It’s nearly time for the 2023 Goresbridge Go For Gold Select Event Horse Sale, which features a full catalog of hand-selected eventing prospects for its annual auction. The sale will kick off tomorrow (Wednesday, November 15) at 1 p.m. local time in Wexford, Ireland — that’s 8 a.m. for those of you on Eastern time and around 11 p.m. for those of you in Australia (gotta cover our horse-shopping bases here, let’s be honest).
Ahead of the sale — which is held to support both in person and online bidding — the horses are introduced to buyers via a live-streamed performance event. Depending on the age of the horse, prospective buyers have a chance to see a horse go through a free jump chute or be ridden on the flat and over fences. It’s a great way to get a feel for the horse(s) you’ve been eyeing — or even if you aren’t shopping, like me, it’s a great chance to window shop and learn more about what you’re looking for in a young horse.
Andrea Baxter, who pushed “the easy button” to purchase the now 5-year-old The Big Easy (Mr. Lincoln B – PLS Hippo Q) at the 2021 Go For Gold sale. She details her process, which while she jokes led to an “impulse buy” shows how much you can learn even while bidding online:
“I’m kind of a nut bag about it! I study the videos ahead of time, and then I think it’s really important — I take notes on all of them — that you watch the live jump chute [ahead of the sale]. The hard part is that some of the horses are really produced for the sale and some are way more raw and not produced hardly at all. So some of the ones that aren’t as well produced don’t show themselves as well in the initial videos. [The Big Easy] was one of those, I had him on my list of ones that were interesting but would want to watch it jump again in the live stream. I had two different lists: ones that I was very interested in and ones that if I liked them better in the live jumping they’d be more interesting. He was on that list.”
Andrea also advises observing the horses on the live stream for more than just their talent and ability. What’s their temperament like?
“Live jumping, they video the whole thing start to finish so you can get a feel for: are they hard to catch? Do they buck or kick? Try to run through the handlers? Respect space/back away easily? So I think you can get quite a bit of feedback just seeing how they act in the live chute, more than you would think. So that’s important to watch that part and see how they all look.”
It was a bit of luck that caused “Ceasar” to end up on a plane to California — Andrea laughs that she initially assumed the horse would sell for much higher than her bid. The joke was on her when no one outbid her. But it would wind up being a solid purchase. The Big Easy finished the 2023 season by finishing second overall in the USEA Young Event Horse West Coast Championships (Twin Rivers), also taking home the Safe Harbor Award, given to the 5-year-old with the most graceful and rider friendly performance throughout the competition.
“He’s talented and gentle and sweet and well-behaved — anybody could ride him,” Andrea said. “But I also think he could go on and be a top horse also. In the meantime he’s just so easy going and trainable, rideable.”
Will you pick up your next “big easy” at this year’s sale? I’ll drop the links to the live streams from Monday and Tuesday — and here’s the full Go For Gold catalog — below for your study tonight. Let us know if you end up with a 2023 Go For Gold graduate, and happy bidding!
Lots 1-23 – Show Jumping
Lots 1-23 – Cross Country
Lots 24-99 – 3 Year Olds
This article is sponsored by Goresbridge Horse Sales.
More Go For Gold resources: