales said. "We began talking about concerns and practices and from that grew an organizing committee. We felt it was time for us to put our competitive differences aside and help the industry as a whole.

"Most people that sell a product have a trade organization which lets everyone come together as an industry."

The members of the organizing committee, which Welker said includes the top 10 consignors by gross at Keeneland as well as several others, consists of: Craig Bandoroff (Denali Stud), Kerry Cauthen (Four Star Sales), Mike Cline (Lane's End Farm), Pat Costello (Paramount Sales), Bill Farish (Lane's End Farm), Olin Gentry (Gaines-Gentry Thoroughbreds), Michael Hernon (Gainesway Farm), Neil Howard (Gainesway Farm), Donato Lanni (Hill 'n Dale Farm), Braxton Lynch (Three Chimneys Farm), Reiley McDonald (Eaton Sales), Dermot Ryan (Ashford Stud), Joe Seitz (Brookdale Farm), Mark Taylor (Taylor Made Farm), Bayne Welker (Mill Ridge Farm), and Rob Whiteley (Liberation Farm).

"We already have most of the top 40 consignors on board, representing more than 75% of annual auction revenue," Welker said. "We are currently launching a full membership drive to get most of the remaining 25%. The CBA will be democratically run and every member will have one vote to elect a board of directors before the end of the year. Once that is accomplished, all members will have an opportunity to provide input into establishing the CBA's agenda as we go forward."

"The formation of the CBA is a very positive development for the industry," Boyd Browning, chief operating officer of Fasig-Tipton said. "Fasig-Tipton looks forward to working closely with its members on new initiatives. In our business, we need all groups working together to make the sales scene as good as it can be for buyers and sellers alike. The CBA has been organized by some of the most respected people in the industry and promises to be a proactive source of practical ideas and fresh energy."

Nick Nicholson, president of Keeneland, said of the new group, "Keeneland believes that integrity combined with constant communication is a formula that works. We look forward to partnering with the CBA as we strive together to achieve these important objectives."

Welker said the group's first two initiatives will be the education of buyers and the study of a futurity for horses sold by members.

"We have all had horses that had (veterinary) procedures done and flunked vet tests that went on to be graded stakes winners," Welker said. "We need to educate people what these procedures are, why they are done, and that there are many successful racehorses (that have procedures done before they are sold).

As for the types of things the group will work on, Welker said, "For instance, one thing we don't is unifying rules regarding repositories. Everybody has their own scope grades."