Goffs Orby Sale enjoyed two days of spectacular trade that resulted in considerable increases in turnover (+11%), average (+8%) and median (+23%) and a top price of €1,500,000. The million mark was surpassed again yesterday when Amanda Skiffington purchased Ballylinch Stud's beautiful Sea The Stars sister to Lord Shanakill for €1,100,000, on behalf of owners Fiona Carmichael and Ian Jennings.
Two own sisters to Classic performers drew intense competition in the ring, with Redmondstown Stud's sister to Irish Derby winner Trading Leather selling to John McCormack Bloodstock for €950,000, while another €950,000 purchase was the sister to Tarfasha who went to Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum's Shadwell Estate Ltd – owner of the recent Group 2 Blandford Stakes winner and Oaks runner up. Shadwell also secured the Irish National Stud's daughter of Invincible Spirit from the family of Pearly Shells for €720,000.
Reflecting on a strong renewal of the Orby Sale, Goffs Chief Executive Henry Beeby said: "'Ireland's best' was our cry as we headed towards Orby 14 and I am adamant that this was not just an idle boast or marketing line as we were sure our vendors had given us unprecedented support to help us compile a catalogue that truly featured 450 of the best Irish yearlings on the market this year.
That view was vindicated by our buyers who contrived to return a stunning trade over the two days that has allowed us to post a much improved set of statistics which build on two very good years. Every level of the market has grown with more yearlings realising over €100,000, over €250,000, over €500,000 and, of course our two millionaires whilst another clear positive indicator is that the median has leapt by a highly impressive 23%.
Ol'Man River has certainly lived up to his €2.85 million top price last year but we must remember he was the second highest priced yearling ever sold in Ireland and the most expensive for 30 years. So to return an average that improved by another 8% without that extraordinary high is some achievement and clearly demonstrates the depth and strength of the Orby trade.
The Orby represents all that is best about Irish bloodstock and we are truly thankful to every vendor for their ongoing support, whether they were responsible for a large draft or a single yearling. We cannot do anything without the horses and the Class of 2014 has allowed us to attract a global audience to Goffs with our stalwart purchasers having to compete with several significant new faces headed by the likes of the China Horse Club, represented by agent Michael Wallace. These buyers have come to recognise that Goffs Orby is a sale that deserves its place at the top table and that the yearlings we present are the measure of any catalogued anywhere.
So as we reflect on two highly satisfactory days I make no apology for repeating our call to Irish breeders to send us more of your best as Orby 14 has proved, yet again, that Goffs will deliver."