The Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association have certainly got harness racing people talking with their innovative broodmare and mixed stock sale.
Scheduled for next Thursday (September 11th), the sale concept is unlike anything seen in New Zealand before and has created a lot of interest from breeders and buyers if the feedback we are getting at Harnesslink is anything to go by.
The timing of the sale has met with almost universal approval and with spring upon us and the breeding season commencing shortly it does seem an opportune time to sell/buy breeding stock.
The other breeding stock sales up to now have been held in May where you have the prospect of a hard winter in front of you and that has tended to drag the sales down a touch, especially in the South Island.
No stock will be on site next Thursday with all prospective buyers having done their due diligence prior to the sale.
The aim of that measure is to keep the cost down to the vendors with transport a major cost for those vendors outside of Christchurch.
There is a small entry fee of $125 but no commission is payable on any lots that are sold which makes this a very low cost sale for the vendors.
The sale has attracted 72 entries in the broodmare section and 18 in the mixed stock section which is a good number for a first up sale of this type.
As with any new venture there are things that are not quite up to the mark and the one drawing the most comment is the form of the online catalogue.
Notable Australian breeders such as Trevor Swan and Anne Anderson have expressed their frustration at not having a catalogue page to peruse and the amount of work that is required to research the immediate family of each lot.
What this sale has done is bring some new vendors to the market with maternal families that have been hard to acquire in the recent past.
All in all we think the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association should be applauded for trying to have a sale with a low cost structure at a time that suits everyone in the industry.
If they can fix up the catalogue issue for future sales then the Canterbury Standardbred Breeders Association may be on to a winner.