Keeneland Wrap-up

Well, it was a long 5 days but the Keeneland January Sale is finally over.  The statistics nuts will try to spin it that “average was only down 1% from last year!”, but it was pretty tough going.  There were some highlights (Miss Isella, consigned by Lane’s End, sold for over $1M), but the majority of the sale was a grind…median price was $8,000.  And about 27% of the horses RNA’d.  But, we did the best we could; the market is levelling off, correcting itself, and should rebound a bit next year.

I took six horses to the ring on Tuesday and Thursday.  Most of them were well-behaved, aside from a few wild moments.  The weather was bitter cold to start the week, but warmed nicely by Wednesday.  Snow began melting off the pavilion roof, causing quite a few spooks and leaps among the already-wired horses.  The heated inner portion of the sales area felt like a sauna compared to the snowy outdoors…as if I wasn’t sweaty enough from all the walking to that point. 

My favorite baby was 1161, a gray yearling colt liberally splashed with white.  He was quite the head-turner at the ring, and was an absolute gentleman to handle.  He didn’t just stand for buyers’ inspection– he *posed*.  He walked smartly, turned easily, and stood rock-solid when asked (which was often…he was “hot” as we say, had lots of interest at ringside).  He sold for $47,000, a fair amount for Thursday.  That day I also took a stallion to the ring, 1418, “Borobudur,” a bay seven-year-old.  Winner of about $140,000, he was generally quite nice.  Most of the race colts and stallions wear lip-chains for safety, but this guy went with just a chain on his nose.  Too bad he was just out of my price range at $20,000. 😉 

And as sometimes happens with broodmares in this sale, a few of them gave birth just days (or hours) before going through the sales ring.  One of them, Desert Stormer, had a Bernardini colt the night before she sold (for $130,000).  Consigned by Warrendale Sales, she was stabled just a few barns down from us.  The baby was adorable!!  It was shuttled to the ring held by an attendant in a golf cart, riding along as Mama was led.  Neither mom nor baby seemed bothered by the fuss at the pavilion, and they looked precious in the sales ring.  

So with the sale behind me, I can now enjoy sleeping in until 7am again.  My feet are fatigued, but thankfully not blistered.  My shoulders are sore and my knees ache.  But, my bank account is very happy and fueled to fund my upcoming show season.  Can’t ask for more than that!  I hope you all had a good week, I will be back on the regular-posting schedule now that I’m not falling asleep over dinner at 6:30pm.  🙂

Note: Video Saturday coming at lunchtime. 

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