Bloodstock sales to move online, Tattersalls forecasts

Racehorse auctioneer’s operations earned profit of €234,000 in year to June 30th, 2021

Online bloodstock sales are likely to be a feature of the business post-Covid, racehorse auctioneer Tattersalls Ireland predicts.

The company’s operations earned a €234,000 profit in the 12 months ended June 30th, 2021, against a €1.3 million loss the previous year, its latest accounts show.

A deferred tax charge, tied to the revaluation of some assets, left the business with an €83,000 loss for the period to the end of last June.

Roger Casey, chief financial officer, said that Covid-19 lockdowns forced the company to cancel, defer or relocate to Britain some sales during the 12-month period.

Tattersalls Ireland also held sales online, a move that Mr Casey predicted could become a regular feature of bloodstock auctioneering from now on.

“It’s more likely to be for horses that are ready-to-run, horses-in-training, where the form is established, and there’s less of a requirement to see and inspect them physically,” he said.

Covid curbs

Mr Casey added that the industry as a whole had been weighing a move to some online sales before Covid curbs disrupted the sector, along with many others, over the past two years.

He acknowledged that the pandemic had "significantly disrupted" operations at the Ratoath, Co Meath, auctioneer.

The group received €322,890 in Covid wage supports from the State during the year. Staff increased to 26 from 25.

Mr Casey said the wage supports were “very important to us” as they were to a lot of businesses.

Tattersalls holds auctions through the year, selling horses to race both on the flat and over jumps.

Previous sales

Two horses sold at previous sales, Constitution Hill and Shishkin, both won grade-one races – the highest level – over jumps in Britain for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Both are now leading fancies for further honours at the Cheltenham National Hunt Festival in March.

Locally, another Tattersalls Ireland sale, Longhouse Poet, won the prestigious Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park, Co Kilkenny, for trainer Martin Brassil and owners Balymore boss Sean Mulryan and his wife Bernadine.

Tattersalls Ireland had net assets of almost €11.8 million on June 30th, €400,000 more than 12 months previously.