Bid spotter Drew Turner watches a section of the audience, takes bids from that area, and relays signals to the auctioneer at the 78th annual Standardbred Sale. Credit Ryan Randolph.
At the 78th Annual Standardbred Horse Sales Company Annual Sale, held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex from November 7–11, 1,544 horses sold for $53.4 million dollars to horsemen from all over the world. Standardbred sold 868 yearlings during its three day Select Yearling Sale for $33.5 million, for an average of $38,608 that was second only to the record-shattering 2007 Yearling Sale, and that represented a 25 percent increase over 2015. The top selling yearlings were two trotting colts by leading sire Muscle Hill. Story Time Hanover (Muscle Hill – Shared Past) was sold by Hanover Shoe Farms to Jimmy Takter, Agt. (NJ) for $410,000, and Hip 32 Hey Jock (Muscle Hill – Sugar Wheeler) was sold by Concord Stud Farm Agent to Serge Godin, Determination Stable (PQ), for $400,000. Mr. Godin was the leading yearling buyer, purchasing nine yearlings for $1,140,000.
Leading Pennsylvania consignor Hanover Shoe Farms sold 215 yearlings for $10,047,500, averaging of $46,733. Other consignors with Pennsylvania farms include Vieux Carre Farms (Gettysburg), selling a total of 50 horses for $1,515,000 and an average of $30,300; Concord Stud Farm (Littlestown) sold 41 yearlings for $2,739,000 and a sale-leading average of $68,805; Diamond Creek Farm (Wellsville) sold 10 yearlings for $556,000 and an average of $55,600; and Pin Oak Lane Farm (New Freedom) sold 6 yearlings for $128,000 and an average of $21,333. Delaware Valley University’s student equine program sold 5 yearlings for $37,500 and an average of $7500, while providing many enthusiastic students to assist the sale crew.
The Mixed Sale sold 676 horses/stallion shares for $19.85 million and an average of $29,407, a mild decline over 2015 due to smaller numbers and a different mix of horses. The top selling Mixed horses were Hip 1722 Crescent Fashion (Muscle Hill – Fashion Feline), a 4 year old winner of $408,000 sold by Preferred Equine Marketing, Agent to Ross Croghan (NJ) for $250,000; and Hip 1424, broodmare prospect and $782,000 winner Bettor Be Steppin, sold by Preferred Equine Marketing, Agent to Hanover Shoe Farms for $200,000.
Through a grant and in co-operation with Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, and the Pennsylvania State Horse Racing Commission, Standardbred Horse Sales Company initiated a number of well-received promotional efforts at this year’s auction. A dinner reception for sale customers and invitees was held on Monday, November 7 at the PA Farm Show Complex, and provided an opportunity for both Pennsylvania Standardbred and Thoroughbred representatives to showcase the progress of PA horse racing since Act 71 of 2004. The PA State Horse Racing Commission International Yearling Buyers Incentive Program provides $1,500 incentive awards to “new” overseas yearling customers. Twenty two overseas customers participated in the program, twelve of whom were from the British Isles, a newly expanding market for Standardbred pacers.
“The success of this year’s sale reflects a growing confidence in our customers about the stability of the future of racing both in Pennsylvania and the rest of North America,” noted Standardbred President Paul Spears. “The Standardbred breeding industry has consolidated under the purse distributions for racing opportunities dictated by the results of slots legislation. For the first time in years, demand for Standardbred race horses is exceeding supply, and prices are rising accordingly. This is good news for breeders who have weathered the hard times, and are starting to see a return on their investments.”