Day At The Track

Breeders must step up! No to Sales fiasco!

11:12 AM 18 Apr 2018 NZST
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Yearling Sale
Yearling Sale

Prompted by recent rumors concerning NZ Bloodstock's likely purchase of PGG Wrightson's harness racing auction business, and in light of our diminishing equine population (breeding down another 250 mares this year, rapidly approaching only 2,000 mares bred annually) and general lack of enticing prize money at offer, it is time for our Industry to take over ownership of its yearling and related auctions!

Even in this depressed environment, yearling/weanling/broodmare Auction Sales exceed $11 million dollars annually, generating in excess of $1.1 million of gross income to PGG Wrightson. Think of how wonderful it would be if that money were made available to lift both overnight and stake purses! Why utilize an outside Auction house to do - and make money from - what we can do just as well ourselves?

With a little creative use of existing facilities both Alexandra Park and Addington could hold the sales at their racetracks! Obviously, temporary stalls would need to be rented, some overheads incurred, vendor payouts and cataloging to be managed, and auctioneers to be rented for the sales - but it is hard to imagine that the financial windfall to harness racing would be far from $1 million annually!

Additionally, if the sales were well handled, food and drink income for the sales days would be substantial! It would also tie in well with special race nights created to take advantage of the crowds that would already be on track for the sales!

While PGG and NZ Bloodstock would have us believe that their expertise is vital, there is really very little to that bravado! The sales are self drawing, our industry can handle the operation, personnel overheads need not be high (there is certainly no need to inspect yearlings as foal numbers no longer require culling for the sales), and - while Karaka is a lovely venue - it is an unnecessary extravagance considering how nicely the $1million dollars at hand would benefit our racing product!

Given Alexandra Park's bright economic future, they, alone, if necessary, could put on these sales. And combined with support from major Breeders/stud farms/consigned like Woodlands, Breckon, and Alabar, they could create an innovative new series and stakes benefiting 2 and 3 year olds!

In this time of general doom and gloom in harness racing, this proactive approach would provide a breath of fresh air, utilize common sense, and give the Industry we love some forward momentum!!!

Come on Alexandra Park and Addington, come on NZ Breeders, and let's MAKE this happen.

Let's take our own horse by the reins!

Harnesslink Media

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