Trade Zone: Get Ready - Click Here to Download PDF
By John Padgham
It’s mid-June and a yearling colt grazes in a rolling pasture of bluegrass, his only company a few fellow yearlings, a soft breeze; his only concern the
occasional fly buzzing around his head. Little does this long, gangly colt know, but his world will soon be turned upside down.
Midsummer to late fall is the time for major Thoroughbred yearling sales. The question is how does that furry, pot-bellied, stilt-legged colt in the pasture get to
be the sleek, muscular yearling that will fetch top dollar in the sale ring? Roger Daly of Roger Daly Horses has been engineering this type of transformation
for 30 years, prepping sale yearlings at his barn in Aubrey, Texas. Last year Daly and his crew sales prepped 429 yearlings. North Texas is home to many large horse
operations and equine services, and it is ideal because of its sandy soil and moderate climate.
WHAT ARE BUYERS LOOKING FOR?
To understand how to prepare a yearling for auction, we must first know the traits that ultimately make that yearling a desirable prospect, or, in other words,
what buyers will look for in the days prior to and during the sale.
Daly stated buyers will evaluate pedigree and the performance of the sire and dam and their offspring. “They’ll start looking there and have certain individuals
picked out that fit their criteria, particularly for their part of the country,” he said. Buyers will also evaluate how the horse is put together, how the horse travels, and how the horse stands. A horse that keeps a level head, has a sleek coat, and is “fit, but not fat” will draw attention.
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