Just prior to its March 3 Florida select sale of 2-year-olds in training, Fasig-Tipton officials announced they were going to include private sales in the auction's results. The private sales had to take place before the auction ended and had to be reported to the sale office to be included.
Cynics might say that Fasig-Tipton made the move to improve the sale's gross and the buy-back rate, which they did. But in making such a move, an auction company takes a chance that the average price will be diluted.
My feeling is that the more information an auction company reports the better. Some foreign sale companies report private transactions and include them in their auction results. I know of cases in this country - although I can't recall the exact horses involved - when sale companies have reported a horse as being sold after it was sold privately soon after being bought back.
Many times I have heard sellers say the buy-back rate actually wasn't as bad as reported because a number of horses that fell short of their reserves were later sold privately. As long as the private transactions take place while a sale is being conducted or during the course of a single session, I think it's a good thing they are reported by a sale company. If this continued over the course of several days or more, it would become difficult to keep up with the changes.
Fasig-Tipton identified the horses sold privately on the sale summary sheets with a (PS) for private sale, and I also agree with that decision. However, I don't think I would get too upset if they were just simply reported as sales as long as they took place before the end of an auction.
Fasig-Tipton also plans to report private sales during its other auctions.
Do you think a sale company should report private sales or should it just stick just with listing the horses that sell when they go through the auction ring?