LEXINGTON, Ky. (Jan. 13, 2014) – Keeneland’s 56th January Horses of All Ages Sale, which closed Thursday, continued the auction season driven by positive signs for the Thoroughbred industry with participation from a deeply diverse buying bench, robust trade and exceptional strength at all levels of the market.
Gross receipts for the four-day January Sale, held Jan. 6-9, totaled $41,025,700 for 1,027 horses. The average price was $39,947, and the median price was $20,000.
At last year’s sale, which covered five days, 1,105 horses sold for $45,207,300, for an average of $40,912 and a median of $15,000. The 2013 sale included the complete dispersal of prominent owner/breeder Issam Fares’ Fares Farm.
“The January Sale confirmed what we saw during last fall’s September Yearling and November Breeding Stock sales: that we are operating in a fair market,” Keeneland Vice President of Sales Walt Robertson said. “Buyers are responding to this true market with enthusiasm and confidence that they will see a return on their investments.”
Evidence of the strong volume of trade was confirmed by a clearance rate of 80 percent. That trend began with the September Yearling Sale, the industry’s acknowledged barometer of its health, and continued through the November Breeding Stock Sale when clearance rates were 80 percent and 85 percent, respectively.
“As in November, during January we saw extraordinary demand for broodmares, which signals that horsemen are making a long-term commitment to the industry,” Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell said. “It’s very healthy to see buyers competing for broodmares at all strata of the market. And it’s very encouraging to see major investors coming to Central Kentucky to establish their American breeding and racing programs.”
Keeneland officials commended owners and breeders for their efforts to keep supply and demand in line, and for working to maintain a realistic market.
“We are hopefully looking at an extended era of profitability,” Russell said. “The stallion masters have kept the lid on the majority of stud fees – other than those for breakout stallions, understandably. Everyone is doing their best to maintain a stable and gradually improving market, which gives breeders a better opportunity for profitability. ”
Keeneland will hold its next auction, the April Two-Year-Olds in Training Sale, on April 7. The April Sale preview show will be held April 3.