DBS another example of feast or famine trade
THOSE breeding or trading jumpers require a level of patience unfamiliar to their flat counterparts and any long-suffering souls trying to make a living from National Hunt stock could take some solace from yesterday's events.
Those on offer, technically yearlings although most have yet to have their first birthdays, may no longer command the six-figure sums once occasionally paid by major jumping owners looking for racing prospects but there was a solid and varied trade for the better stores.
Pinhookers mingled with long-term owners and even those seeking future broodmares for the choice foals but we had the usual ‘feast or famine' scenario found at pretty much every sale these days with a 52 per cent clearance rate and little demand for the lesser lights.
This year's foal catalogue more than doubled from 93 lots last year to 202 this time and Richard Aston of Goldford Stud felt the increased numbers were a retrograde step.
"Trade was as good as last year but we had to sift through an extra 100-odd foals, 50 of which had no purpose being here. They need to cut the numbers by half, like last year which worked because of that, and be selective. There should be no place for the rubbish in this sale," said Aston.
"I was delighted by some of the prices we got but there was a world of difference between the well-bred well-conformed foal by the right sire and one that didn't tick the boxes.
"Also cataloguing alphabetically by dam, rather than in batches from a consignor, makes it very difficult for a vendor. It means you just never stop and can't take a break."
Aston was among those hoping the foal show could move back to the same day as selling, which would require a cut in numbers, and that is something that DBS will look at ahead of the 2011 sale.
Henry Beeby: 'selective
but lively trade'
DBS managing director Henry Beeby was pleased that many of the British jump breeders who had supported Tattersalls Ireland's November Sale in past years had remained at home this year as he noted in his end of sale statement.
"British National Hunt breeders have always had a viable outlet for National Hunt foals at Doncaster but the point has really been made today," said Beeby. "Whilst the trade has undoubtedly been selective at the lower end of the market there have been some lively exchanges for the better bred foals highlighted by the top price for Richard and Sally Aston's beautifully bred filly.
"Over the last few years we have made no secret of our frustration that so many British breeders have ignored this sale in favour of the competition in Ireland but we certainly turned a corner last year and were rewarded with great support in this catalogue meaning that we feel we can justifiably promote the sale as the first choice for domestic breeders. That support led to an increased average and median with the former statistic rising by an impressive 18 per cent.
"The clearance rate reflects both the increased catalogue and the ongoing selectivity of the market but it continues to demonstrate that we live in tough times and we certainly acknowledge that there is a long way to go to full recovery."
He added: "However we continue to focus on the positives and the huge crowds over the last two days clearly illustrate that the industry is working in a most proactive way to keep the wheel turning. We are extremely grateful to our vendors and our purchasers for their ongoing support and we will strive to continue to improve the service we provide.
"To that end we will review the format of the sale as it would seem preferable to sell the foals on the same day as the show although the bigger numbers this year would preclude that plan. As ever we will listen to the feedback of our clients and review the position inthe fullness of time."