Consignors Group Commits to Action; May Seek Sale Format Changes

A commitment to promoting a positive image and generating public awareness for the success of horses that have been sold at 2-year-old in training sales served as focal points during the third open meeting of the National Association of 2-year-old Consignors, Thursday night. The 17 member steering committee met October 13 to discuss and attempt to find ways to improve the public's perception and increase its buyer base of horses sold at 2-year-old in training sales.

One of the major issues and concerns approached by the organization was the possibility of changing the current breeze show format. The alternative discussed would be to hold only one breeze show that would be conducted three to four days prior to the sale. Association members in attendance voted on a proposal, as to whether or not the current format should be amended.

"There are some benefits and advantages to having only one breeze show, and there are benefits and advantages under the current format. We need to make some changes to make some buyers feel more comfortable. What the buyers want is very important," said NATC chairman Dean De Renzo. A survey regarding the breeze show format has been distributed to the Horseman's Benevolent and Protective Association at Calder Race Course, and the same survey will be sent to the HBPA of New York. The results will than be distributed to the various sales companies.

Surveys have been sent randomly to 200 leading buyers, in order to get a consensus of opinions as to ways the 2-year-old in training sales can be improved. A questionnaire was developed that approached seven different topics, including breeze show formats, identifying the motivating factors for attending a sale, a closer look at the state laws governing medication, medication concerns (steroidal, therapeutic and performance enhancing), the use of whips and spurs, bone warrantees and repositories. This is the first in a series of questionnaires that will be sent to the owners. A consensus of consignors were amenable to the idea of bone warrantees, and through the efforts of Dr. Barry Eisaman of Eisaman Equine in Williston, Fla., who played an integral role in presenting a proposal before the sales company, the bone warrantee has been restored for all Ocala Breeders' Sales Company sales in 2001. "First and foremost, our goal is to promote a positive image, and promote horses that are doing well. Public awareness is so critical to our industry," said Sequel Bloodstock's Becky Thomas.

The board of directors for the Association are: chairman, Dean De Renzo; secretary, Alex Brancato; and treasurer, Becky Thomas. Sub-committee chairman include: ways and means, Dr. Barry Eisaman; medication, Dr. Barry Eisaman; membership, Eddie Woods, liaison with sales companies, Nick de Meric; public relations, Becky Thomas; and advertising, Mike Mulligan.

Four advertising agencies have been approached, in an effort to create an effective campaign that will promote the success of 2-year-old graduates and with a goal to instill confidence in the buyer. OBS has contributed $50,000 towards the NATC's efforts. "Our message will be to promote the recent success of the horses that have come out of the 2-year-old in training sales. It's just not stakes horses, a lot of winners come out of the 2-year-old sales," said Leprechaun Racing's Mike Mulligan.