The Paulick Report is pleased to introduce a series taking American readers behind the scenes of a yearling sale at Tattersalls in Newmarket, Suffolk, England.
Although many elements of a yearling sale remain the same regardless of location, a few differences do stick out. There's the aesthetic: horses are housed in open barns with no aisles (the typical style in most European stables) and most are shown in bridles rather than halters with Chifney-type bits.
Then there's the structural: many yearlings are presented for sale by the farms on which they were foaled, rather than through a commercial agent. The pre-sale veterinary inspection process is similar, but conditions of sale have more options for returning a horse due to medical findings than what we're accustomed to here. Finally, the list of buyers and breeders at sale reflect the dominance of large breeding corporations like Godolphin and Shadwell, whose wealth starts in other businesses and reaches into branches of stud farms across the world — making competition tougher for small breeders and commercial farms focusing solely on Thoroughbreds.
We sat down with Jason Singh, marketing manager for Tattersalls, to learn more about the less weighty differences from American sales, including the question we've been asking ourselves for a while now: Why are final prices presented in guineas…and what exactly is a guinea, anyway?
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