Concord Stud Farm continues to "reach for the stars"
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A year after consigning the two highest-priced yearlings at the 2018 Standardbred Horse Sale, Concord Stud Farm enjoyed another big day during Monday’s (Nov. 4) opening session of this year’s auction. Concord consigned the two highest-priced yearlings yesterday and three of the top four. All three were bred by Stefan Balazsi’s Order By Stable and raised at Concord, located in Cream Ridge, N.J.
Leading the way was trotting filly Gangsta Rat, who sold for $550,000. The price surpassed the $500,000 for last year’s sales topper, Fifty Cent Piece, and is the second-highest auction price ever for a yearling filly trotter, trailing only the $600,000 paid for Ineffable at last month’s Lexington Selected Sale.
The second-best seller Monday was trotting colt Take This Society for $475,000. Fourth was trotting colt Spy Booth for $460,000, who was displaced at No. 3 by trotting colt Glacier Hanover ($470,000) in the final minutes of the sale.
Last year, Concord’s second-highest seller went for $415,000.
“It’s extremely rewarding,” said Julie Meirs, the daughter of Concord founders Robin and David Meirs III. “It’s nice to see that we’re able to get over that barrier again. We just keep raising the ceiling, which is great. It keeps us reaching for the stars.”
In addition to its big three on Monday, the Concord-Order By Stable partnership had two more yearlings in the top 20 — trotting colt No Ball Games Rat at $300,000 and trotting filly Keep Your Coins at $250,000.
Order By Stable received the 2018 Breeder of the Year Award from the U.S. Harness Writers Association.
“We have a great relationship with Stefan,” Meirs said. “We work really well together. He’s got all the trust in the world in us and we treat his horses, as we do with all the horses on our farm, like they’re our own. We’re making decisions and communicating with him on a daily basis if necessary. And now we’re here.”
When Monday’s session ended, Concord had sold 32 horses for $4.34 million. The gross was second to only Hanover Shoe Farm’s $8.68 million for 69 horses. Concord’s average of $135,750 topped consignors with more than four horses sold.
“We’re very excited, very pleased with how the sale has been going so far,” Meirs said. “Some didn’t sell for what we thought they would, but those ones at the top just light it up, which is awesome.”
During last year’s sale, the Meirs family hosted a brunch for horse owners and buyers on the morning of the opening session. The brunch was back Monday and looks to have become a fixture.
“I think we’re stuck with it, which is good; it’s a good way to be stuck,” Meirs said, laughing. “We’ve had numerous people thank us for the brunch and I think it’s a good morale builder. It’s something for people to enjoy before they get bidding. It’s worked well for us, so I’d say it’s here to stay for sure.” (Ken Weingartner/USTA)