Tom Thornbury, Keeneland's associate director of sales, did not think the increase in January numbers was caused by setbacks at the very top of the yearling market in North America earlier this year. Instead, he believed the strength in the middle of the yearling market encouraged horsemen to sell more breeding stock and weanlings. He said horsemen also were encouraged by the strength of some foreign yearling markets. Entries for the Keeneland January sale closed on Nov. 1.
Keeneland's January horses of all ages sale will be bigger and longer in 2003. The catalogue has 1,908 lots, up by 37.1% from 2002's edition, and the Central Kentucky auction will run for five days (Jan. 6-10) compared to four a year ago. The number of lots catalogued in 2002 was 1,392.Last year, 936 horses were sold for a gross of $34,688,000, an average of $37,060, and a median of $12,750. Compared to 2001, the number sold and gross dropped by 22.5% and 12.5%, respectively. The average and median increased by 12.8% and 21.4%, respectively. The buy-back rate fell from 27.6% in 2001 to 17.5% in 2002.