Day At The Track

Sale showcases Pennsylvania equine industry

10:30 PM 16 Nov 2011 NZDT
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HARRISBURG, Pa., Nov. 16, 2011- A week-long Standardbred horse sale showcased Pennsylvania's strong equine harness racing industry, with Pennsylvania-sired horses earning top bids in the yearling sale, the largest component of the more than $55 million auction.

Recordbreaking Yearling, Sires Set Pace of Successful Sale

The annual sale, held Nov. 7-12 at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center, was billed as the world's largest Standardbred sale and featured more than 2,000 horses.

"This sale shows the quality of Pennsylvania's racing industry and reminds us of the importance of the equine sector to our economy," said Agriculture Secretary George Greig. "The success of Pennsylvania-sired yearlings at the auction says a great deal for the work that our state's breeders are doing to improve the industry."

The $825,000 purchase of Detour Hanover, a full-brother to former Horse of the Year and popular Pennsylvania-based sire Donato Hanover, was the highest price ever paid for a Standardbred yearling. The second-highest price paid in the yearling sale was $430,000 for Some Of The Beach, full-brother to another popular Pennsylvania-based sire, Somebeachsomewhere.

Of stallions who sired 12 or more yearlings in the sale, trotting sire Donato Hanover's offspring averaged the highest - $61,259. Pacing sire Somebeachsomewhere's yearlings brought, on average, $53,100, while trotter Andover Hall, sire of Donato Hanover and record-setting Detour Hanover, sired horses averaging $57,756. All three sires are from Pennsylvania.

In total, the sale's 1,096 yearlings averaged $31,161, the fifth time in seven years that the previous year's average has been topped. The 454 Pennsylvania-sired yearlings averaged $33,228, a 22 percent increase over 2010 and the highest average of the four major jurisdictions represented in the sale, including New York, New Jersey and Ontario, Canada.

The mixed sale, held Friday and Saturday, grossed one percent higher than last year, at $20.9 million. Mares, colts and stallions averaged nearly $22,000, nearly equal to the 2010 average.

Standardbreds, noted for their speed and stamina, are exclusively used in the sport of harness racing. Consignors from throughout the United States and Canada market yearlings and other Standardbreds during the sale to buyers from across the world.

Complete pedigrees and sale results are available online at

The Pennsylvania harness racing industry has grown significantly, allowing Pennsylvania breeders more opportunities to prove the quality of their animals.

Two additional programs have helped make Pennsylvania even more attractive for harness racing, including the Sire Stakes, for owners of top racehorses fathered in Pennsylvania, and the Standardbred Breeders Fund, for the owners of mares that were bred to a Pennsylvania stallion and resided in PA for six months, including foaling. Combined, the funds will pay more than $25 million in 2011.

For more information, visit, click on "Bureaus Commissions and Councils" and select "Pennsylvania Racing Commission."

Courtesy of Samantha Elliott Krepps, 717-787-5085

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

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