Despite selling 56 fewer horses offered this year, the Canadian Open Yearling Sale which concluded Sunday, Sept. 15, ended with a drop of 43 percent in the average price. The numbers made it clear that people are backing off on their participation in Ontario harness racing while there is uncertainty about the future of the sport in the province.
In addition to the overall decline in the average price, here is a snapshot of the sale. The pacing colt segment of the market took the biggest hit, with the average price dropping from $16,365 to $7,023, a decline of 57 percent; the average price for trotting colts dropped from $17,375 to $9,723, a drop of 44 percent; trotting fillies averaged $13,313 in 2011 but only $9,670 this year, a drop of 27.4 percent; pacing fillies, the softed portion of the market, dropped from an average of $11,227 in 2011 to $8,007, down 28 percent.
The largest consignment was offered by Preferred Equine Canada. The Canadian division of Preferred Equine Marketing, sold 17 fewer horses at the sale this year but still saw its average drop by 39.2 percent, from $19,101 in 2011 to $11,617. Winbak Farm sold 28 yearlings last year for an average of $10,718 and a gross of $300,100 but this year the same number of yearlings only generated $148,800, a 50.4 percent decline.
Canadian breeders were hit hard. Casimir Farms, agent, the largest Canadian consignor, sold 20 yearlings for an average price of a mere $2,175, down 28 percent from its 2011 avearge of $3,033 for 18 yearlings.
The highest average price at this year's sale was attained by Windsong Acres, agt., which had 11 yearlings yield an average of $19,791. But last year Windsong sold five yearlings for an average price of $35,000.--harnessracing.com