Zibilene brought a top bid of $2.2 million at the Tattersalls sale of mares.

Zibilene brought a top bid of $2.2 million at the Tattersalls sale of mares.

Tattersalls Shatters December Sales Records

Tattersalls' December mares sale ended on Thursday in England with a record average and its second-highest gross revenue ever. The 767 horses sold grossed 36,065,500 guineas ($53,625,972) and averaged 47,022 guineas ($69,917). The median was 17,750 guineas ($26,393). Compared to last year's figures, the number sold was down by 2.7%, but the gross, average, and median rose by 4.0%, 6.8%, and 10.9%, respectively. The buy-back rate was 24.7% compared to 22.1% in 2000. During this year's fourth and final session, 179 horses were sold for a gross of 1,167,600 guineas ($1,736,110), an average of 6,522 guineas ($9,698), and a median of 4,000 guineas ($5,948).

For all three December sales combined--mares, foals, and yearlings, the figures were 1,384 horses sold for a gross of 51,382,950 guineas ($76,401,565), an average of 37,126 guineas ($55,203), and a median of 15,000 guineas ($22,304). The average was a record, and the median equaled the mark established in 1997. The gross was third-highest total ever. Compared to 2000's results, the number sold was down by 10.1%, but the gross was down by less than one percent. The average and median were up by 11.0% and 7.1%, respectively.

"This has truly been an extraordinary sale," said Tattersalls chairman Edmond Mahony. "There can not have been one single pundit who would have predicted the trade we have seen here at Park Paddocks over the past two weeks. Yearlings, then foals, and finally the breeding stock have all reached record levels, and the smallest December sale for many years has become only the third to achieve turnover in excess of 50 million guineas ($74,345,250).

"We could not have been more delighted by the strength of the foal sale, and we knew that the breeding stock catalogue had been well-received throughout the world, but we have been overwhelmed by the sheer number and diversity of buyers who have all contributed to a record sale.

"Quality has never been more sought after with a record 102 six-figure prices," Mahony continued. "But the key element to this year's December sale has been the consistency of the demand. Of course, there have been individual highlights, most notably the 1.1-million guineas ($1,635,596) own sister to Galileo last week and Zibilene, who, at 1.5 million guineas ($2,230,358), was Eydon Hall Farm's second consecutive December sale-topping mare. But the depth of the trade at all levels of the market has set this sale apart from others.

"2001 has not always been an easy year with foot and mouth overshadowing the early months and global economic uncertainty dominating the news in the aftermath of the tragic events of Sept. 11, But our annual turnover has only been bettered twice before, and it has been a great boost to the industry to end on such a high note."