Encouraging signs at Goffs sale that bloodstock industry may finally be getting back on track
That was a provision. The company pursued its debtors and began recovering some of the money. Its chief executive pointed out that it worked out repayment plans with those who had difficulty, but had to take action against a few who just would not pay up.
It also sold its French auction house, Arqana. This year it turned the corner, making a €180,000 profit in the 12 months ended last March.
The company has been working on its marketing and is trying to pull in more buyers from abroad. Over the last two days, the auction attracted buyers from 22 countries.
But it faces stiff competition. Tattersalls in Newmarket, England, will see many of the same vendors who turned up at Goffs this week also bringing horses to its big sale next week. Beeby acknowledged that breeders use both auction houses, as this gives them access to the best possible spread of buyers.
This year, Goffs changed the format of the Orby sale slightly, reducing the number of horses on offer: just 180 went through the ring on the first day, compared to 209 last year, and there was a renewed focus on quality.
That appeared to have paid off, as the average price on the first day jumped by close to 50 per cent to €89,168 and the median price rose over 30 per cent to €55,000. At the sales end yesterday evening, the average stood at €90,300 and the median at €58,000.
While there were plenty of international buyers, some Irish players also got involved. Croom House Stud, owned by former Kerry Group chief executive Denis Brosnan, achieved the next best price on Wednesday selling two horses for €500,000.
One of the buyers was Demi O’Byrne, agent for Coolmore Stud, the global breeding operation run by John Magnier, who is a shareholder with Brosnan in a number of businesses, including nursing home chain Barchester. The colt was by Montjeu, a Coolmore-owned sire that died earlier this year.
Croom House also sold a colt for €240,000 to Shadwell Estates, owned by Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai. Castlemartin Stud, the breeding operation run by Chryss Goulandris, wife of Sir Anthony O’Reilly, took the third spot, selling a filly to Moyglare Stud for €420,000.
But Beeby stressed that it doesn’t always have to be a big-money purchase. Last year, one buyer picked up a filly at Goffs for €5,000. Now called Sendmylovetorose, and trained by Calendon, Co Tyrone-based Andrew Oliver, she won the prestigious Cherry Hinton Stakes at Newmarket in July, putting her close to the top of her generation’s pecking order and earning £34,000 sterling in prize money. She’s worth a lot more than €5,000 now.
Turnover plunged from €123m to €71m in 2008 €49m in 2009and €45m in 2010, before coming back to €55m last year