Bloodstock SA
Bloodstock SA

(Image : Marcelo Gerpe/TBA)



12 - 14 August 2011

Summerhill Stud CEO, Mick Goss
Summerhill Stud CEO, Mick Goss

Mick Goss

Summerhill CEOAll sorts of reasons have been proffered for the 19% drop in aggregate for the National Two Year Old Sale, and a corresponding drop in average. The principal explanation seems to point to overproduction being the biggest culprit, and there is truth in that.

However, closer scrutiny of the stock on offer tells a different story. By extension, overproduction means more horses, and by the nature of things, that should point to as many good specimens as there are in any normal sample, and just as many bad ones, though we know the bigger the sample, the longer the tale.

However, the real sting in the tail, is the decimation in the quality of the entries which occurred as a result of the new Cape Premier Yearling Sale which attracted more than 300, (roughly half of which might otherwise been re-routed to the National Yearling Sale or the Cape Regional Sale), as well as the oversubscription of 600 lots for the National Yearling Sale, which is supposed to be our premier showcase. Rather than drop the numbers in the National Sale by as many National Sales calibre horses as the Cape Premier Sale had taken out of its entry (+-150), it was decided by Bloodstock South Africa (BSA), as something of a political appeasement to its members, to extend the entry. It turned out that while this may have been a matter of political necessity, it manifested itself as something of a folly, so hopefully it won’t be repeated next year.

The net result was that the National Two Year Old Sale saw a much depleted entry, with many of its “stars” having already been through the ring at other venues, and this was born out by conversations we had in the days leading up to it, in the Emperors Palace dining room with trainers, bloodstockers, pressmen, horse fanciers and call-them-what-you-like. Pretty much all of them said there might have been 50-odd horses worth looking at, and by some estimates, as few as 30-40-odd.

If you examine the results, you’ll find that at least that many and more made R100,000 plus, and that’s not a bad result in the gloomiest economy we’ve known in more than 32 years in this business.

Yes, there has been overproduction, and that’s a world-wide phenomenon born out of the fact that between the United Kingdom and Ireland alone, the broodmare numbers have dropped from 18,000-odd to 12,000-odd, a trend which Europe has followed, and one which is more than evident in the United States. The sublime to the ridiculous.

The world it seems, is cutting back, and so is South Africa, so it’s all the more gratifying to know that on a comparison with August 15th 2010, the Summerhill Sires are still booking ahead of the numbers we had registered then. That’s a compliment to the horses themselves, as well as a tribute to the foresight of those who know the virtue of taking the road less travelled. Inevitably, assuming the world is in fair shape by 2014 (when the resultant progeny will come up for sale as yearlings,) there should at least be something of an equilibrium in the market. If history is anything of a teacher, the pendulum will have swung in favour of producers once again, and if the noises we’re hearing from the Near and Far East are anything to go by, breeding worldwide will not have the horses to supply the Chinese, the Koreans, the Abu Dhabians and the Qatarians.

summerhill stud, south africa
summerhill stud, south africa

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