summerhill websiteAn almost R200 million deposit will be made into the banks of South Africa’s breeding community. It comes compliments of horseracing owners of South Africa and around the world who have contributed to a sale that can only be described as a hugely successful Bloodstock South Africa run and Emperor’s Palace sponsored National Yearling Sale concluded in Johannesburg on Monday evening.

The hard work by the team at Bloodstock SA as well as the South African Breeders who have invested in their stock over the past two years has paid huge dividends. Bloodstock SA took a massive risk this year by not replacing Byron Kennedy who was the 2007 marketing manager and chief strategist of the 2007 success but the 2008 team was ably led by Sales Manager Caroline Simpson, a long time servant of the company.

South African Breeders can count on, the huge success of Dubai as well as the state of world bloodstock, for the upward curve. South Africa’s unstable currency also makes it easier to attract foreign money in a market still seen by the rest of the world as “cheap”. The quality of the yearlings was also of a standard never seen before as the breeders upped their game in the face of international competition.

The rather large amount of pin hooked foals who sold as yearlings at the sale had an impact on the overall result, as did the injection of foreign damlines in a number of the pedigrees, not to mention some key international individuals who invested heavily in bloodstock this year.

On the downside, South African Breeders are largely ignorant of technologies such as the internet and the international norm of showing yearlings off on websites - a technology that foreign buyers enjoy. Surprisingly, a large number do not understand that this can be used as a facility to showcase yearlings and hence provide the potential buyers with a refined list of yearlings to look at even before arriving at the sales.

The other disappointment is the relatively low amounts breeders spend on advertising themselves. If South African breeding wants to attract and even more importantly, keep international interest, it needs to get out there and present themselves as a viable yearling market. The buoyant market won’t last forever, so while the industry is cash rich and thriving, the more done to promote the breed the better.

South African Breeders are great at resting on our laurels as we have done so often in the past when the days of getting a horse sold for more than R400 000 was an effort. One also has to remember that the bloodstock world internationally has not suffered as world economies stumble - another trend that won’t last forever. Whilst enjoying the success of another great sale, it is also a time to re-invest, advertise and market the South African yearling. With careful planning and execution, we could have the whole world at our mercy.

Click here to view Summerhill Stud’s Sporting Post print ads for the National Yearling Sale 2008

Extract from SA