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Keeneland blames credit crunch for declines

KEENELAND has blamed the concurrent issues of a market adjustment to overproduction and the global financial crisis for the across-the-board downturns recorded by its November breeding stock sale, which concluded on Monday.

During the final session, 150 horses were sold for $663,900, down 1.4 per cent from 2007 when 114 horses sold for $673,500. The day’s average of $4,426 declined by around a quarter from $5,908 in 2007, while the median decreased by46 per cent from $3,700 last year to $2,000.

The highest-priced lot on Monday was a Bernstein colt foal, who was consigned by Brandywine Farm and sold to FJM. Stables for $55,000.

Altogether, receipts for the 15-day auction totalled $185,552,300, down 46 per cent from last year’s record $340,877,200.

The average price of $61,462 was 39 per cent less than the $100,821 achieved in 2007, and the median of $20,000 was 42.9 per cent down on last year’s figure of $35,000.  A total of 3,019 horses sold compared to 3,381 a year ago, and vendor buybacks increased from 22.2 per cent last year to 27.9 per cent.

Geoffrey Russell, Keeneland's director of sales, said: “The sharp declines we’ve seen in this sale are not only the result of an industry adjustment; they are additionally owed to external market forces, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.

"Globally, there is a lack of liquidity, a lack of consumer confidence, and a strong US dollar. Those are dynamics we cannot control.

"They are affecting the conduct of business at every level and in every corner of the world, and the thoroughbred industry is not immune. The consequences will be significant for everyone in the thoroughbred industry, including Keeneland.”






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