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Age limit imposed for broodmares at auction

BROODMARES of 18 years and older will no longer be sold by the world's major bloodstock auction houses, following the adoption of new guidelines by the Society of International Thoroughbred Auctioneers (SITA).

The decision, taken at SITA's annual meeting in Royal Ascot week, has been made on welfare grounds, and follows an approach by agent Grant Pritchard-Gordon to the Thoroughbred Breeders Association, which was passed on to SITA for resolution.

SITA has also decided that members will not generally sell mares who have been barren for three consecutive years, though discretion will be allowed in the case of significant dispersal sales.

Goffs and Doncaster Bloodstock Sales chief executive Henry Beeby said yesterday: "SITA representatives were persuaded by the arguments that there is a welfare issue in selling aged mares, and to a lesser degree those that have failed to get in foal, and the guidelines have been introduced with immediate effect.

"There's little potential benefit from seeing older mares being sold for buttons, and going through a pretty stressful experience in the process. It's up to the auction houses always to adopt a responsible attitude to welfare issues, and this is one way we can demonstrate we are doing so."




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