The 2016 Keeneland November Breeding stock sale got off to a hot start by taking advantage of buyers’ needs for high quality fillies and mares and their foals. The gross, average, and median prices from this year’s sale all outpaced totals from last year’s opening session.
115 horses sold for $50,155,000. Gross receipts totaled $45,094,000 from 136 horses sold last year. The Day 1 average this year was $436,130, which was 31.5 percent more than last year’s $331,574 average sales figure. The median sales price in 2016 was $260,000, an increase of 28.4 percent from last year’s $202,5000. With 57 horses unsold, the RNA rate was 33 percent this year. Last year’s RNA rate was 29.9 percent.
“I thought it was a very strong session with great international appeal,” said Keeneland Director of Sales Geoffrey Russell. “We had 10, $1 Million horses this year instead of seven, with three over $2 million and a strong Japanese performance—many different buyers from Japan, too, not just one buyer.”
Russell noted how buyers had to stretch to land horses they desired, but felt compelled to do so.
“One major buyer told me, ‘Well, I have two choices: either I stretch or I go home with nothing. I have to have product, so I’m going to stretch,’ said Russell. “I think the quality of the catalog reflected that. People realized going in that the quality that is here you’re going to have to stretch to buy them.”
The sales topper went to John Ferguson, an agent for Sheikh Mohammed, who purchased a War Front sire for $3.5 million.
“She’s a lovely mare and was an outstanding race filly in Europe from a beautiful family,” said Ferguson. “From our point of view, she was a mare that could make the difference.”