Gross And Median Down Significantly At OBS; Average Changes Little

The average price didn't change much from a year ago, but the gross revenue and the median price were down significantly during the open portion of the Ocala Breeders' Sales Company's August yearling sale, which ended Friday in Central Florida after a four-day run. For all the open sessions combined, 686 horses were sold for a gross of $6,447,400, an average of $9,399, and a median of $5,000. The gross, average, and median were down by 13.2%, 2.5%, and 16.7% from a year ago when 771 yearlings were sold. The buy-back rate was 29.2%, up slightly from last year's rate of 28.1%.

"There are a just a lot of those type of horses, and only so many people want to buy them. I don't know if the demand is able to keep up with the supply," said Tom Ventura, the OBS general manager and director of sales. "But any horse that was athletic and stood out during the open sessions sold well."

The figures for the open sessions combined with Monday's select session were 817 horses sold, gross revenue of $12,221,400, and an average of $14,959. The gross was down by 1.8% from last year's combined results for the select and open sessions, but the average was up by 7.1%.

However, this year's combined gross and average were down by 21.9% and 7.7%, respectively from 2000's combined results that also included figures from the last major consignment from Mockingbird Farm, which had been a prominent seller in August for 11 consecutive years. The Mockingbird yearlings traditionally were offered in a group immediately following the select session, and they grossed $3,202,000 in 2000. The Florida nursery no longer is in the commercial breeding business after dispersing nearly all of its horses.

Mockingbird owner Harry T. Mangurian Jr. was North America's leading breeder in 1999 and 2000 based on earnings, and he held the top spot on this year's list through Aug. 19. His totals did not include horses bred in the name of Mockingbird Farm, which ranked second.

In all in 2000, 965 select, open, and Mockingbird yearlings were sold at OBS in August. They grossed $15,642,700 and averaged $16,210.

During Friday's open session this year, 157 horses were sold for a gross of $1,141,900 and an average of $7,273. The gross and average were down by 34.0% and 24.8%, respectively, from a year ago. The buy-back rate was 30.1%.

The session's top price was the $60,000 brought by a Montbrook colt out of the 13-year-old winning Meadowlake mare Cozie Keri. Consigned by Cashel Stud, agent, he was purchased by Eisaman Equine. The colt is a half-brother to the winner Jestersluckyone (by Prospector's Halo), who finished third in the restricted ATBA Sales Stakes at Turf Paradise in 1995. He also is a half-brother to Cozie Advantage (by Tactical Advantage), a 2-year-old filly who captured a maiden-special-weight race on grass at Saratoga within minutes of the Montbrook colt being sold.