john kramer judging for 2010 national yearling sale
john kramer judging for 2010 national yearling sale

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(Photos : Leigh Willson)


In the life of any breeding establishment, the judgement of your “main” sales yearlings is a pivotal point in the financial year. It doesn’t only determine the financial outcome, it pretty much defines the direction in which your business is going. Bloodstock South Africa’s judges of many years standing, John Kramer and Tobie Spies, passed this way earlier this month, and the pedigree selection panel delivered its verdict on Friday. Judging is a subjective matter, and you can never be at one with the outcomes, but by and large we’d have to say we’re satisfied with what came our way. There are a couple of marginal horses which didn’t make the cut, and for which we’re delivering appeals, but we always console ourselves with the fact that some of our sales-toppers at the Emperors Palace Ready To Run Sale later in the year are the very horses that don’t quite get over the lip for the National Yearling Sale.

This is often a result of immaturity, a sudden growth spurt which leaves them looking gawky and awkward, or whatever, and those horses are best left for later, so that they have time to be what they should be.

The Yearling Prep team has now got its head down in earnest, though the horses will spend the festivities enjoying the liberty of the outdoors for most of the day. The sale is a couple of weeks later this year than usual, and so we have a little more time on our hands.