Numbers Fall For Keeneland November Sale; MRLS Blamed

Keeneland will catalog 3,597 lots for the November breeding stock sale in Lexington. The number is down by 12.6% from last year's figure of 4,119.

Tom Thornbury, Keeneland's associate director of sales, identified the effects of mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) on the weanling population as a key factor in the decline.

"Last year, breeders frustrated by MRLS, sold many of their barren mares," he said. "Most of the mares in this year's catalogue are safely in foal, making them much more attractive to purchasers.

The auction will run 10 days, from Nov. 4 through 13, with sessions beginning at 10 a.m. (EST) each day. It will be one day shorter than last year's sale. Included in this year's catalogue will be 1,951 broodmares, 146 broodmare prospects, 1,339 weanlings, and 161 horses of various other ages and types. The 2002 total for broodmares or broodmare prospects of 2,097 is up by less than one percent from last year, but the number of weanlings dropped by 29.0%. In 2001, there were 2,094 broodmares or broodmare prospects, 1,887 weanlings, and 134 horses of various other ages.

The results for last year's November sale were 2,505 horses sold for a gross of $179,533,600, an average of $71,670, and a median of $20,000. The number sold and gross were down by 23.3% and 40.5%, respectively, and the average and median fell by 22.5% and 23.1%, respectively. The buy-back rate rose from 25.1% in 2000 to 26.0% in 2001.

This year, Keeneland will sell broodmares in foal to such stallions as A.P. Indy, Danzig, Deputy Minister, Elusive Quality, Forestry, Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant's Causeway, Gone West, Kingmambo, Monarchos, Point Given, Storm Cat, and Thunder Gulch.

There are weanlings by A.P. Indy, Deputy Minister, Fusaichi Pegasus, Giant's Causeway, Gone West, Pulpit, Seattle Slew, Seeking the Gold, Storm Cat and Thunder Gulch.