Most European Sale Companies Switch to Euro

Sale companies in Ireland, France, Germany, and Italy will sell Thoroughbreds in euros in 2002, but Great Britain, which has opted out of the European single-currency scheme for the time being, will still offer stock in guineas (£1.05), and in one case will switch to pounds.

Many British businesses have promised to accept the new currency, introduced in much of Europe Jan. 1, but bloodstock auctioneers are sticking to pounds sterling for the moment. Europe's leading bloodstock auctioneer Tattersalls, whose Irish subsidiary is switching to euros, will continue to trade in guineas at the Newmarket headquarters in England.

Said Jimmy George, marketing manager for Tattersalls: "There will be no changes. We will continue to take payment in sterling as we have always done from customers from around the world, because exchange rate fluctuations make it impractical to do anything else. Our main information board at the December sales carried the exchange rate for euros, and will of course continue to show this information."

While Tattersalls and Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, number two in Britain, are carrying on as normal, the third company in the market, Brightwells, which trades at Ascot and Malvern, will switch to pounds rather than guineas, and institute a buyers' premium.

Henry Beeby, managing director of Doncaster Bloodstock Sales, said the company will "watch and see what happens, but unless Britain joins the single currency, I don't anticipate any changes. People will continue to base their buying decisions on the quality of the bloodstock offered rather than because it is sold in guineas or euros."

Goffs, Ireland's leading sales company, is positive about the euro and anticipates that the easier price comparisons will prove beneficial.