There weren't any real surprises - either good or bad -- at the Fasig-Tipton Kentucky July select yearling sale. The results just hammered home, yet again, what we already knew.
Buyers are selective and very careful about how they spend their money.
The progeny from stallions' first crops, once wildly popular, are declining in their appeal as buyers flee to the safety of proven sires.
There is little buyer enthusiasm for the average or below average horse physically and they have little tolerance for veterinary abnormalities.
The good news was that there were no scary plunges like there were last year, and that also was expected because juvenile sales had stabilized earlier in 2010.
With a smaller catalog, the Fasig-Tipton declines were 11.6% for gross, 2.5% for average, and 9.1% for median. In 2009, they were 26% for gross, 15.8% for average price, and 26.7% for median.
The buy-back rate this year fell significantly. That wasn't really a sign of greater consignor satisfaction with prices. It was more of an indication that commercial breeders were in survival mode, taking what they could get and hoping it would be enough to allow them to continue operating their farms until times get better.
Being able to predict about where the market is going to be makes it easier to do business. There is comfort in knowing there is a bottom to the abyss, but climbing out won't be easy