Brit Businessman Defaults on Yearlings Worth $3.3 million

Two Kentucky sales companies are suing or intend to sue a British businessman who defaulted on summer yearling purchases worth just over $3.3 million.

The Keeneland Association filed a suit Tuesday in Fayette County, Ky., against Robert P. Killoran and J.W. Contractors Ltd., a business affiliated with Killoran, for defaulting on two horses worth $1.4 million. The yearlings were purchased at Keeneland's July select year sale through Irish bloodstock agent Paul Collins.

Killoran also defaulted on eight horses Collins bought at Fasig-Tipton's summer select yearling sale for a total $1,945,000. Collins was the second-leading buyer at the sale and bought the sale-topper, a $625,000 Dehere colt out of Afleet's Gold.

Keeneland has already repossessed and resold the yearlings Killoran bought. They were a Gone West colt out of the multiple group and graded stakes winner Market Booster (by Green Dancer) and a colt by Kingmambo out of stakes-place Grapevine (by Sadler's Wells). Collins bought each for $700,000.

The yearlings were resold Wednesday at the Goffs Bloodstock Orby sale in Ireland for a total $661,262. The Kingmambo colt brought $487,246 (420,000 Irish punts), and the Gone West colt sold for $174,016 (150,000 Irish punts). Based on figures in the lawsuit, Killoran still owes Keeneland an unpaid balance of about $796,000 including accruing late charges.

Fasig-Tipton also has repossessed Collins' purchases and sold several privately, according to Boyd Browning, executive vice president and chief operating officer.

"We'll continue to sell others privately and, if necessary, sell them as 2-year-olds," he said. Browning would not go into details about Killoran's default, but said sales company executives have talked with him after he failed to pay for the horses on a timely basis.

"Without going into detail, after we talked with Mr. Killoran it was decided to repossess and sell the horses," Browning said.

Fasig-Tipton does intend to sue Killoran, but Browning said where the suit will be filed is yet to be determined.

"It is a little up in the air because we still possess some of the horses," he said.

Killoran is a well-known figure in British show jumping circles. He also owns Killoran Demolition in the United Kingdom. Efforts to reach Collins in Ireland were unsuccessful.