Equine Spectrum Is Diversifying Its Business

Equine Spectrum, an online auction company that is owned in part by Keeneland, is diversifying its operations. Plans include testing a system this summer that will permit buyers to bid over the Internet on horses being offered at live sales. According to Dan Kelliher, executive director of Equine spectrum, technology has advanced to the point where there is only a half-second delay from the time a bid is made online to when it is actually received by an auctioneer.

"We've talked to three different auction companies" about the system," Kelliher said.

One June 1, Equine Spectrum will begin offering a listing service on its Web site that will allow horsemen to offer horses for sale privately and to post and promote their consignments to live auctions. The cost to list a horse for sale privately is $75. To list a consignment at a live auction, the cost is $22 per horse.

Equine Spectrum's listing services will include the notification of prospective buyers by e-mail about pedigree and performance updates. Prospective buyers will be able to create a "hot list" that will allow them to keep track of the horses they are interested in. Sellers will be able to promote each horse they list with up to 10 still photos (including X-rays) and/or videos.

"Equine Spectrum will one day have four or five pillars of business," Kelliher said.

One might be a service in which Equine Spectrum will set up and conduct auctions for clients, who will be able to present offer horses on their own Web sites instead of using Equine Spectrum's. The company also might serve as an escrow agent in the future to facilitate private transactions.

In other auction news, Keeneland is helping Equine Line introduce a new catalogue supplement and update product. There will be a link on Keeneland;'s Web site that will allow horsemen to try out the product for free in conjunction with the company's July select yearling sale. The service will be available for future Keeneland sales, but there will be a charge for its use, said Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales.